(Image: Jason Murphy)

I’ve never seen so many of them. Signs everywhere, telling us what’s happening in the economy. Above is one I saw in Melbourne this week.

Restaurants are advertising for staff in their front windows all over the place. Even though there are still a lot of vacant shopfronts for lease, the businesses that survived 2020 seem to be hiring. I’m seeing far more of these ads than I would usually, and some go so far as to specify no experience required -- which is a concrete sign that the jobs market, which was hit hard by COVID, is getting tighter again.

You shouldn’t trust your eyes alone, of course. Anecdote and observation can be skewed. But the data backs up observation in this case.