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 .
June Payroll Employment
The slowndown in employment growth over the past few months is starting to become more apparent in the graph below.
Click on the image to get a bigger version.
Focus on the Problem
U.S. payroll employment peaked at 132.5 million jobs in February 2001. For April 2012, U.S. payroll employment had reached 133.0 million jobs, marking the third month in a row above the February 2001 level.
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.
Looking Up At 2001
In February 2001, U.S. payroll employment peaked at 132.5 million. The November 2011 figure of 131.7 million still falls 800,000 jobs short of the earlier peak.
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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The Atlanta Fed’s May survey of businesses showed little overall concern about near-term inflation. Year-ahead unit cost expectations averaged 2 percent, down a tenth from April and on par with business inflation expectations at this time last year.
OK, we’re going to guess this observation doesn’t exactly knock you off ...
On Friday, my colleague Julie Hotchkiss shared in this space the results of her new research (with Fernando Rios-Avila, a Georgia State University colleague) on the recent and prospective behavior of the labor force participation rate (LFPR). The punch line, from my point of view, is this:
It's not often that the mainstream media is interested in the nuances of labor market statistics, so last week’s debate over the meaning of labor force participation rates (LFPR) in the pages of the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal was music to this labor economist's ears.
Sparked by ...
Recently, there has been a divergence between inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the preferred inflation measure of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), which is the price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE). That divergence is fairly evident in the “core” measures of these ...
To provide even greater flexibility, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's Jobs Calculator has been enhanced to allow the user to adjust another statistic used in the calculations. The statistic is the ratio of payroll to household employment and is a necessary component that links the target unemployment ...
As Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has indicated, too-big-to-fail (TBTF) remains a major issue that is not solved, but “there’s a lot of work in train.” In particular, he pointed to efforts to institute Basel III capital standards and the orderly liquidation authority in Dodd-Frank. The capital standards seek ...
Earlier this month, Dennis Lockhart, the Atlanta Fed’s top guy, gave his assessment of the economy and monetary policy to the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham, Alabama. Here’s the essential takeaway:
There are encouraging developments in the economy, to be sure, but the evidence of sustainable momentum ...
There are at least two sides to every debate, but it’s becoming clearer by the day that the debate over the cost of higher education is being won by people like University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds.
A frequent writer and lecturer, and even ...
Earlier this week, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart gave a speech in Birmingham, Alabama, focused on labor markets, risks to the outlook, and current monetary policy. One of the things President Lockhart noted was that the picture for the labor market remained muddy. Specifically:
"The fact is ...
In his March 24 Wall Street Journal piece on declining government payrolls, Sudeep Reddy offers up a key observation:
The cuts in the public-sector workforce—at the federal, state and local levels—marked the deepest retrenchment in government employment of civilians since just after World War II... down by ...