Sunday, August 18, 2013

Retail Trade Employment Hours Gone Wild!

The following chart shows the total number of hours worked per week by all production and nonsupervisory retail trade employees divided by the population.

Click to enlarge.

First off, how about that parabola? I can just feel the employment growth about to pick up in the last half of this decade. No doubt about it.

If history is any indicator, then it is probably best not to swing for the fences when we're at the top of the channel. Note that we *are* already back to the top of the channel. Where does the time go? Perhaps it doesn't feel like we're near the top because the top has come down to meet us? Behold the power of upside down parabolas.

1973? Bad!
1989? Bad!
2000? Bad!
2007? Bad!

2013? Bad? Maybe?

Just a thought! Then again, perhaps it is different this time. How else can we explain the rise from 666 on the S&P 500 in 2009 to 1656 today? It must be different! Permanent prosperity has been achieved and *all* risk has been eliminated! No more recessions! Puzzle finally solved! Hurray!

BLS: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Retail Sales Workers

Employment of retail salespersons is expected to grow 17 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

In my opinion (heavily based on the declining trend in the chart above), the only way we're going to make that 17% employment growth target is if each employee works fewer hours *and* we don't have a recession before 2020. Keep in mind that our population has only grown 9% over the past decade.

Well, there is one other way we could hit the 17% target I suppose. In 2020, we could make first contact with an alien race whose sole motivation is to purchase personal care products at our malls. Why the malls? Chances are the aliens would not have credit cards to make online purchases. They'd therefore probably start off selling their advanced technology in exchange for our paper dollars! So pull out those shovels and start digging up that hoarded paper from your backyards before the next person does!

Forehead. Desk. Whack. Whack. Whack.

This is not investment advice.

See Also:
Sarcasm Disclaimer
Trend Line Disclaimer

Source Data:
BLS: Employment Database
St. Louis Fed: Population

1 comment:

Stagflationary Mark said...

For what it is worth, I am convinced that the worst is not behind us.

Oh how I hope that I am wrong. Sigh.