Business: Is the recession coming?

Posted by

You know when your weather app shows it’s raining but if you look out the window, the sun is shining? That’s what it’s like trying to decode the US economy right now. While some leading CEOs are sounding the alarm on a recession, the actual economic data isn’t saying the same thing.

Let’s start with CEOs—specifically the most (in)famous one, Elon Musk. He told Tesla execs in a Thursday email that he had a “super bad feeling” about the economy and to “pause all hiring worldwide,” according to Reuters. In a separate email, he announced to employees that Tesla will be laying off 10% of salaried employees.

Musk is one of several prominent execs who has recently said that the fight against inflation + the war in Ukraine are about to send the economy into the Bad Place.

  • JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned people this week to “brace yourself” because a “hurricane” is about to rock the economy.
  • Last month, Snap boss Evan Spiegel wrote that the “macroeconomic environment has deteriorated further and faster than anticipated,” which resulted in a $135 billion wipeout across social media stocks.

But these doomsday predictions have yet to show up in the data

If a recession is barreling toward us, then the May jobs report released yesterday didn’t get the memo. It showed the US economy added a meaty 390,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate held steady at a super low 3.6%. May’s jobs growth is the weakest pace of hiring in more than a year, but it’s still a number that economists are pumped about given all the lurking threats.

In more good news, wage growth fell to 5.2% in May from 5.5% in April. While your bank account may not like the sound of that, it’s actually a hopeful sign that a) the crippling labor shortage is easing up and b) inflation is starting to tick down across the economy.