While tech layoffs may not be a leading recession indicator, a decrease in manufacturing hiring could be an ominous sign of things to come. The ISM manufacturing index declined by more than expected in January, to its lowest level since May 2020. Production, new orders, and employment components all weakened. In fact, US manufacturing may have already contracted into a recession, said Lisa Shalett, chief investment officer at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. And manufacturing is typically where full recessions begin.