• Jeff Matthews

The Southern New England Summer Jobs Index

During yesterday’s panic buying of longer-dated treasuries, with 10 year yields plunging to levels forseen only by truly smart guys like Bill Gross, I called a bond-trader-friend to ask what was going on. “Guys are throwing in the towel,” he screamed over the din. “And Friday’s jobs report is probably going to [insert-filthy-bond-trader-language-here].” He may be right about the throwing-in-the-towel stuff, but I don’t see how the jobs report is going to [insert-filthy-bond-trader-language-here].

If the ready availablity of summer jobs in southern New England for my daughters and their teenage friends is any indicator, jobs are all around us. Every teenage boy that darkens my door these days–and there are far too many of them for my taste, but that’s another discussion–has already lined up a job. Girls too.

And they’re not working at places-of-last-resort, like Mike’s Deli, where stacking firewood and putting together a hundred and fifty copies of the multi-sectioned New York Times on Sunday mornings drives teenagers to college. For the most part, they’re getting good-paying waiter and waitressing jobs. Maybe this has no bearing on anything, but in years past, when things were tight all over, it was a lot tougher for the kids to find work. (One summer, Tommy Goodwin ended up bagging groceries in the Stop & Shop, which was great because it allowed me to torture him mercilessly pretty much every Saturday morning. You can get a kid in a lot of trouble at a grocery store. Served him right for making our Friday and Saturday nights miserable.) But what about the rest of the country? What’s the summer job index like out there? Perhaps your own anecdotal evidence will tell us something about whether Friday’s jobs report is going to be as [insert-filthy-bond-trader-language-here] bad as the bond market expects.

Jeff Matthews I Am Not Making This Up


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