Chris Stucchio notes in the comments

This is interesting, but there is another rather concerning fact. During our current recession, although consumer spending (measured by your method) has partially recovered, employment seems minimally correlated with it.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fredgraph.png?g=3ph

You see a similar graph in specific sectors – comparing retail sales to retail employment, or manufacturing employment to industrial production.

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fredgraph.png?g=3pf

http://research.stlouisfed.org/fredgraph.png?g=3pg

Although poor consumer spending does appear to be correlated with employment at the beginning of the recession, that correlation seems weak today.

This suggests that even if decreasing consumer spending is the cause of the recession, increasing consumer spending may not be the cure.

I think if you take the broad metric of private non-construction employment you get a fairly tight – and time shifted – match.

FRED Graph

The issue is that government and construction really are different. Government is not constrained directly by consumer spending and construction is more heavily influenced by the interest rate and collateral issues.

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