An Unscientific Assessment of the Economy

Relying on economists for predictions about the tone of our economy can be a frustrating business. After all, everyone knows the First Law of Economics:  For every economist, there exists an equal and opposite economist. The Second Law is that they are both wrong.

So what’s a person – who works in a business that is intimately tied to the economy, but who never once stepped foot in the business school during both his undergraduate and graduate school years – to do?

Rely on unscientific, subjective information, of course.

So here is my hot-off-the-press amateur assessment of the economy: things are improving. Here’s my case:

  • We just closed a search in which the placement received a sizable counter-offer from his employer when he went in to resign. They are a professional services firm that is swamped with work.
  • The line at Starbucks is definitely getting longer.
  • I met a very senior-level executive last week who decided to leave a high-paying job, purely voluntarily, so she could conduct a job search to take a different direction in her career.
  • We recently closed two search assignments for a client company with candidates who had multiple offers in hand, leading to a mini bidding war.
  • I do not consider it idiotic that I am buying organic, boutique food for my cats.
  • Our firm is hiring again, for the first time in about five years.
  • The new iPhone just sold about 100 million jillion units in 23 minutes.
  • The number of acquaintances who only call me when they need a job is dropping.
  • Those same people whom I helped in the past are now putting out search assignments for their companies, but they have apparently lost my contact information.
  • Christmas tree futures are soaring (I made this one up).
  • The UPS guy visits my house at least twice a week now. Assuming he is not having an affair with my wife, I must be sending out vibes that we should make some of those purchases we put off while waiting for the economy to recover.

Of course, I could be reading all of these signals wrong, and we are about to enter a historic recession.

Or not.

John Salveson

John Salveson

John brings more than 30 years of experience consulting with a broad range of organizations, including life sciences and pharmaceutical companies, banks, insurance companies, manufacturers, professional service firms, healthcare providers, retailers, service organizations and non-profit institutions. Working closely with senior leadership, John helps companies define their talent needs and execute creative strategies to recruit and retain that talent. He has particular expertise in management and organization development consulting. John also serves as Practice Leader for the firm’s Wholesale Distribution Specialty Practice. Read the full bio.

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