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Tag Archives: Jobs and Wages

Being Wrong in Elite Jobs Doesn’t Have Any Consequences

I just read Nicholas Kristof’s column about his childhood friend Mike Stepp. The piece is actually very moving. Mr. Stepp grew up next door to Kristof. As he explains in the column, he grew up with an abusive father. Their family didn’t value education, so neither Mike or his brother ever finished high school. While previous generations of workers (white male workers) could work in a factory job without a high school degree and still enjoy a middle class standard of living, this...

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Unemployment Falls to 6.3 Percent, but Job Growth Weak

Trump is the first president to leave office with a loss of jobs since Herbert Hoover. The unemployment rate fell by 0.4 percentage points in January to 6.3 percent. Much of this decline was due to people leaving the labor market as the employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) only rose by 0.1 percentage point. The EPOP now stands at 57.5 percent, 3.6 percentage points below its year-ago level. The establishment survey showed an increase of just 49,000 jobs, with the private sector only...

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PREVIEW: What to Look for in the January Jobs Report

(The monthly Employment Situation is scheduled for release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, February 5th at 8:30 AM Eastern Time.) The continued surge in coronavirus cases will again be the main story in the January employment report. We will likely again see a fall in overall employment driven by job loss in restaurants and other areas heavily affected by the pandemic. The relief package passed in December may have been a small positive, but for the most part, checks did not...

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Pandemic-Caused Plunge in Restaurant Jobs Leads to First Job Loss Since April

The pain from the recession is heavily concentrated among the long-term unemployed. The economy lost 140,000 jobs in December, all of which can be attributed to a plunge in restaurant employment of 372,000. Other sectors highly sensitive to the pandemic, such as hotels and recreation, also lost jobs. The unemployment rate and employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) were both unchanged at 6.7 percent and 57.4 percent, respectively. The resurgence of the pandemic further heightened the two-track...

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Economy Adds 245,000 Jobs in November, Unemployment Falls to 6.7 Percent

Contrary to normal patterns, the workweek has actually gotten longer in the pandemic recession.  The rebound slowed sharply in November, with the economy adding just 245,000 jobs. This would ordinarily be a very respectable gain, but with the economy still down almost 10 million jobs from the pre-pandemic level, it is not a pace that gets us back to full employment any time soon. If we need 100,000 jobs a month to keep pace with the growth of the labor market, it would take us more than five...

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Economy Adds 638,000 Jobs in October, Unemployment Falls to 6.9 Percent

The number of multiple job holders stands at 17.8 percent below its year-ago level. The labor market continued to rebound from the spring shutdown, adding 638,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell another percentage point to 6.9 percent. This still leaves the number of jobs 6.6 percent below the February level. The jobs gains were broadly based across sectors. Construction added 84,000 jobs, which is consistent with other data showing a boom in residential construction. Employment in...

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Donald Trump and Being Deplorable

As it increasingly looks like Joe Biden has won the election, I see many people around me appalled that so many of their fellow citizens can vote for someone as racist, sexist, and otherwise offensive as Donald Trump. Given what we know about the guy, and think everyone else should know about him as well, it is hard not to be appalled. But we will not get anywhere politically by looking at half the country with disgust. Trying to win over some of Trump’s voters doesn’t mean giving in to...

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PREVIEW: What the October Jobs Report Will Tell Us

There have been some anomalies in the data that are worth tracking. With the period of rapid recovery from the shutdowns behind us, the labor market is likely looking at a long slog to get back to something resembling full employment. It clearly has lost considerable momentum now that the bulk of the CARES Act money has been spent. Furthermore, the economy will face serious headwinds, as the unchecked spread of the pandemic will lead to more measures curtailing business operations. It will...

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As We Wait to Figure Out Who We Elected, New York Times Feeds Us Pablum on Our Social Problems

In its efforts to provide us exactly what we don’t need now, the New York Times gave us an utterly pointless piece by Yuval Levin telling us that we shouldn’t worry about national politics and instead focus on helping our neighbors and communities. This paragraph tells it all: “More often, though, our deepest problems aren’t really amenable to resolution by a president. These problems have been adding up to something of a social crisis, evident not only in the breakdown of...

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Washington Post Reports on How Top Execs at Bankrupt Companies Get Large Bonuses

The Post had a nice piece reported on how the top executives of major companies that went into bankruptcy were able to get large bonuses. As the piece points out, the bonuses are not tied to performance outcomes, like getting the companies out of bankruptcy in a specific time frame. Of course, ordinary workers at these companies are not so lucky, with many being laid off with little or nothing by way of severance pay. While the piece does not make this point explicitly, these sorts of payouts...

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