Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Inbox Index

If my email inbox is any indication, the U.S. economy is in for a booming Q2. Since the second quarter began on Tuesday, I’ve been deluged with email coming in, most of it promoting something new, most of it intentionally scheduled to arrive in April rather than March.

Along with the commercial email, there has been more than the usual new-quarter flow of job openings. I don’t have time to read these messages — they arrive in spite of every online profile indicating I will not be on the job market for the foreseeable future — but the subject lines suggest I am being considered for jobs I am arguably not qualified for. For example, I worked on mainframe systems for years, so would I be willing to learn Cobol? That degree of recruiting desperation is surely a sign of a tightening technology job market in which hiring managers can’t find the workers they really want.

There are also the usual newsletters and event announcements. All put together, my email inbox is about twice as heavy as it was on March 31, and three days in, I consider it a trend. I can’t really give the increase in email much weight as an indicator of where the economy is going, but it does seem like a sign that activity is picking up, and usually that’s a positive for the economic aggregates.