September Payroll Employment
We are still 2% off the previous peak in jobs.
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 .
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 Becker-Posner Blog
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We will resume on December 8-a little longer sabbatical.
Income inequality in the United States has grown substantially since the 1970s, to the point where today the bottom 20 percent of the nation’s households have 5 percent of total income, the top 10 percent about 50 percent, and the top 1 percent more than 20 percent. ...
The United States has traditionally prided itself on being a country that provides “equality of opportunity”. By that is usually meant that individuals with ability and ambition who are born into families with modest means and education have a good chance of succeeding when they become adults. The experiences of different generations ...
The back page of the Education section of the Wall Street Journal for October 9 features a very interesting debate among three economists; I have given the debate’s title to this blog post. The economists are Rudy Fichtenbaum, Katharine Lyall, and Richard Vedder, all experts on ...
As Posner discusses, tuition and other college costs have risen greatly during the past 30 years. So too have the many benefits from college, including the greater earnings, health, and even marriage rates of college graduates compared to high school graduates. Moreover, the return on a college education has also increased, as ...
Both Democrats and Republicans are concerned with the growth of the federal debt relative to the growth in GDP. Consider an analogy to real estate. If one owns a house worth $100,000, borrowing $50,000 from a mortgage lender is unlikely to jeopardize one’s solvency. And if the ...
In a little over a week the federal government will reach its debt ceiling of almost $17 trillion unless Congress raises the ceiling. I am 99% confident that the ceiling will be raised in time to avoid a crisis. It is difficult to see any useful purpose served by these ceilings. ...
The answer, I think, is no, provided the focus is limited to the short run—the next few years. For it’s impossible to predict federal spending in the more distant future; there are too many imponderables. Many predictions of federal spending are published, by federal agencies and financial ...
Government programs, such as social security or price support of agriculture, are extremely difficult to cut back once they have been established. Yet, at times, specific programs have been reduced and even eliminated. It is clear why programs tend to keep going, but it is also possible to understand why they sometimes ...