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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September 4, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1539536
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September 4, 2015, 4:34 pm, 1539535
Paul Romer is worried that the field of macroeconomics is too tribal - somehow our behavior is impeding scientific progress.

Romer starts his post with two statements:

1.The model in Lucas (1972), Expectations and the Neutrality of Money, made a path breaking contribution to economic theory. It is comparable ...


September 4, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1539534

This is reproduced verbatim from Scott Sumner:

What is the total number of months during the Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush I administrations, plus the first term of Clinton, when the unemployment rate was lower than today?

Answer:  1

(March 1989, when it was 5.0%)

Come on discouraged workers, get out there and ...


September 4, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1539533

A fast rail link that China had said it would build to Beijing from Moscow is in doubt because China, which is an expert at such construction, is demanding that Russia pay for it. The nearly 500-mile first leg, between Moscow and Kazan, was scheduled to open before the ...


September 4, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1539532

September 4, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1539531

The Iranian regime and military appear united in a determination to use the easing of sanctions to expand the Islamic Republic’s conventional and unconventional military power, including its ballistic missile program. The finely-reasoned arguments of some supporters of the deal that Tehran will prioritize economic growth over military spending require ignoring ...


September 4, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1539530

Well, that didn’t take long.

No sooner had Donald Trump wiffed his foreign policy quiz with conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt than the GOP frontrunner began lashing out, calling Hewitt a “third-rate radio announcer.”

Hewitt will be one of the moderators for the upcoming CNN debate. This should be good. ...


September 4, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1539529

AEI Fellow Marc Thiessen discusses the 2016 election with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly on ‘The Kelly File.’


September 4, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1539526
Crisis in Numbers

With an influx of 800,000 migrants, per year, and rising steeply, Europe struggles with what to to with the refugees.

Here's the Migrant Crisis in Numbers.

The EU is struggling to respond to a surge of desperate migrants, thousands of ...


September 4, 2015, 3:33 pm, 1539525

Are entry-level minimum, wage workers trapped in dead-end burger-flipping jobs and a lifetime of poverty? That seems to be one of the false narratives that generate support for the increasingly popular $15 an hour minimum wage laws (passed and proposed) around the country. But the reality ...


September 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1539464
Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado full-size pickup rose 18% through August. DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG

With gasoline prices heading into Labor Day at the lowest level in more than a ...


September 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1539463

The latest from Robert Reich begins with:

What Happened to the Moral Center of American Capitalism? : An economy depends fundamentally on public morality; some shared standards about what sorts of activities are impermissible because they so fundamentally violate trust that they threaten to undermine the social fabric.

It is ...


September 4, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1539462
By request, here is another update of an earlier post through the August employment report.

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 that would open ...


September 4, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1539461
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September 4, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1539460
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September 4, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1539457
(September 4, 2015 01:38 PM, by Scott Sumner) In America, the government heavily subsidizes the provision of "health care." (The scare quotes will be explained later.) For example, roughly 40% of the cost of health insurance for middle class families is paid for by the government, via tax... (0 ...


September 4, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1539456
(Don Boudreaux)

I just learned the very sad news that Carolyn Weaver has died, at the too-young age of 63.  Carolyn was a ...


September 4, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1539455
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s a letter to a long-time skeptical Cafe Hayek patron:

Mr. Ken Quinn

Dear Mr. Quinn:

Thanks for your e-mail.  I did indeed read the ...


September 4, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1539454

White House

US job growth in August slowed from July — to 173,000 from 245,000 — as the unemployment rate fell to the lowest level since 2008, 5.1%. The Wall Street Journal offers a nice summary of the data, and ...


September 4, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1539453

Are entry-level minimum, wage workers trapped in dead-end burger-flipping jobs and a lifetime of poverty? That seems to be one of the false narratives that generate support for the increasingly popular $15 an hour minimum wage laws (passed and proposed) around the country. But the reality ...


September 4, 2015, 1:23 pm, 1539450

Since 2010, our Bank has regularly posted 5-year deflation probabilities derived from prices of Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) on our Deflation Probabilities web page. Each deflation probability, which measures the likelihood of a decline in the Consumer Price Index over a fixed five-year window, is estimated by comparing ...


September 4, 2015, 1:23 pm, 1539449
Over the past six years the Fed's preferred measure of the price level, the core PCE, has averaged 1.5 percent growth. That is well below the Fed's explicit target of 2 percent inflation. Why this consistent shortfall?
Some Fed officials are asking themselves this ...


September 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1539388
If a difference of 47,000 jobs sounds big, take a step back with us. CARLOS OSORIO/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The August jobs report, showing nonfarm payrolls up 173,000, came ...


September 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1539387

"We can learn a lot by following the dollars":

Other People’s Dollars, and Their Place in Global Economics, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: Soon after arriving here, I stopped at an A.T.M.; I needed some dollars, and all I had were dollars.

O.K., weak joke. What I needed ...


September 4, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1539386

Dean Baker:

Job Growth Weakens in August: The rate of wage growth was under 2.0 percent for the last 3 months.

The Labor Department reported that the economy added 173,000 jobs in August, somewhat less than most predictions. However, the prior two months' numbers were revised upward by 44,000, bringing the ...


September 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1539383
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September 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1539384
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September 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1539385
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September 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1539382
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September 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1539378
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September 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1539379
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September 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1539380
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September 4, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1539381
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September 4, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1539377

September 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1539374

September 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1539373
(September 4, 2015 12:53 PM, by David Henderson) Those of who you, like my wife and me, are big fans of the TV show The Big Bang Theory, might get a kick out of this title. I've changed the "have always been" that Sheldon says in this segment... (0 ...


September 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1539371

AEI’s Senior Fellow Kevin Hassett opines on the newest labor statistics while discussing a course of action for the Federal Reserve.


September 4, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1539372

Editor’s note: This post was originally published on National Review’s ‘The Corner.’

A nice piece of analysis by Evan Soltas begins by critiquing the Economic Policy Institute’s graph purporting to show a decades-long, massive divergence between wages and productivity — the same graph that Ramesh has recently ...


September 4, 2015, 11:33 am, 1539369
Initial Reaction

The establishment survey came in a weaker than expected 173,000 job. The Bloomberg Consensus estimate was 223,000 jobs.

However, the preceding two months were revised up by 44,000 and wages were strong. Bloomberg provides a nice summation of the strengths and weaknesses.


September 4, 2015, 11:33 am, 1539368

Stated Preference Methods are useful tools aimed at assessing the social welfare impacts of public and private policies and play a key role in applied economic research. The workshop develops step by step stated preference models that are used for the economic assessment of policy initiatives.

The ...


September 4, 2015, 11:33 am, 1539367
China, Japan and South Korea have gained valuable experience producing high quality public transit buses, subways and railroad equipment. One reason that these nations acquired this knowledge is a large home market for selling such capital. In the name of domestic protection, the U.S has erected a non-tariff trade barrier ...


September 4, 2015, 11:23 am, 1539366
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September 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1539305

Due to incentives for job creation and business relocation, new firms often experience lower tax burdens than do their mature counterparts. Often, but not always—and of the firms in our study, this generalization is the least likely to hold true for retail stores. It’s worth exploring why.

In a tax ...


September 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1539304

Corporate income taxes get all the attention, but if you’re in the warehousing or distribution business, what you really care about is property taxes—rates and, often more significantly, breadth.

According to our Location Matters study, which provides an apples-to-apples comparison of tax costs for seven model firms across all ...


September 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1539303
A job seeker shakes hands with a recruiter in San Francisco. JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

The U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs in August, a bit of a ...


September 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1539302
Job seekers fill out registration forms before entering a summer career fair. JUSTIN SULLIVAN/GETTY IMAGES

U.S. employers added 173,000 new jobs in August, below forecasted gains, ...


September 4, 2015, 11:03 am, 1539301
Earlier: August Employment Report: 173,000 Jobs, 5.1% Unemployment Rate

This was a decent employment report with 173,000 jobs added, and employment gains for June and July were revised up.

There was even some wage growth, from the BLS: "In August, average hourly earnings for all employees on ...


September 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1539300
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September 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1539299
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September 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1539297
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September 4, 2015, 10:44 am, 1539298
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September 4, 2015, 10:34 am, 1539296
Private payrolls in the US grew at a surprisingly slow pace in August, according to this morning’s monthly employment update from the US Labor Dept. Companies created 140,000 new jobs last month—well below expectations for 200,000-plus. The disappointing news raises new questions about the strength of economic growth–and the timing ...


September 4, 2015, 10:34 am, 1539295

August’s Jobs Report paints a picture of an economy that is growing, but growing rather slowly, and once again calls into question the Federal Reserve’s apparent plan to begin raising interest rates in September:

Total nonfarm payroll ...


September 4, 2015, 10:04 am, 1539292

The Class of 2015 SAT results are out, and they’re ugly. The College Board reported this week that scores on the SAT have sunk to the lowest point since the venerable college-admission test was revamped in 2005.

Just how bad were the results? The 1.7 million test-takers in the Class of ...


September 4, 2015, 10:04 am, 1539291

According to the new jobs report, the economy added fewer jobs than expected this month, while the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.1%.

Two new reports from AEI’s Political Corner put the hard numbers in context. The polls in Economic Insecurity:
Americans’ Concerns about their Jobs, Personal Finances, ...


September 4, 2015, 9:33 am, 1539290

|Peter Boettke|

Liberty Matters is hosting once again a very interesting discussion dealing with the work of Anthony de Jasay. The lead essay is by Hartmut Kliemt and the first response has been authored by Chris Coyne. Additional commentary will be provided by Michael Munger and Edward ...


September 4, 2015, 9:33 am, 1539289


September 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1539238
The pace of hiring slowed sharply in August and the unemployment rate fell, the Labor Department said Friday.


September 4, 2015, 9:03 am, 1539237
From the BLS:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 173,000 in August, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in health care and social assistance and in financial activities. Manufacturing and mining lost jobs.
... ...


September 4, 2015, 8:44 am, 1539236
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September 4, 2015, 8:44 am, 1539235
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September 4, 2015, 8:44 am, 1539234

Sovereign debt has traditionally been contrasted with corporate debt. Unlike corporations, sovereigns are immune from suit and asset seizure. Unlike corporations, sovereigns can't reliable promise a lender that it will have seniority over other lenders. Unlike corporations, sovereigns can't access bankruptcy. These and other distinctions drive much of ...


September 4, 2015, 8:34 am, 1539233
The tactical asset allocation model that’s outlined in Meb Faber’s widely read paper–the most downloaded paper on SSRN.com, in fact—went to cash at the end of last month, Bloomberg reported earlier this week. The risk-off move has attracted a fair amount of attention, which isn’t surprising, given the fame and ...


September 4, 2015, 8:04 am, 1539232

A conference on Gordon Tullock’s economic, political, and legal research is being held in Founders Hall of George Mason’s Arlington Campus on Friday October 2 and Saturday October 3, 2015.

Gordon Tullock was one of the founders of the field of research ...


September 4, 2015, 8:04 am, 1539231
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 220-221 of the 5th edition (2015) of Thomas Sowell’s Basic Economics:

Making it illegal to pay less ...


September 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1539227

A reflective Keith is in good form here. And as long as he remains with us, I hold out hope that almost anybody can live to a ripe old age.


September 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1539226

September 4, 2015, 7:33 am, 1539225
Anna Snider



Recent news examining the toll that a decade of stagnation, out-migration, and heavy debt has taken on Puerto Rico draws on work summarized in two Liberty Street Economics posts. ...


September 4, 2015, 6:44 am, 1539201
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September 4, 2015, 6:34 am, 1539200
● US jobless claims rise, but remain near historically low level ● ISM: a slower but still solid pace of growth for US services sector in August ● PMI: growth in US services rises to 3-month high in August ● US job cuts fall sharply in August ● US consumer ...


September 4, 2015, 5:33 am, 1539198

The "feminists" are just a bunch of random tweeters--and you can find anything on Twitter--but still . .. really? Really?


September 4, 2015, 5:03 am, 1539165

Garth Sundem has a new book out! Your Daily Brain: 24 Hours in the Life of Your Brain promises to take readers ...


September 4, 2015, 4:44 am, 1539164

The productivity of a firm depends on its interaction with its suppliers and customers. This column uses unique data from Japan to investigate the wholesalers’ role in transaction networks, considering both sides of the transaction. The likelihood that a firm uses wholesalers increases with smaller buyer-side firms and larger seller-side ...


September 4, 2015, 4:44 am, 1539163
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September 4, 2015, 4:04 am, 1539162
When we last looked at Obamacare as an alleged “job-killer,” Matt Yglesias had just pointed out that 2014, the first full year of insurance on the exchanges, was also the best year for job creation since 1999. But recently a non-blogging friend reminded me of a related anti-Obamacare meme, the ...


September 4, 2015, 3:03 am, 1539125

September 4, 2015, 2:04 am, 1539123

Remember, in a global economy with multiple currencies, or an economy with lots of price variation, the notion of a single “real interest rate” is tricky.  The standard Fisherian story implies real interest rate near-neutrality across a wide set of expected monetary policy decisions.  Say expected inflation goes up, the ...


September 4, 2015, 2:04 am, 1539122

Sosa is a gynecological teaching associate, and she holds one of modern medicine’s most awkward jobs, using her body to guide med students through some of its most delicate, dreaded exams. Every week, she lies back for dozens of the next medical generation’s first pelvic and breast screenings, steering gloved ...


September 4, 2015, 2:04 am, 1539121

Criminal justice reform is back on politicians’ agendas, this time with a new purpose: to reduce our nation’s high rates of incarceration. Many conservatives and liberals agree that prisons are too often dehumanizing environments that warehouse people, rather than give them an opportunity for redemption and reentry into civilized society. ...


September 4, 2015, 1:33 am, 1539120
Mario Draghi, Monetarist Mule

The never-ending push for 2% price inflation is absurd to the point of being counterproductive.

However, stubborn central bank mules don't care about history or common sense. They just keep doing what their fatally flawed model says they should do.

The ECB's stubborn ...


September 4, 2015, 12:04 am, 1539093
(September 4, 2015 12:03 AM, by Bryan Caplan) The worker-employer bargain has many funny features. Scott Alexander points out a few:1. Employers sometimes yell at workers for small mistakes; workers aren't supposed to yell at employers no matter how big the employers' mistakes.2. Employers sometimes demand job applicants'... (0 ...


September 3, 2015, 11:33 pm, 1539092

The table above shows the composite “college readiness rates” for Detroit and Michigan high schools by ethnic group based on the results of ACT tests that were taken by high school juniors during the 2013-2014 school year (data available here from the ...


September 3, 2015, 10:44 pm, 1539059

Are humans instinctively cooperative? Under what circumstances does human cooperation tend to break down? Can we experience cooperation in the absence of sanctions? How much are individuals willing to sacrifice to achieve justice?

This week, Roberts spoke with Paul Robinson, co-author (with Sarah Robinson) of Pirates, Prisoners, and Lepers: ...


September 3, 2015, 10:04 pm, 1539057

The table above shows the composite “college readiness rates” for Detroit and Michigan high schools by ethnic group based on the results of ACT tests that were taken by high school juniors during the 2013-2014 school year (data available here from the ...


September 3, 2015, 9:03 pm, 1539034
From Justin Lahart at the WSJ: Jobs Report Could Seal the Deal on Rates

J.P. Morgan economist Michael Feroli thinks the Fed will stand pat, leaving its target range on overnight rates at zero-to-0.25%. But an increase of 250,000 jobs coupled with a drop in the unemployment ...


September 3, 2015, 8:44 pm, 1539033
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September 3, 2015, 8:04 pm, 1539032
(September 3, 2015 07:01 PM, by Alberto Mingardi) A few weeks ago, Alexis Tsipras called a new election in Greece, appealing to voters for a new leadership mandate. Most of the mainstream press praised this move of Tsipras, who rapidly moved from the persona of wanna-be communist revolutionary... (0 ...


September 3, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1539031
Steve Williamson has a very nice post "Historical Fiction", rebutting the claim, largely by Paul Krugman, that the late 1970s Keynesian macroeconomics with adaptive expectations was vindicated in describing the Reagan-Volker era disinflation.

The claims were startling, to say the least, as they sharply contradict received wisdom in ...


September 3, 2015, 7:33 pm, 1539030
In Rome, garbage pickup takes place in the middle of night in order not to disrupt the city during peak hours. Now that summers are becoming even hotter, why do farm workers pick up fruit at peak hours? Why not provide some lighting and move this activity to ...


September 3, 2015, 6:44 pm, 1538982
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September 3, 2015, 6:04 pm, 1538980

Of all the exhibits of horror in Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Museum—twisted bicycles, melted eyeglasses, burned rubble—one stopped me in my tracks. It was a small section of wall and steps. On it, a dark half-oval is burned into the stone, with vertical shading on the steps. It is the silhouette ...


September 3, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1538917
Some economists found a problem in their ranks. Some other economists devised a solution fit for economists. ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The National Bureau of Economic Research, a ...


September 3, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1538916

Richard Reeves at Brookings:

The dangerous separation of the American upper middle class: The American upper middle class is separating, slowly but surely, from the rest of society. This separation is most obvious in terms of income—where the top fifth have been prospering while the majority lags behind. But ...


September 3, 2015, 5:03 pm, 1538915
A brief excerpt from a research note by Goldman Sachs economist Chris Mischaikow August Payrolls Preview

We forecast nonfarm payroll growth of 190k in August, below the consensus forecast of 218k and down from July’s 215k gain. Labor market indicators were mixed last month. However, reported August payroll growth ...


September 3, 2015, 4:44 pm, 1538914
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September 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1538911

America’s hottest author apparently has been thinking about economics, as you can see on page one:

It wasn’t as if Pip felt good about making fun of her mother.  But their dealings were all tainted by moral hazard, a useful phrase she’d learned in college economics.

Or later:

“America put too much carbon ...


September 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1538910
Effective Demand is basically a demand limit upon the business cycle. Wouldn’t it be great if it could be determined? Then we would know where the limit of a business cycles is. Well maybe we can determine effective demand. A simple equation for the Effective Demand Limit relates labor share ...


September 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1538909

Labor Day is around the corner— but before you head out of town for the weekend, check out AEI polling expert Karlyn Bowman‘s latest AEI Public Opinion Study on attitudes about work in America.

Major findings include:

Overall job satisfaction: Since pollsters began asking about job satisfaction in the 1970s, there has ...


September 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1538907

Aside from the court-ordered dribbling out of Hillary Clinton’s classified-material-filled emails, the big presidential campaign news of the summer has been the boom for Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination. Trump has risen from 3 percent in the polls when he announced on June 16 to ...


September 3, 2015, 4:04 pm, 1538908

Executive Summary:

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), like its federal counterpart, is a large and diverse agency providing an array of services to the state’s lower income households and medically vulnerable populations. And, also like its federal counterpart, the agency’s budget is dominated by large health entitlement ...


September 3, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1538843
In Yingkou, in northeast China, a developer started work on his version of Spanish villas and surrounded the project with statues of Greek gods and a golden Joan of ...


September 3, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1538842
JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES

Underwater homeowners–one of the hallmarks of the housing crisis–are starting to get out from under their loans, and now the trend is increasingly reaching the lowest-priced properties.

Real-estate information ...


September 3, 2015, 3:03 pm, 1538841

Interesting divergence between "Blue Chip" consensus and the GDPNow measure from the Atlanta Fed:

GDPNow: The growth rate of real gross domestic product (GDP) is a key indicator of economic activity, but the official estimate is released with a delay. Our new GDPNow forecasting model provides a "nowcast" of ...


September 3, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1538840
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September 3, 2015, 2:44 pm, 1538839
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September 3, 2015, 2:05 pm, 1538838

1. What Tobin really thought.

2. Is most of the world’s biodiversity underground?  Paper is here.

3. And you thought gdp revisions were tough.  At least this one was in the upward direction.  By a lot.

4. Preschool for robots.  And “


September 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1538837

Consider an imaginary economy with two types of workers: two-armed and one-armed. Two-armed workers are the large majority, while the one-armed workers are a small minority. For most manual tasks and some service-related jobs, suppose the one-armed workers are realistically less productive than their two-armed counterparts for: a) agriculture jobs ...


September 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1538836

As the United States celebrates Labor Day, polls show the majority of Americans are satisfied with their jobs.

Learn more about Americans’ views on their jobs in the AEI Public Opinion Study “The State of the American Worker 2015: Attitudes about Work in America.”


September 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1538833

Over at the Roosevelt Institute’s “Next New Deal” blog, Mike Konczal summarizes an important New York Fed study on the effect federal student loans have on tuition prices. The Fed found evidence of the so-called “Bennett Hypothesis”: when the federal government raised the yearly cap on subsidized student ...


September 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1538834

Earlier today, a federal judge overturned the four-game suspension of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. This reverses NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling to bench Brady because of a dispute over underinflated balls in an AFC championship game. Although the NFL can still appeal, the judge’s decision found “significant legal deficiencies” in ...


September 3, 2015, 2:04 pm, 1538835

Read the PDF

In celebration of Labor Day, this AEI Public Opinion Study examines workers’ satisfaction with different aspects of their jobs, concerns about job security and employment, and how Americans balance work with personal life.

Overall job satisfaction: Since pollsters began asking about job satisfaction in the 1970s, there has ...


September 3, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1538829
The Atlanta Fed third quarter GDPNow Forecast inched up today, primarily based on August motor vehicle sales.

The GDPNow model forecast for real GDP growth (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the third quarter of 2015 is 1.5 percent on September 3, up from 1.3 percent on ...


September 3, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1538828

Tim's "ballsy math"is "immoralized":

The last time we took on the subject of balls, it was to consider the physics of New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady's deflated balls. Today, we're going back to the ball pit because Los Angeles' city government is spending $34.5 ...


September 3, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1538827
Tyler Cowen:

In academia, no, but in the real world perhaps:

Electricity generated by US wind farms fell 6 per cent in the first half of the year even as the nation expanded wind ...


September 3, 2015, 1:33 pm, 1538826

Consider an imaginary economy with two types of workers: two-armed and one-armed. Two-armed workers are the large majority, while the one-armed workers are a small minority. For most manual tasks and some service-related jobs, suppose the one-armed workers are realistically less productive than their two-armed counterparts for: a) agriculture jobs ...


September 3, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1538765

Carlos Garriga, Finn Kydland, and Roman Sustek, say (based upon their work "The Costs of Interest Rate Liftoff for Homeowners":

If the purpose of the liftoff is to “normalize” nominal interest rates without derailing the recovery, the Federal Reserve Bank and the Bank of England should wait until the economies ...


September 3, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1538764

Or, “President Obama, build up this wall!”

From Fox News:

Walker said in an interview that aired Sunday that building a wall along the country’s northern border with Canada is a legitimate issue that merits further review.

Republican candidates for president have often taken a get-tough approach on deterring illegal immigration, ...


September 3, 2015, 1:03 pm, 1538763
On Friday at 8:30 AM ET, the BLS will release the employment report for August. The consensus, according to Bloomberg, is for an increase of 223,000 non-farm payroll jobs in August (with a range of estimates between 173,000 to 257,000), and for the unemployment rate to decline ...


September 3, 2015, 12:44 pm, 1538762
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September 3, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1538757
Economic activity in the US services sector posted robust gains in August, throwing more cold water on the idea that the US macro trend is fatally wounded. The headline figure for the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index retreated last month, but only moderately so—and after touching an all-time high in July (based ...


September 3, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1538756
Private nonfarm payrolls in the US are projected to increase by 201,000 (seasonally adjusted) in tomorrow’s August report from the Labor Department, based on The Capital Spectator’s average point forecast for several econometric estimates. The prediction reflects a modest decrease in the rate of growth vs. July’s 210,000 gain. Two ...


September 3, 2015, 12:34 pm, 1538755
Teaser:

The ...


September 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1538750
(September 3, 2015 12:39 PM, by David Henderson) Though it was meant as irony, there was an essential (if accidental) truth behind the speech [in the movie American Beauty]. The technology behind plastic grocery bags is so useful it won a Nobel Prize. Employing an unimaginably small amount... (0 ...


September 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1538749
(Don Boudreaux)

Here’s Bob Higgs at his best.  And again here – from which comes this slice:

The USA has become a legal nightmare ...


September 3, 2015, 12:04 pm, 1538748

For many years, Republican politicians, both nationally and in the states, have called for converting the federal Medicaid program, or at least portions of it, into a block grant. The latest example is the well-conceived health-care-reform plan proposed by Wisconsin governor and GOP candidate for president Scott Walker.

There ...


September 3, 2015, 11:33 am, 1538746

I'm hoping some game theorists will chime in here; it doesn't matter if you don't get macro. I need your help, and want your thoughts on my intuitions:

Not all Nash equilibria are created equal.

Game A. There are n identical players who move simultaneously. Player i chooses Si to minimise a ...


September 3, 2015, 11:03 am, 1538693
Attorney and advocate Michele Simon yesterday posted a remarkable story based on emails from the egg checkoff program, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The emails describe the egg board's campaign against "Just Mayo," a vegetarian alternative to mayonnaise that may not meet the federal ...


September 3, 2015, 11:03 am, 1538692

When the tax costs of operating in New York are only a fifth of the cost of locating the same operation in Wyoming, something unusual is going on. Yet that’s exactly what we find for new research and development (R&D) facilities in Location Matters, a study which calculates the ...


September 3, 2015, 11:03 am, 1538691
Friday’s jobs report from the Labor Department is likely to be scrutinized more than most, now that the Federal Reserve is poised to raise interest rates, perhaps as early as this month.


September 3, 2015, 11:03 am, 1538690
The August ISM Non-manufacturing index was at 59.0%, down from 60.3% in July. The employment index decreased in August to 56.0%, down from 59.6% in July.Note: Above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 contraction.

From the Institute for Supply Management: August 2015 Non-Manufacturing ISM Report On Business®


September 3, 2015, 10:44 am, 1538689
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September 3, 2015, 10:34 am, 1538682
Weekly filings for unemployment benefits rose 12,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 282,000, the US Labor Department reports. The jump is well above Econoday.com’s consensus forecast that anticipated a small rise to 273,000. But when you step back and consider the trend, the news is still upbeat. Indeed, the ...


September 3, 2015, 10:04 am, 1538679
(September 3, 2015 09:12 AM, by Scott Sumner) Answers: Maybe, and no. Tyler Cowen linked to a recent paper by Jonathan L. Willis and Guangye Cao, out of the Federal Reserve of Kansas City. Here's the opening paragraph: Over the past three decades, the U.S. economy seems to... (0 ...


September 3, 2015, 10:04 am, 1538678
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from page 335 of the original edition of Edwin Cannan’s 1927 collection, An Economist’s Protest; specifically, it’s ...


September 3, 2015, 10:04 am, 1538677

Ezekiel Emanuel recently published an article in the Washington Post in which he criticized the health-care reform plans offered by Republican presidential candidates Scott Walker and Marco Rubio. Emanuel seems to think he exposed the fatal flaw of these plans. What he actually revealed, however, is that he does not understand what these GOP ...


September 3, 2015, 9:03 am, 1538610
Chinese consumers walk in a market last week in Beijing. China’s government is relying on domestic consumption and services to sustain economic growth amid a slowdown in manufacturing and ...


September 3, 2015, 9:03 am, 1538608
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 $41.9 billion in July, down $3.3 billion from $45.2 billion in June, revised. July exports were $188.5 billion, $0.8 ...


September 3, 2015, 9:03 am, 1538609
The DOL reported:

In the week ending August 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 282,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 271,000 to 270,000. The 4-week moving average was 275,500, an ...


September 3, 2015, 8:44 am, 1538607
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September 3, 2015, 8:34 am, 1538606
The roller-coaster ride in global markets in recent weeks has raised new doubts about economic growth in general and the case for a Fed rate hike this month in particular. But the resilience of key Treasury yields in recent days suggests that the bond market may be rethinking the case ...


September 3, 2015, 8:34 am, 1538605
Teaser:

While ...


September 3, 2015, 8:04 am, 1538603

Over at Econlog Bryan Caplan responds to a Scott Alexander post (written several years ago under another name thus a pseudonym of a nom de plume) on the bargaining power of workers. Bryan makes excellent points. I want to focus on two larger issues. Many people look at big firms and little workers ...


September 3, 2015, 7:33 am, 1538600

Good news: "Hey, Conservatives, You Won".

Bad news: "AP U.S. History--Reports from the Front Lines". Related: see also this comment from Stanley Kurtz.

(My wife, who teaches the subject, thinks the bad news outweighs the good.)


September 3, 2015, 7:33 am, 1538598

That would be electronic fetal monitoring and it was news to me.


September 3, 2015, 7:33 am, 1538599

An article written by the husband of a woman who is one of the 100 candidates to make a one-way trip to Mars.


September 3, 2015, 6:34 am, 1538546
● ADP: A moderate rise for US private employment in August ● US factory orders rise on higher auto demand in July ● Fed’s Beige Book: US expansion continues in July and August ● US mortgage applications surged last week ● Gallup’s US Job Creation Index remains at record high ...


September 3, 2015, 6:04 am, 1538545

When most Americans think about their independent Air Force, screaming fighter jets and stealthy bombers dropping precision-guided weapons in “shock and awe”-type campaigns flash to mind.

Occasionally, we may be impressed by the Air Force’s amazing global logistical support for its sister services — like its fleet of aerial tankers, flying ...


September 3, 2015, 5:33 am, 1538542

I found the sales per unit of the leading 15 fast-food franchises interesting.