From what I read, nobody has pointed out the drop in Nonfarm Business Sector: Hours of All Persons in the 3rd quarter. (seasonally adjusted) The index of hours decreased from 110.66 to 110.53. This is actually noteworthy…
Nonfarm Business Sector: Hours of All Persons since 1967. (link to graph)
You can see that hours increase through a business cycle. Looking closely at the numbers, hours really do continually increase through the business cycle. There are very few exceptions when hours decrease during an expansion of a business cycle.
But when hours do tick downward, normally a recession starts within 3 quarters. That has been the pattern since 1967… There has only been a few exceptions where hours ticked downward with no recession.
That is why the decrease in hours during the 3rd quarter is interesting. Are hours peaking?
If hours decrease again in the 4th quarter, history says to watch for a slump.