My job is in the real estate and lending field, and it is no secret that things are really slow right now. Actually you can hear the sound of crickets if you listen closely.
The subprime market failure and collapse of the secondary mortgage market has made it tougher for borrowers to get a loan. Rising unemployment and foreclosure rates (and a little media-fueled panic) have made buyers wary and kept them out of the market. So though prices and mortgage rates are low, there isn't much happening right now.
So in the meantime I am picking up some holiday season work. I will be working for UPS starting tomorrow and likely through Christmas Eve. I will be riding along with a driver and running packages. The recruiter explained that their volume typically doubles or triples during the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas. They obviously can't double or triple their fleet of trucks, so they hire some extra hands to make them more efficient.
With the way the economy and consumer confidence is going, this Christmas shopping season may be a little tepid. With this in mind, there is no guarantee how many hours I will be getting. It sounds like they will be calling me each morning to let me know how much (or if) they need me for the day. Once the season gets rolling, hopefully I will be able to count on a full day's work.
It looks like I'll have some concrete insight into consumer confidence this season. I'll just count the packages.