I continue to hear pundits overstate that “Employment is a lagging indicator.”
Yes, in the aggregate, that is true. But if you drill down into all of the employment data, you can find elements that lead (temp Help, Hours worked) or are Coincidental (Continuing Claims, Wages).
Here are some recent Employment Charts that show the state of the employment market, with an emphasis on the leading aspects.
Verdict: Not very good.
Employment, Hours (CES)
Its even more dramatic when you just look at only private employers:
Lastly, there are the continuing claims, which shows no signs of abating:
Continuing Unemployment Claims
via Calculated Risk