They always told us that bars do well during tough economic times and are a counter-cyclical industry. For proof (abv), go no further than our Chart of the Day from the BLS. The data measures “productivity in the selected industries relating output to the labor hours used in the production of that output.”
Bartenders, working fewer hours, were pouring a lot more stiff ones per shift back then. We also note the decline in productivity in the hair, nail and skin services industry. Our working hypothesis here is that Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Tim Geithner, Wall Street, bank CEOs, hedge fund managers and traders all skipped out on their manicures during those hair-raising and nail biting days of 2008/early 2009. Lower revenues with workers, mostly on commission, standing around; ergo, the lower measure of productivity.
With more days like today, we expect the productivity measures in these two industries to be further validated.
(click here if chart is not observable)