Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Interest rates and jobs: a variation on the model

Interest rates and jobs: a variation on the model Friday is nonfarm payrolls day, so in the absence more noteworthy economic news, let me follow up on Monday’s post in which I discussed “A simple model of interest rates and the jobs market.” In it, I suggested that: 1. a YoY increase in the Fed funds […]

Great news on job security, but on income line workers can hold back on breaking out the champagne

Great news on job security, but on income line workers can hold back on breaking out the champagne Some really good news this morning, but a note to hold your horses on the celebration of at least one aspect of that news. Initial jobless claims, which I’ve called the single most positive data point in […]

China, not automation, is by far the biggest factor in the decline of prime age labor force participation

China, not automation, is by far the biggest factor in the decline of prime age labor force participation Perhaps the biggest mystery in economic analysis in the last few years has been trying to find an explanation for the big decline in labor force participation since 1999.  A recent NBER working paper by Abraham and Kearney has […]

Memo to younger readers: in an era of rising interest rates, deficits DO matter very much

Memo to younger readers: in an era of rising interest rates, deficits DO matter very much If you are under about 45 years of age, the odds are that you agree with one statement made by Dick Cheney: that “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter.” As I mention from time to time, I am a […]

Initial jobless claims: the single most positive aspect of the entire economy

Initial jobless claims: the single most positive aspect of the entire economy I haven’t been bothering to comment on initial jobless claims reports lately, for the simple fact that every week it’s the same story:  they’re good! In fact, the initial jobless claims reports are probably the single most positive aspect of the entire economic […]

No, Matt Yglesias, Trump is *not* “probably gonna be re-elected”

No, Matt Yglesias, Trump is *not* “probably gonna be re-elected” While I generally agree with the political and social observations of Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein, their takes that involve the economy frequently drive me crazy. So it was this morning when I encountered these two tweets from Yglesias: This is just incredibly shallow analysis and, […]

Four biographies for President’s Day

Four biographies for President’s Day In the past several years, I have read four biographies of overlooked or more controversial Presidents. On this President’s Day, I thought I would briefly discuss each in order of how well I thought they covered their topic. I. “The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and […]

Why I’m worried about the decline in real wages

Why I’m worried about the decline in real wages This is a follow-up to my post yesterday concerning the decline in real average and aggregate wages. Why should the data from just one month cause me to warn that “This is Bad?” To show you, let’s decompose the data into CPI and nominal aggregate wages, […]