Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


The best summary of the state of our economy is the graph (below) of employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old. The decrease is large, but the most troubling feature of the graph is the flat trend .

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

Donald Marron likes European interest rates. Click on the image to get a bigger version. Can you find three distinct subperiods?

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.

Remember M1?

Money Supply M1 growth is now over 20% per year over a 12 month lag. M1 growth has touched 20% before, but not with excess reserves of $1.6 trillion. Where is M1 headed?

Click on the chart for a larger version.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

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Stumbling and Mumbling

"An extremist, not a fanatic”

October 22, 2014, 10:34 am, 1355499

Mark Thoma's point that apparently strong econometric results are often the product of specification mining prompts Lars Syll to remind us that eminent economists have long been wary of what econometrics can achieve.

I doubt if many people have ever thought ...

October 21, 2014, 10:34 am, 1354756

Jeremy Duns accuses Owen Jones of some factual errors. Insofar as he's right, this actually strengthen the substance of Owen's big contention - that the Establishment is a self-regarding clique.

Owen's errors are not decisive ones; the claims he has got wrong are not load-bearing ...

October 20, 2014, 10:35 am, 1354035

I have long been sceptical of the feasibility and desireability of social mobility. Today's report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, though, makes me wonder: is social mobility an out-dated idea?

To see my point, imagine two ...

October 17, 2014, 10:35 am, 1352929

Jon Lansman wants Labour MPs to be "ordinary people who have held normal jobs" rather than career politicians. There's a powerful piece of thinking on his side - the diversity trumps ability theorem. This is an extension of James Surowiecki's wisdom of crowds theory, ...

October 16, 2014, 4:35 am, 1352016

As Lord Freud's more illustrious ancestor pointed out, our unguarded comments can sometimes reveal our true sentiments. It's for this reason that his claim that some disabled people are "not worth the full [minimum] wage" has outraged so many.

At best, the statement is careless. ...

October 15, 2014, 8:35 am, 1351447

Nick Cohen has prayed me in aid of his call for Labour to sack Ed Miliband, by arguing that the Labour party is like a failing company, drifting towards failure.

I like the analogy between Labour and the firm, but I'd draw the opposite ...

October 14, 2014, 2:35 pm, 1350983

The Times' headline writers have given us a nice example of journalists'  habit of equating the economy and the deficit. They've titled a piece by Ed Conway on how low wage growth has depressed tax revenues: "The UK is paying  the price of its job miracle" - as ...

October 13, 2014, 10:35 am, 1350145

Yesterday, Ryan Bourne tweeted:

Just 13 per cent of people think 'Inequality' is the biggest issue facing country. Yet left wing commentators call others out of touch!

There is, I think, an answer to this. We must distinguish two ways of being out of touch with ...

October 12, 2014, 8:35 am, 1349765

Tristram Hunt, inspired perhaps by ResPublica's call for a bankers' oath, wants teachers to take a public oath committing them to professional standards. This contains a speck of sense, but ignores some big questions.

The speck of sense is people have an ...

October 11, 2014, 8:35 am, 1349522

Yesterday I asked whether those people who feel uncomfortable hearing foreign languages on the bus will also feel uncomfortable watching Ola Jordan and Kristina Rihanoff tonight. My question was a serious one. What I was hinting at is that concern about immigration is often not directed at specific ...