Ghosting — An Economic Indicator

Big Red Car here in the wet and gray ATX reading the Beige Book.

Oh, you don’t read the Beige Book? How quaint.

The Beige Book is the Summary of Commentary on Current Economic Conditions authored by individual Federal Reserve Districts.

The Chicago District had a mention of “ghosting.”

Ghosting has crept into the hipster lexicon as meaning an action (inaction?) whereby a reluctant suitor ends a relationship by simply disappearing, going dark, dropping off the web.

As in,

“What happened to your boy Freddie?”

“He ghosted me. Dweeb.”

The Chicago Fed reports that:

“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.”

Who knew the Chicago Fed was so damn hip?

What it really means is that the job market has gotten so strong that individual workers don’t feel the compulsion to actually tell an employer they are leaving. They just disappear — turn into a ghost.

If this bubbles up to the Chicago District of the Federal Reserve, it has to be widespread. Wow!

This is part of a continuing better view of the economy from a jobs perspective.

JOLTS Overview

This has always been one of my favorite graphs since it shows the correlation of job openings, jobs, quits, and layoffs. Now, they may have to start tracking “ghosts.”

As you can see, there is a healthy upward trend on job openings, jobs, and people quitting their existing jobs which is probably related to ghosts because ghosts are folks quitting but not telling their employer.

Layoffs are steady which tends to accentuate the other three curves.

So, dear reader, there you have it. The job market has gotten so tight the employees are turning into ghosts.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!