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 .


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.


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February 6, 2016, 3:03 am, 1605960

February 6, 2016, 2:04 am, 1605959

1. The subtitle is A New Theory of Chinese History, and volume one has just been translated and published from the Chinese.

2. The author, Dingxin Zhao, now is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago.

3. The book has a curious 19th century air to ...


February 5, 2016, 10:44 pm, 1605946
There are good reasons to think that social networks can reduce barriers to the exchange of production factors. Using data from 51 villages in Gambia, this column examines whether transfers of land between rural households improve efficiency, and whether social networks help or hinder such transfers. The results suggest that ...


February 5, 2016, 10:44 pm, 1605945
Offshoring and global value chains have reshaped global trade patterns. This column describes how the German economy has been exposed to significant offshoring for at least three decades. The authors find an increasing importance of high-end tasks in the country. Organising and consulting activities under deadlines, changing business conditions, and ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1605944

February 5, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1605943

Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz have something in common. Both have an electoral strategy predicated on the ability of a purist candidate to revolutionize the electorate—bringing droves of chronic non-voters to the polls because at last they have a choice, not an echo—and along the way transforming the political system. ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1605940

Buried in today’s Employment Situation report from the BLS for January jobs data were these factoids and job market milestones:

1. Total US civilian employment topped 150 million jobs in January (150,544,000), for the first time ever. Previously, civilian employment in the ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1605941

Arguably, the two most prominent religious figures in the Shi‘ite world are Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The former derives his legitimacy from years of study and from the affirmation of tens of millions of Shi‘ites who find his teachings the most compelling and theologically ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1605935

An explosion Tuesday ripped a hole in the side of a Daallo Airlines plane shortly after taking off from Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu, Somalia. Investigators recently confirmed a suicide bomber — the only casualty in the attack — caused the blast. The Charge d’Affaires for Somalia’s ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1605939

If you think you can escape politics at the Super Bowl, you’re wrong. Super PACs for Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio will be airing spots in Boston (think New Hampshire) and South Carolina ahead of the upcoming primaries. Find out how much they are spending and see some ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1605942

Although the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) remains the go-to source for employment-related data (such as that released today), each month Gallup reports the “Gallup Good Job” metric. It reflects the percentage of adults aged 18 or older who work full-time (more than 30 hours per week) for an ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1605936

The Venn diagram above was inspired by Don Boudreaux’s post yesterday (“Groupthink“) on the Cafe Hayek blog, here’s an excerpt of Don responding to a a comment by Thomas Hutcheson on a prevoius Cafe Hayek post (emphasis mine):

Trade-offs exist always. No minimum-wage ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1605937

School choice opponents are at it again. This time, their efforts are centered on Tennessee, whose House Finance Committee passed a bill to authorize a voucher program by a slim margin of 11-10 last week. The bill will go to a floor vote in the House of Representatives on Monday, ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1605938

In recent decades the Middle East has been a region replete with conflicts. In the last four years alone civil war has erupted in Syria, Libya, and Yemen, contributing to the highest world refugee totals since World War II. Beyond the Arab-Israeli conflict, however, one of oldest and most intractable ...


February 5, 2016, 7:33 pm, 1605910




February 5, 2016, 7:33 pm, 1605909

The Venn diagram above was inspired by Don Boudreaux’s post yesterday (“Groupthink“) on the Cafe Hayek blog, here’s an excerpt of Don responding to a a comment by Thomas Hutcheson on a prevoius Cafe Hayek post (emphasis mine):

Trade-offs exist always. No minimum-wage ...


February 5, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1605890

The employment release provided some interesting insights into how manufacturing has fared, in the wake of the appreciation of the dollar (and the slowdown in the world economy).

In particular, manufacturing employment growth registered at the high end of the range experienced over the past year, as noted by


February 5, 2016, 7:03 pm, 1605889
By request, here is another update of an earlier post through the January employment report including all revisions.

NOTE: Several readers have asked if I could add a lag to these graphs (obviously a new President has zero impact on employment for the month they are elected). But ...


February 5, 2016, 6:44 pm, 1605888
A


February 5, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1605884
A progressive is someone who makes progress. That’s what I intend to do. – Hillary Clinton, during last night’s debate. Clinton also thinks a “conservative” is someone who conserves. Which, she says, also is what she intends to do. First, though, she intends to redefine the entire Oxford English Dictionary.  Progressive, ...


February 5, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1605881

Buried in today’s Employment Situation report from the BLS for January jobs data were these factoids and job market milestones:

1. Total US civilian employment topped 150 million jobs in January (150,544,000), for the first time ever. Previously, civilian employment in the ...


February 5, 2016, 5:03 pm, 1605850
The highlight of the week comes Wednesday, when Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen begins the first of two days of testimony on Capitol Hill for her semiannual monetary policy report to Congress.


February 5, 2016, 4:44 pm, 1605849
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February 5, 2016, 4:44 pm, 1605848
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February 5, 2016, 4:04 pm, 1605845
(Don Boudreaux)

On his Facebook page (but, at least so far, not at his excellent blog, Carpe Diem) ...


February 5, 2016, 3:33 pm, 1605842
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February 5, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1605811
Melissa Humana Paredes of Canada serves during an international volleyball tournament in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in October. Americans took more than 25 million trips to Mexico last year through November.


February 5, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1605810
Abu Sondo, a delivery man for Pizzetteria Brunetti in Manhattan’s West Village, now also cuts wood for the pizza oven. The restaurant owner asked staff to do additional work ...


February 5, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1605809

Tim Duy:

Solid Jobs Report Keeps Fed In Play, by Tim Duy: Just when you think it's safe to jump in the water, reality strikes. While I still think that the Fed passes in March, the solid jobs report is just what is takes to keep the Fed in ...


February 5, 2016, 3:03 pm, 1605808
My initial reaction was this was a "decent" employment report. However, with some further analysis, I think this should be characterized as a "solid" report.

The unemployment rate declined to 4.9% even as the participation rate increased (a strong household survey). Sure the headline number was below the ...


February 5, 2016, 2:44 pm, 1605807
A


February 5, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1605806
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. I have been firmly in the conventional wisdom camp that Bernie would never be the ultimate candidate and so as much as I always wanted to “Feel the Bern” and more or less identify ...


February 5, 2016, 1:33 pm, 1605800

Brad Plumer:

It's the last year of President Obama's presidency. He doesn't have to stand for reelection. Congress isn't going to pass any of his proposals anyway. So he may as well dream big.

That's one way to readthis new idea Obama's putting forward: He's suggesting that Congress slap a ...


February 5, 2016, 1:23 pm, 1605799

In January 2013, Atlanta Fed research director Dave Altig introduced the Atlanta Fed's labor market spider chart in a macroblog post.

In a follow-up post that June, Atlanta Fed colleague Melinda Pitts and I introduced a dedicated page for the spider chart located ...


February 5, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1605767
Leisure and hospitality, including restaurant workers, had 45,000 fewer employees in March than previously estimated, according to annual benchmark revisions released Friday by the Labor Department.


February 5, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1605766

Dean Baker:

Job Growth Slows in January, Unemployment Falls to 4.9 Percent, by Dean Baker: The Labor Department reported the economy added 151,000 jobs in January, in line with some economists' expectations. There were largely offsetting revisions to the prior two months data leaving the average change over the last ...


February 5, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1605765
Earlier the Department of Commerce reported:

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, through the Department of Commerce, announced today that the goods and services deficit was $43.4 billion in December, up $1.1 billion from $42.2 billion in November, revised. December exports were $181.5 billion, ...


February 5, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1605764
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February 5, 2016, 12:44 pm, 1605763
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February 5, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1605762

After two months of solid employment reports, the January Jobs Report came back with numbers that were somewhat disappointing when it comes to jobs growth, and which put both Federal Reserve policy and the state of the ...


February 5, 2016, 12:34 pm, 1605761
Teaser:

The ...


February 5, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1605754

Hanging up on annoying telemarketers is the easiest way to deal with them, but that just sends their autodialers onto the next unfortunate victim. Roger Anderson decided that telemarketers deserved a crueler fate, so he programmed an artificially intelligent bot that keeps them on the line for ...


February 5, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1605753

February 5, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1605750

Editor’s note: This article will appear in the February 15, 2016 edition of The Weekly Standard print magazine. To subscribe to this publication, or to read this selection at the original site, please click here.

For alumni of U.S. national-security departments and agencies, Hillary Clinton’s email saga is mind-numbing. The ...


February 5, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1605752

Last night, MSNBC hosted the second Democratic presidential primary debate of 2016 in Durham, New Hampshire. Former secretary of state and senator from New York Hillary Clinton and current Senator Bernie Sanders (VT) came to the University of New Hampshire campus in advance of that state’s primary on Tuesday, February ...


February 5, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1605749

Apparently Iowa Republicans don’t want to make America great again. And that’s just fine with the GOP elite, uttering a Monty Burnsian “excellent” over the prospect of Marco Rubio as the party’s presidential nominee. The Florida senator is attracting new attention from donors and landing key endorsements in the wake of his third-place ...


February 5, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1605751

Key Points

Colombia is making ambitious plans for implementing a historic peace agreement to end a 50-year conflict with leftist guerrillas. Ensuring the guerrillas end their lucrative drug trafficking and creating economic opportunity in post-conflict zones are crucial to success.The economic chaos, political unrest, and potential refugee crisis brewing in neighboring ...


February 5, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1605748

Not bad at all. The January jobs report — 115,000 net new payrolls, 4.9% unemployment rate — contained lots of good news: the lowest jobless rate since February 2008, a higher labor force participation rate, a higher employment rate, and average hourly ...


February 5, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1605747

The Agricultural Act of 2014 — better known as the 2014 Farm Bill — became law on February 7, 2014, and received bipartisan praise for supposedly introducing more efficient farm programs while reducing the federal deficit. As we approach the two-year anniversary of its passage, the Congressional Budget Office analysis ...


February 5, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1605746

Woodrow Wilson introduced the administrative state to American life, arguing it would make government more efficient and less corrupt. Since then, however, administrative agencies have steadily undermined self-government, reduced the sphere of individual liberty, and burdened economic growth. The Obama administration in particular has significantly expanded federal powers, delegating them ...


February 5, 2016, 11:33 am, 1605743

From the RESECON listserv:

Dear colleagues,

Has anybody come across common pool resource games (fishery or similar) that are suitable for pre-school kids (5-7 years)? I appreciate any kind of suggestions and links to instructions.

Best regards,
Paul

My reply:

Paul,

This one should work with kids: http://www.appstate.edu/~whiteheadjc/eco3620/games
/fishery/index.htm
. I've forgotten the source. Good ...


February 5, 2016, 11:23 am, 1605742

The Levy Institute has completed its most recent medium-term projections for the Greek economy. The outlook, unsurprisingly, isn’t reassuring.

The baseline simulation, which assumes the continuation of current policy, shows the GDP growth rate turning positive in 2017 and reaching 2 percent in 2018. Yet, in a reflection of how much damage has been done by ...


February 5, 2016, 11:03 am, 1605711
Nicole Kelly, right, interviews Justin Rushing for a server job at a job fair held by the Genuine Hospitality Group in Miami in January. LYNNE SLADKY/ASSOCIATED ...


February 5, 2016, 11:03 am, 1605710
“Amid all the global economic turmoil and domestic market gyrations, positive job growth, the drop in the unemployment rate to 4.9%, and the uptick in wages show the U.S. ...


February 5, 2016, 11:03 am, 1605709

The left's attack on Obamacare could be harmful:

Who Hates Obamacare?, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: ...the Affordable Care Act is already doing enormous good. ... Why, then, do we hear not just conservatives but also many progressives trashing President Obama’s biggest policy achievement?

Part of the answer is ...


February 5, 2016, 11:03 am, 1605708
From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in several industries, led by retail trade, food services and drinking places, ...


February 5, 2016, 10:44 am, 1605707
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February 5, 2016, 10:44 am, 1605706
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February 5, 2016, 10:34 am, 1605705
US companies added substantially fewer jobs last month than analysts expected, according to this morning’s update from the Labor Dept. The 158,000 increase in private payrolls is a decent gain, but it’s well below Econoday.com’s consensus forecast for a 180,000 pop. Meantime, the slow grind lower for the year-over-year gain ...


February 5, 2016, 10:34 am, 1605704

By James Kwak

Single-payer health care has emerged as the primary symbol of the differences between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. For his supporters, Sanders’s plan is the centerpiece of his vision of a European-style, social-democratic society in which health care is a right that ...


February 5, 2016, 10:34 am, 1605703
Teaser:

As ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 am, 1605700
(February 5, 2016 09:49 AM, by Scott Sumner) James Bullard has a Powerpoint presentation on NeoFisherian economics. It concludes with 8 bullet points; here is the first: Policymaker conventional wisdom and NK theory both suggest low nominal rates should cause inflation to rise. Is this actually what they... (0 ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 am, 1605699
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 214 of the 5th edition (2015) of Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics:

White South African landlords likewise ...


February 5, 2016, 10:04 am, 1605698


February 5, 2016, 9:33 am, 1605694

In a recent publication by the Chronicle of Higher Education outlining a vision for how universities can refocus their research vision on problems and solutions of greatest benefit to society (rather than a focus on return on investment), the Chronicle asked:

What can universities, governments, journals, and private funders of research ...


February 5, 2016, 9:03 am, 1605662
Friday’s job report showed the pace of hiring slowed in January. Here are the highlights.


February 5, 2016, 9:03 am, 1605661
From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in several industries, led by retail trade, food services and drinking places, ...


February 5, 2016, 8:34 am, 1605660
What does a bear market for the US equity market look like? Current conditions seem to fit the bill. The clues, after all, are piling up, including the early warning that’s still in progress via a relatively reliable quantitative tool—the Hidden Markov model (HMM). This is old news, of course, ...


February 5, 2016, 7:34 am, 1605654

A bit of the history of the Allman Brothers Band and Southern rock.


February 5, 2016, 7:34 am, 1605653

Better than the recorded version.


February 5, 2016, 7:23 am, 1605652

Photo Credit: ibusiness lines

In some ways, this is a boring time in insurance investing.  A lot of companies seem cheap on a book and/or earnings basis, but they ...


February 5, 2016, 7:23 am, 1605651
Might a commitment strategy allow you to pay yourself to go to the gym?


February 5, 2016, 6:35 am, 1605631
● Rising US layoffs hint at ebbing labor market momentum | Reuters ● US job cuts surge to 6-month high: Challenger | CNBC ● US factory orders fell sharply in Dec | AP ● Consumer Comfort Index in U.S. Little Changed Near 3-mo High | Bloomberg ● Friday’s jobs report ...


February 5, 2016, 5:34 am, 1605627

"WhatSong was started by myself back in 2008. I believed there lacked a website which truely helped users find music from movies. Since then we have grown into a comprehensive database, with over 1,200 movies, 15,000 artists and 30,000 songs. Our main mission is to make this site the most ...


February 5, 2016, 5:34 am, 1605626

February 5, 2016, 5:03 am, 1605603

According to new jobless claims, economic distress within the U.S. has spread outside of the oil patch states, as what had been a trend of improvement stoked by falling oil prices has apparently come to a clear end.

Here is how we know. Thanks to ...


February 5, 2016, 4:44 am, 1605602
The Great Depression is considered one of the darkest times for the US economy, but some argue that the US economy experienced strong productivity growth over the period. This column reassesses this performance using improved measures of total factor productivity that allow for comparisons of productivity growth in the Depression ...


February 5, 2016, 4:44 am, 1605601
The increase in the debt of emerging market non-financial firms has been large. This column argues that to understand the risks, if any, it is important to know the state of corporate balance sheets and what firms have actually been doing. In some cases external debt has been issued to ...


February 5, 2016, 3:03 am, 1605584

February 5, 2016, 2:05 am, 1605583

That is the topic of a new paper by Meyer R and Desai SP, here is the abstract:

News of the successful use of ether anesthesia on October 16, 1846, spread rapidly through the world. Considered one of the greatest medical discoveries, this triumph over man’s cardinal symptom, the ...


February 5, 2016, 2:05 am, 1605582

The break in the prison population’s unremitting growth offers an overdue reprieve and a cause for hope for sustained reversal of the nearly four-decade growth pattern. But any optimism needs to be tempered by the very modest rate of decline, 1.8 percent in the past year. At this rate, it ...


February 5, 2016, 2:04 am, 1605581
Okay, what she actually said is that she can’t be part of the establishment, because she is a woman.  Because by definition, women aren’t part of the establishment. Shucks! No one told all those corporate folks who paid her $225,000 to hear her reminisce to them about how stressful it was to advise President Obama on whether he ...


February 5, 2016, 12:04 am, 1605550
Okay, what she actually said is that she can’t be part of the establishment, because she is a woman.  Because by definition, women aren’t part of the establishment. Shucks! No one told all those corporate folks who paid her $225,000 to hear her reminisce to them how stressful it was ...