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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- Recent Entries

October 24, 2016, 11:34 am, 1686158

Here is the number of new permanent residents to Canada, as a percentage of the existing population, over time:

"New permanent residents" is not a perfect ...

October 24, 2016, 11:33 am, 1686157
This coming Friday, I will be interviewed by Frank Conwayatan Economics Teaching Conference. You can heara live broadcast of the interviewby registering here.

October 24, 2016, 11:23 am, 1686156

My latest Macro Musings podcast is with Narayana Kocherlakota. Narayana is a professor of economics at the University of Rochester. He has published widely in economics, including in the areas of money and the payment system, business cycles, financial ...

October 24, 2016, 11:03 am, 1686124

Proposition 55 on California’s November ballot would extend higher state income taxes first adopted in 2012 after the passage of Proposition 30. The higher tax rates apply as an extra 1 percent of tax on income above $263,000 ($526,000 married filing jointly), an extra 2 percent of tax ...

October 24, 2016, 11:03 am, 1686123
From the Eric Morath at the WSJ: Retailers Rushed to Hire for Holidays, a Sign of Tight Labor Market

Retailers geared up to hire holiday-season workers in August this year, an unusually early start showing how competition has intensified for temporary help in a tight labor market.

Data ...

October 24, 2016, 10:34 am, 1686122

The broad US economic trend decelerated in September for a second month in a row, according to today’s update of the three-month average of the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI-MA3). The benchmark dipped to -0.21 last month, the lowest reading since May. The below-zero data indicates that economic ...

October 24, 2016, 10:04 am, 1686121
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 142 of Deirdre McCloskey’s brilliant 2010 volume, Bourgeois Dignity:

October 24, 2016, 10:04 am, 1686120

October 24, 2016, 10:04 am, 1686119

Alan Viard and Eric Toder explain how the problems with corporate income tax can be solved by taxing shareholders, not companies.

October 24, 2016, 10:04 am, 1686118

As Wired magazine put it, Friday’s distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on DNS provider Dyn was “a definite reminder of the fragility of the web, and the power of the forces that aim to disrupt it.”

The disruption caused by the Dyn attacks was certainly widespread – effectively ...

October 24, 2016, 10:04 am, 1686115

Breast cancer is a common disease – 1 in 8 women and a small number of men will be afflicted over their lifetimes. This year alone, approximately a quarter of a million new cases will be diagnosed and 40,450 women will die. That means everyone is more and more ...

October 24, 2016, 10:04 am, 1686117

Conservatives need to be clear-eyed about the enormity of the Failure of 2016. The Republican Party — the imperfect political vehicle for conservative policy, ideas and values — nominated a man for president of the United States who is manifestly unfit to hold that office. This is clear for anyone ...

October 24, 2016, 10:04 am, 1686116

On Wednesday, Newark Public Schools’ superintendent Chris Cerf visited AEI to talk about the state of Newark’s schools, the aftermath of the $100 million Zuckerberg gift to the district, and the challenges of urban school reform. Cerf is an unfailingly interesting thinker who has served as commissioner of education in ...

October 24, 2016, 9:33 am, 1686112

"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind." William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, 1883.

Policy, especially monetary ...

October 24, 2016, 9:03 am, 1686081
From the Chicago Fed: Economic Growth Picked Up in September

Led by improvements in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) increased to –0.14 in September from –0.72 in August. All four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from August, but in September, ...

October 24, 2016, 8:44 am, 1686080

October 24, 2016, 8:04 am, 1686078

Even though William Baumol didn’t win the Nobel prize this year it got me to thinking about the cost disease, as did the death last week of William Bowen, the co-author of Performing Arts – The Economic Dilemma which brought the cost disease to public attention. The cost disease says ...

October 24, 2016, 7:33 am, 1686074

I won't defend the $ estimate, but I coulddefend the diagnosis. And this is the beginning of asolution:

Of all the serious problems in the American workplace, this one is the most solvable. And we can solve it one company, one culture, one worker at a time.

October 24, 2016, 7:33 am, 1686075

This week's bulletin from the land of You Can't Make This Stuff Up.

In themid-2000s, in the midst of a housing boom, the Los Angeles Unified School District realized that skyrocketing rents were fueling teacher turnover.

Nearly half of all new ...

October 24, 2016, 7:33 am, 1686072

Bruce Schneier, a "long-time computer-security researcher," wrote about last week'sbig DDoS attack on the Net as follows:

What this all means is that the [internet of things] will remain insecure unless government steps in and fixes the problem. When we have market failures, government is the only solution. The ...

October 24, 2016, 7:33 am, 1686073

In favor: Nick Hanauer, entrepreneur, venture capitalist--according to Wikipedia, "the first non-family investor in Amazon"--and veryrich.

Against, and a direct reply to Hanauer: Adam Ozimek, "America's Worst Minimum Wage Pundit".

More against (because it's the right answer):

Deirdre McCloskey, "The Secret History of the Minimum Wage".

The ...

October 24, 2016, 7:33 am, 1686071
James Vickery, Lauren Thomas, and Ulysses Velasquez

Profits and employment in the oil and natural gas extraction industry have fallen ...

October 24, 2016, 7:03 am, 1686050

In the third full week of October 2016, the S&P 500 ended higher than it closed in Week 2 of October 2016.

And yet, the week had something of a downcast to it, as can be seen in our alternative futures chart.

October 24, 2016, 6:44 am, 1686049

Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about life in Cuba. Mulligan, who recently returned from a trip to Cuba, discusses the economy, the standard of living and some of the peculiarities of ...

October 24, 2016, 6:34 am, 1686048

Markets roared back to life last week, rebounding after widespread losses in the previous week. The big winner for the five trading days through Oct. 21: emerging market stocks, which led the rally among a set of proxy ETFs representing the major asset classes. Meanwhile, last week’s losers ...

October 24, 2016, 5:33 am, 1686046

The Law of Unintended Consequences is not something to trifle with.

October 24, 2016, 5:33 am, 1686045

"Spectacular," maybe, but not unexpected.

October 24, 2016, 4:04 am, 1686031

Fewer people are watching:

Revenue is up, but audiences are down in New York City’s dance industry, a new study of the field finds.

A 20% decrease in the number of paid attendees at live performances emerged in the study, to be released Friday by the advocacy group Dance/NYC. The study ...

October 24, 2016, 3:03 am, 1686009

October 24, 2016, 3:03 am, 1686008

My latest column:

The Election Matters for the Future of the Economy: We are entering into a time period when economic growth may be lower than we are accustomed to, the likelihood of recessions may increase, and income will continue to be very unequally distributed.

Our response to these problems, ...

October 24, 2016, 2:04 am, 1686007

1. Peter Ames Carlin, Homeward Bound: The Life of Paul Simon.  I hadn’t known that Simon originally recorded the Hearts and Bones album with Garfunkel, but later erased his partner’s contributions to the songs.  Nor had I known that Simon produced a stripped-down, acoustic guitar version of ...

October 24, 2016, 12:34 am, 1686001
Tags A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssCorporate WelfareTaxes and SpendingPolitical TheoryCronyism at the Gas Pump

October 24, 2016, 12:04 am, 1685998
(October 24, 2016 12:08 AM, by Bryan Caplan) The latest reply from Mike Huemer on the ethical treatment of animals, this time with a cool graph.Bryan Caplan posted this further comment on animal welfare arguments on his blog. I didn't have time to address this earlier (partly because... (1 COMMENTS)

October 24, 2016, 12:04 am, 1685997
Authored by Mike Kimel In this post, I will explain the annualized growth rate in real GDP per capita using tax rates and the percentage of the population that is foreign born using data for the United States.  The data shows the following: A. the tax rate that maximizes economic ...

October 23, 2016, 11:33 pm, 1685996

1. Cartoon of the Day (above). Another great one from Henry Payne, see related CD posts here and here. The NAACP’s disgraceful opposition to charter schools ...

October 23, 2016, 10:44 pm, 1685985

October 23, 2016, 10:04 pm, 1685984

Even more inventive computer crooks have used online pornography as a reward for human web surfers who break the Captcha…

Here is the John Markoff NYT piece, very interesting throughout.  Imagine an evil AI agent that can mimic your voice and call your loved ones and…

The post

October 23, 2016, 9:03 pm, 1685977
Schedule for Week of Oct 23, 2016

• At 8:30 AM ET, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index for September. This is a composite index of other data.

From CNBC: Pre-Market Data and Bloomberg futures: S&P futures and DOW futures are ...

October 23, 2016, 8:34 pm, 1685976

A propaganda war bubbled up in London last week as an antiquated Russian aircraft carrier steamed down the English Channel, on its way to the coast of Syria.

NatWest, subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, which is mostly owned by the British government, announced that it planned to ...

October 23, 2016, 6:04 pm, 1685963
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from the closing lines of one of the best articles ever written on externalities – an article, ...

October 23, 2016, 5:33 pm, 1685962

…. is from the Saturday WSJ editorial “New York Tries to Kill Airbnb: Too many owners were making too many renters happy“:

The service [Airbnb] fills a market need, and buyer and seller are better off, so naturally politicians want to mess with all this happiness and business efficiency.

The ...

October 23, 2016, 4:34 pm, 1685958
A A Home | Feed | Blog.rssHappy Birthday Ralph

October 23, 2016, 2:04 pm, 1685949

October 23, 2016, 1:03 pm, 1685945
The automakers will report October vehicle sales on Tuesday, November 1st.

Note: There were 26 selling days in October 2016, down from 28 in October 2015.

From WardsAuto: Forecast: October Daily Sales to Reach 15-Year High

A WardsAuto forecast calls for October U.S. light-vehicle sales to ...

October 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1685939
(October 23, 2016 11:10 AM, by Scott Sumner) Here's an abstract from a paper by Erich Pinzón-Fuchs: This paper discusses a longstanding debate between two empirical approaches to macroeconomics: the econometrics program represented by Lawrence R. Klein, and the statistical economics program represented by Milton Friedman. I argue... (0 COMMENTS)

October 23, 2016, 12:04 pm, 1685938
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to the editor of BloombergView:

Editor, BloombergView

Sir or Madam:

Observing that Seattle’s economy continues to thrive following that ...

October 23, 2016, 8:04 am, 1685924

The deal may “feel wrong” to a lot of people, but for the regulators it ought not to be a big deal:

AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner…is considered “vertical” because the two companies largely do not compete against each other but operate on the same supply chain.

This is the ...

October 23, 2016, 8:04 am, 1685923
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 17 of the 1992 Liberty Fund edition of John Taylor‘s remarkable 1822 tract,

October 23, 2016, 7:33 am, 1685922

Featuring "quinoa".

October 23, 2016, 7:23 am, 1685921

Photo Credit: Rouslette-Ainsworth


I have sometimes said that it is common for many people to imitate the behavior of others, rather than think for themselves.  There are several reasons for that:

It”s ...

October 23, 2016, 5:03 am, 1685896

October 23, 2016, 4:04 am, 1685894
My regular column is available to subscribers on This is an excerpt. For Britain’s retailers – at least those who are not threatened with having their knighthood taken away – this should be a time of celebration. The...

October 23, 2016, 3:33 am, 1685892

October 23, 2016, 2:04 am, 1685887

The author is Julian Gewirtz and the subtitle is Chinese Reformers, Western Economists, and the Making of Global China.  I loved this book.  It is an tour de force on China, the theory of policy advising, and the history of economic thought, all rolled into one.  Here ...

October 23, 2016, 12:04 am, 1685878