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.


Jobs

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?


Click on the chart for a larger version.


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September 19, 2014, 8:44 am, 1337845

DO POVERTY traps exist? Academics seem to think so. According to Google Scholar, so far this year academics have used the phrase “poverty trap” 1,210 times. (Paul Samuelson, possibly the greatest economist of the 20th century, was mentioned a mere 766 times). Some of the most innovative work in development ...


September 18, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1337379

SAVINGS RATES in many developing countries are too low. As we argue in this week’s print edition, many poor people in developing countries struggle to save because of demands on their cash—say, from greedy family members or neighbours. Myopia—where people prefer immediate over future consumption—also acts against saving. Commitment-savings ...


September 17, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1336769

For those watching the Federal Reserve's meeting which ended today, no news was good news. The Fed, as expected, said it would end its bond buying programme (also known as quantitative easing) next month. Many in the market wondered if it would then signal a relatively brisk move to raise ...


September 17, 2014, 4:44 pm, 1336694

I HAVE watched the debate over Scotland’s independence with a certain déjà-vu. In 1995, I along with everyone else in Canada watched nervously as Quebecers voted on whether to separate. Like Scotland’s separatists today, Quebec’s then said they would continue to use the old country’s currency. Jacques Parizeau, the separatist ...


September 17, 2014, 10:44 am, 1336466

PETER THIEL is an interesting guy: an entrepreneur and investor with plenty of thought-provoking things to say about startups and the process of innovation. (He's also out touting a new book, which has generated plenty of attention.)

Yet while one has to appreciate Mr Thiel's willingness to grapple with big ...


September 17, 2014, 8:44 am, 1336388

IN 2012 there were over 168 million child labourers. That's a big decline from a few years ago (see chart), but still a huge number. How best to get it down? Outlawing it is one option. Most countries have had child-labour laws for years; but given that one in ...


September 16, 2014, 6:44 am, 1335637

IT IS astounding how quickly expectations can change. Just 15 years ago the emerging world looked a hopeless case, economically speaking. Indeed, it wasn't the "emerging world" at all, but "less-developed countries". Once again, the growth momentum that had built in a coterie of promising looking economies had flamed out ...


September 15, 2014, 6:44 pm, 1335405
THIS week: The latest economic news from China, Banco Santander's future after the death of its executive chairman, and a new study on bankers' pay


September 12, 2014, 6:44 am, 1333757

THE ECONOMIST attended a lecture by Andy Haldane, the chief economist of the Bank of England. Mr Haldane is known for his work on financial regulation but this lecture was about something quite different: volunteering.

The lecture had a simple message. Volunteering has a much larger impact on society than most ...


September 10, 2014, 2:44 pm, 1332665

IN THE last five years growth in the rich world has been measly. From 1990 to 2007 high-income countries managed an inflation-adjusted per-capita GDP growth of about 2.3% per year. From 2008 to 2013, though, the total growth was only 2%.

But spare a thought for people living in small ...