Although Corporate America has been reluctant to hire for several years, Jim Cramer thinks that's about to change in a big way
Of course the "Mad Money" host understands the reluctance.
"Labor is a major cost," Cramer said. "Companies only pay to bring in new people if they have no other choice."
But in the year ahead, Cramer thinks that's exactly the scenario companies will face – that is, they will have no other choice.
Based on the strength of recent jobs numbers as well as GDP, Cramer believes the economy is now growing fast enough that "companies will desperately need new employees to profit from all of the new opportunities." And, "I bet this Friday's number will continue the trend," Cramer said.
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As the trend gathers momentum, Cramer sees opportunity. Although there are countless ways to leverage the trend, the "Mad Money" host is currently intrigued by the stocks of companies that supply uniforms. "More jobs equates to more uniforms," Cramer explained. "It's really that simple."
Cramer's favorite play is G&K Services.
"It's the number four uniform rental company in the United States and Canada, and a stock that was brought to my attention by Bryan Ashenberg, who runs the fundamental side of the TheStreet's Trifecta Stocks newsletter," Cramer said
Ashenberg likes G&K because he says the company's done a terrific job of growing its business in a difficult environment.
"Even when employment growth was not so hot, was out there cutting costs aggressively, expanding its margins and therefore boosting its profits," he explained to Cramer.
Meanwhile, Cramer noted that on Monday , a process that's been underway for several years.
Upon the completion of the sale, "G&K can focus entirely on renting out uniforms here in North America at a time when I think that business is about to pick up in a major way," Cramer noted. "That's why I think G&K is the best uniform rental play to own right here. With employment now resurgent, this company is going to have terrific earnings leverage—meaning every increase in revenues will lead to an even larger increase in earnings."
Here's how that works.
"G&K is already running trucks full of uniforms out to their customers. When those customers expand their workforces, G&K spends the same amount of money paying for fuel and paying its drivers, but they rent out more uniforms, which means whenever they rent out an additional uniform it flows right to the bottom line. "
In addition, there are other things to like about G&K.
Cramer said the company maintains a strong balance sheet and the stock pays a dividend that yields 1.7%. "And there's been a lot of speculation that might pay out a big special dividend this year like it did in April of 2012. Back then the stock was trading at around $30, and the company gave you a gigantic $6 special dividend for an instant 20% gain. If they manage to give you even a decent fraction of that this time around, I think you'll be very happy."
All told, Cramer sees every reason to buy.
"With employment finally making a major resurgence in this country—something that I think will be confirmed by this Friday's labor department numbers—don't outsmart yourself. More jobs equals more need for uniforms, and my favorite uniform rental play is G&K Services."
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