Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

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

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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 .

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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?

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EconBrowser (James Hamilton)

"Analysis of current economic conditions and policy”

August 22, 2014, 9:03 pm, 1323352

The BEA has released a new quarterly Gross State Product (GSP) series for states — a tremendous innovation for those of us interested in tracking state economies.

One interesting comparison is Minnesota vs. Wisconsin. With GSP data, one can look at the ratio of per capita income expressed in ...

August 22, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1323152

The Chinn-Ito index revised and updated to 2012 is now available here.

Figure 1 depicts the evolution of this measure of financial openness for three groups of countries:

Figure 1: Evolution of KAOPEN for Different Income Groups. Higher values indicate greater ...

August 21, 2014, 3:03 pm, 1322506

I saw an interesting statistic in the latest issue of Journal of Economic Perspectives. If you rank North American economics Ph.D. programs in terms of the publishing success of their median student in the first six years after graduating, UCSD comes in second.

Number one? Seems to be ...

August 20, 2014, 11:03 pm, 1322043

Today the Philadelphia Fed released coincident indices for the states and the US. Wisconsin outperforms Kansas — a very low bar — and yet has lagged all her neighbors.

Consider first Wisconsin compared to Kansas (like Wisconsin an ALEC darling) and Minnesota and California (not ALEC darlings).

August 19, 2014, 3:03 am, 1320801

Following up on last Thursday’s post, here is a depiction of how Wisconsin and Kansas — ALEC darlings — fare against Minnesota and California.

Figure 1: Log nonfarm payroll employment for Wisconsin (red), Minnesota (blue), California (teal), Kansas (green) and ...

August 19, 2014, 1:03 am, 1320767

I’ve read several comments lauding the move toward a structural budget balance in Wisconsin under Governor Walker’s administration. I decided to take a look at what the actual evidence for a surplus is, and what the economic impact has been of policies purported to improve economic performance.

Figure 1 depicts ...

August 17, 2014, 11:03 am, 1319938

The unfunded liabilities of the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association have increased every year for the last five years, reaching $2.45 billion last year, more than quintuple the level in 2008. The calculation of how big the shortfall is assumes that the fund is going to be ...

August 14, 2014, 7:03 pm, 1318766

Continued stagnation in July.

Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) released today figures for July employment (release here).

Figure 1: Log private nonfarm payroll employment in United States (black), and in Wisconsin (red), both seasonally adjusted, and normalized to 2011M01=0. Source: ...

August 12, 2014, 5:03 pm, 1317161

Consider this prognostication from 2011:

Americans face the most predictable economic crisis in this nation’s history. Absent reform, the panic ahead is no longer a question of if, but rather when. A deterioration of confidence by investors in government’s ability to pay its bills will drive interest rates up, increasing borrowing ...

August 10, 2014, 11:03 am, 1315722

I was interested to take a look at our recent weak economic performance from a longer-term perspective.

The graph below plots private domestic fixed investment as a fraction of GDP for the United States going back to 1929, along with the median value for this fraction over the whole period. ...