Signs of a possible slowdown: New Hires Quality Index

Manufacturing worker in hi-viz clothing and hardhat studies instructions

The Upjohn Institute New Hires Quality Index for January 2020 shows the earnings power of people starting a new job is up less than 0.1 percent from both last month and last year. The index shows the inflation-adjusted hourly earnings power of people starting a new job.

In this month’s release, Index creator Brad Hershbein examines the degree of part-time hiring to gauge the maturity of the recovery, as part-time hiring tends to rise during recessions and fall during recoveries. Part-time hiring volume rose after the Great Recession and did not peak until 2017, although it has fallen sharply since.

The share of aggregate earnings going to newly hired part-time workers is now back at its 2007 level, 28 percent, down from 32 percent in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Historical trends, Hershbein writes, indicate there’s not much room to fall further.

Details are in this month’s full news release.

Date: March 4, 2020