The Ghost of Labor FutureSubmitted by Atlas Indicators Investment Advisors on December 14th, 2018
Atlas rarely writes about an economic release from the Federal Reserve called the Beige Book. For one thing, it’s called the Beige Book; how exciting could that be? Beige: the official color of economics. It comes out every six weeks or so and is a collection of anecdotal information on current economic conditions derived from various business and banking leaders within each of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts.
As the millennials push their way into the economy, exercising more influence, they might actually liven up this otherwise drab report. In the December 05, 2018 report, this generation’s impact was evident. Here’s a quote from the employment and wages segment of the release, “A number of contacts said that they had been ‘ghosted,’ a situation in which a worker stops coming to work without notice and then is impossible to contact.” Ha! Can you imagine? At least prior generations had the decency to tell their bosses to “take this job and shove it!” Not this cohort, they leave you hanging and never even let you know why.
One thing this anecdote could be pointing to, other than a generational shift in the respect for authority, is the increasingly tight labor market. Jobs are so abundant that some employees are not concerned about burning bridges. They are so confident in their ability to find the next gig that they ghost their current employer. For most millennials, they have only worked during the current economic expansion which is nearly 10-years old, never experiencing an environment with rising unemployment. If you have ever ghosted a boss, I hope your actions don’t come back to haunt you during the next downturn.