Nevertheless, Carl Tannenbaum, chief economist at Northern Trust, puts the risk of a recession higher than at any times since the financial crisis of 2008. “They say that policy errors, not old age, end expansions, and the steps taken on the trade front in the last five weeks fall under that,” he said.
Small Is Beautiful
At Glassdoor, the jobs site, new listings for positions at small employers are outpacing activity at the biggest companies. Hiring at businesses with 50 or fewer employees is up 22 percent from a year ago, while job postings are down 3 percent at companies with more than 5,000 employees.
“If you are looking for sectors that would slow hiring because of uncertainty today, it would be large employers,” said Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor. “Small companies are doing business locally.”
The Chicago-based technology and logistics company ShipBob isn’t tiny — it has about 500 employees — but it has been hiring at a furious pace. The company helps online retailers offer two-day shipping — vital if they want to keep up with Amazon and other large retailers. It also offers systems that let clients track inventories and route orders to the nearest warehouses.
Not that it’s easy to find new workers. “It’s a very competitive market,” said Lauren Alford, director of recruiting and onboarding at ShipBob. To attract white-collar employees, ShipBob offers an unusual perk — unlimited time off.
“People don’t abuse it,” said Kristina Lopienski, content marketing manager at ShipBob. “We are offering that flexibility if something comes up personally. We’re not watching you clock in and clock out.”
In addition to hiring salaried employees at its Chicago headquarters, ShipBob has been recruiting hourly workers at five fulfillment centers. In May, the company hired more than two dozen at headquarters and over 50 at those warehouses.