A good part of this drop was caused by the ongoing decline of the number of workers in the labor force. The labor force participation rate dropped sharply to 64.1%. This is the lowest participation rate since 1983’s 64.0%. Anyone who argues that the drop in the unemployment rate signals an improving economy should be forced to recycle their Ph.D. in economics into aluminum beer cans. Continue Reading →
Given the very low rate of real growth, why did the unemployment rate drop in November? The answer I posted three weeks ago was the decrease in the size of the labor force as discouraged workers stop looking for work, reducing the number of unemployed. Continue Reading →
The current increases in U.S. output are largely being fueled by huge productivity increases. As the U.S. moves increasingly toward a service producing information economy, the productivity of educated people will continue to soar. The question of what happens to the rest of the population remains unanswered. Continue Reading →
“President Obama had scheduled a speech about the economy this morning, but instead he went to Afghanistan.” No wonder. If I was president I wouldn’t want to be in the country today either.
Today the November labor market report was released. The, um, highlight was the unemployment rate: 9.8%. Corporate profits are soaring and the economy is growing, albeit slowly. So where are the jobs? Continue Reading →
Parsing this quote is a task probably left to Talmudic scholars or others wiser than me. Continue Reading →
But, like so many economic events, there is a potential downside to this. Take a look at the totals above. The total entrants to the labor force are increasing, despite the fact that layoffs only increased slightly between February and March. The large number of quits could put upward pressure on the unemployment rate. Continue Reading →
I’m forecasting 9.8%, possibly 9.9%. Continue Reading →