Is the CHAZ unemployment rate really 100 percent? One of my economist colleagues pointed out an obvious error. The actual unemployment rate is undefined. Continue Reading →
“Aha,” the pundits say. “The actual unemployment rate for May was 16.1 percent, not the reported 13.0 percent.” This is why you should ask an economist before making silly statements like this. In their haste to score gotcha points on the Trump administration, the pundits have made fools of themselves. Continue Reading →
6.4 million people left the labor force. These are true “discouraged workers.” And no wonder. At every turn we are bombarded with bad news about COVID-19. Continue Reading →
The March unemployment rate will be very high, but nowhere near the figures being bandied about on Wall Street. My forecast is 6.0%. Continue Reading →
There is indeed a “crisis of underemployment.” But Mr. Field does not understand the source of the crisis. Failing to diagnose it correctly, he offers a solution that will, in reality, make the problem worse. The negative effects of Mr. Field’s proposal include slower business growth, companies moving to neighboring towns, and, possibly, much higher costs. One benefit is likely to be a proliferation of new businesses (which, presumably, can hire all the part-time workers they want). Continue Reading →
For April, 2013, U-6 was 13.9%, up 0.1% from March. Continue Reading →
To summarize, there is more to fiscal policy than G, TA, and TR (government spending, taxes, and transfer payments for those a little rusty on their macroeconomics). Government regulations also have a significant impact on the economy. Continue Reading →
Did the U.S. economy really gain 873,000 jobs in September, 2012? Was the unemployment rate really 7.8%? Economists have reacted to these numbers with a peculiar mixture of disbelief and defensiveness. No sane economist believes these numbers represent the current state of the U.S. economy. A quick-and-dirty estimate says that real GDP would have to grow at a 4 – 5% annual rate to add that many jobs. Actual GDP growth in recent quarters has been below 2.5%. … there’s a good chance that the 873,000 increase in jobs is simply a statistical fluke. Remember, total employment is estimated using a sample of 60,000 households. There is a large margin of error.
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This is stupid. There are good reasons the unemployment rate is only reported to one decimal place. Even with a sample of 60,000, there is a statistical estimation error. Continue Reading →
That means the gyrations between employment, unemployment, and labor force dropouts are just about offsetting each other.
When the unemployment rate drops mainly because an additional million people have left the labor force and population estimates are revised … well, let’s just say this report is not the sign of a healthy economy.
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