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.

The Classic Economic Models cover micro, macro, and financial markets.

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Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

"Who would have thought an economics blog could be this exciting?”

July 24, 2014, 11:33 am, 1304745

This is very very crude. It's something off the top of my head scribbled on a scrap of paper as an outline for a first draft. But I will never go beyond that outline, because I wouldn't be any good at doing it.

The history of the Old Keynesian model is ...

July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304034

The existence of a productivity gap between Canada and the United States should ultimately manifest itself in terms of the growth rate of real per capita GDP.  If productivity growth in Canada is consistently below that of the United States, then our real per capita GDP should also not grow ...

July 23, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1304033

I was off at the cottage when Simon Wren-Lewis and Paul Krugman responded to my post on neo-fiscalism. Amusingly, given Simon's metaphor, the handbrake on the MX6 seized on as I was driving, slowing me down and creating a nasty smell. I did a ...

July 20, 2014, 9:33 pm, 1303747

A random question from a Stanford University PhD micro exam looks something like this:

The "Robinson Crusoe economy" is the simplest possible general equilibrium model, and ...

July 17, 2014, 11:33 am, 1302458

This is in response to the post (and associated paper) by Alex Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy, David Papell, and Ruksandra Prodan (hereafter NPP) arguing for a legislated Taylor Rule in the US.

A central bank reaction function tells us how the central bank sets its monetary policy instrument (for example ...

July 15, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1301314

I was a bit surprised that the recent upsurge in unemployment in Ontario in June, which was especially concentrated amongst youth (individuals aged 15 to 24 years), did not generate much discussion about the impact of the minimum wage.  Ontario’s adult minimum wage rose 75 ...

July 14, 2014, 9:33 pm, 1300945

Unionized workers are more likely to have health insurance and other non-wage benefits than non-union workers (for US evidence see here or here (gated)). Yet it is not clear why. Some obvious explanations do not stand up to scrutiny:

1. Health insurance receives preferential tax treatment.

2. Workplace insurance is efficient, ...

July 14, 2014, 1:33 pm, 1300766

For what it's worth, I thought I would lay out my own views, after reading John Quiggin and Noah Smith. This is what I think:

1. Fluctuations in the unemployment rate from year to year are mostly caused by fluctuations in aggregate demand. Very standard, boring, demand-side ...

July 13, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1300325

Sometimes I think that US monetary policy is too important to be left to the Americans. If you see your neighbour thinking of doing something daft, apparently unaware of one of the problems, you ought to speak up. Especially if it will affect you too, because you do a lot ...

July 11, 2014, 3:33 pm, 1299936

Well, the latest Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey numbers paint a rather bleak picture for Ontario with employment dropping by 34,000 jobs and the unemployment rate rising from 7.3 to 7.5 percent. However, Ontario’s employment picture is much more complicated than that and regional numbers suggest that some parts ...