Stockpiling Workers?

Hiring is up, apparently, and hours worked by employee is down.

[E]ven as employers cut hours, they are also adding workers—something they don’t usually do when contraction looms. Payrolls rose by 339,000 in May and by nearly 1.6 million for the year to date. Layoffs were nearly 13% lower in April than in the average month in 2019, according to the Labor Department.

How does that work, exactly? This is how.

The expense and trauma of hiring have left employers unusually eager to avoid shedding staff they will need when business picks up again, according to [Managing Director and Senior Economist at Nomura, Aichi] Amemiya.

Companies this time around are stockpiling workers against the turnaround and rise of the underlying economy. This is an expense more and more employers are willing to bear during the current slowdown and potential recession in order to be ahead of the curve on the other side, rather than chasing the recovery as has been the case in past slowdowns/recessions.

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