The following guest blog post from Robert Yerex, chief economist at Kronos, introduces the Kronos Retail Labor Index being announced today:
The most interesting part of my job as chief economist at Kronos is working with the huge data sets made available through our hiring system. Based on application and hiring records from 69 of our retail clients, we have created a metric called the Kronos Retail Labor Index. Over the last three years, this Index has been a leading indicator of not only the retail economy but the U.S. economy overall. The Index is a measure of the relationship between the demand for, and supply of labor front-line labor in the retail sector. The jobs being filled are the front-end of the consumer-retail supply chain. Retailers can make changes at this end of the chain more easily and more quickly than anywhere else. As such these employees are figuratively the “canary in the coalmine” for the rest of the retail industry. Economists are always on the lookout for new leading indicators and this one has great potential. The Index is being made publically available for the first time today and can be accessed at: www.kronos.com/retail-labor-index. Going forward the Index will be updated on a monthly basis. I have had the chance to preview the Index with analysts and press, and the reception has been excellent.
Click here to listen to a podcast of my interview with Dr. Yerex and Steve Earl, director of product marketing at Kronos.