Call it the Uniform Economic Indicator.
Scott Farmer, CEO of uniform maker Cintas, told CNBC Wednesday the company has had a resurgence in its core business as more companies hire more people who need uniforms.
The company reported a nearly 30 percent increase in third-quarter profits, surpassing expectations and prompting shares to rise to a new high Tuesday. It raised its guidance for the current quarter.
"What we're seeing is pretty widespread" growth, both in the service economy and in manufacturing, he said. "But I would call it moderate, at this point. It's not something that...at this point I would say is robust growth. But the mood out there has changed and we're taking advantage of it."
Cintas makes company uniforms and also entrance mats, fire production products and first aid supplies.
There's also been growth in the energy sector, he said. "The oil and gas business has been very solid. There's a lot of oil and gas exploration right now with the Marcellus shale region, he Canadian oll sands and then the traditional oil belt."
But "a lot depends on what happens with the employment base," he said. "The economy shed about eight and a half million jobs. They have regained somewhere between a million and a half to two million of those jobs back. So there are millions fewer working today than there were in 2007. As those people come back online...that only bodes well for our company."