Why To Celebrate More Temp Jobs

For the past two months, in analyzing the unemployment reports I've noted that temporary jobs are growing. I've said that this is a good sign for permanent job growth, but haven't really explained why. I came across a great chart that does exactly that in a picture.

The chart is from Credit Suisse, and was included as part of a presentation on the consumer credit economy that I saw last week at the American Securitization Forum's annual conference. I'm sure I'll be writing about more charts as the week progresses, since there were a lot of great ones that I now have access to. Here's the one on temp workers:

Temp Jobs 2010.PNG

The red line is temp jobs; the blue line is permanent non-farm employment. As this chart demonstrates, temp jobs lead permanent job growth. It's rare to see such a clear correlation between two variables.

The chart shows how temp jobs have done well over the past few months, as they've hit the trough and begun to rebound. So too should permanent jobs, if this correlation continues to hold.

What's a little troubling is that permanent jobs have hit bottom below that of temporary jobs historically in the graph shown. Obviously, we'd hate to see that here, because that would mean a lot more job losses. But I think that the time correlation looks more relevant than the distance between the curves above. So if that holds up, looking at 2003, the permanent job trough won't be far off.