According to my former student, friend and co-author Mark Perry (and endorsed by N. Gregory Mankiw), The job market is strongly signaling that we are not yet close to a recession.
Here's Mark's graph:
On the side of gloom and doom comes Floyd Norris of the NY Times arguing that the job market shows we are likely already in a recession.
Here's his graph:
Looking at the NY Times graph, it's pretty clear the prediction rests on joblessness continuing to rise strongly. The implication seems to be that hitting 13% means the rise to 30% and above is pretty much inevitable. Looking at Mark's, it's pretty clear that the prediction rests on January's new jobless claims being a good predictor of Feburary's March's and April's. I'd hate to think we were one bad month away from a recession!
Which graph do you like best? and why?