A recovery in employment is crucial. So here's a second job-related indicator that economists are watching: monthly temporary employment. "Companies can always ask their employees to work a little longer," says Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at Economic Outlook Group. "But when they start hiring you know something is going on, and temporary hiring typically picks up well before permanent hiring." In 2002, temporary hiring went from net job losses to net job gains almost to the month that the recession ended. At this moment, the monthly change in temporary employment has been negative for 25 months running. When it swings positive you can be sure that better times will follow. This can be tracked on the BLS web site as well.
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