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

January jobs report: a very strong report, but with pockets of significant weakness

January jobs report: A very strong report, but with pockets of significant weakness  – by New Deal democrat As per usual, the Establishment and Household portions of the jobs report gave somewhat different impressions, complicated by annual revisions to each. In general, not only was January excellent of the Establishment report, but most months in the […]

A Primer to the Use of Alternatives to lithium-ion batteries

This is taken from a more detailed and longer write-up on alternatives to lithium-ion batteries. It has been edited and comments have been added. Sometimes when you write a long piece, people just quit reading halfway through it. My point here is to get people to read what is out there and where we are […]

New month’s data starts out with leading indicators in both manufacturing and construction indicating expansion

New month’s data starts out with leading indicators in both manufacturing and construction indicating expansion  – by New Deal democrat As usual, the new month’s data starts out with information on manufacturing and construction. The ISM manufacturing index has been a good leading indicator in that sector for 75 years. The difference over time, especially […]

Continuing claims near 2+ year high; likely the effect of Silicon Valley layoffs

Continuing claims near 2+ year high; likely the effect of Silicon Valley layoffs  – by New Deal democrat Initial claims rose by 9,000 to a three month high of 224,000 last week. The four-week moving average also rose 5,350 to 207,750. With the usual one-week lag, however, continuing claims rose sharply, by 70,000, to 1.898 million, […]

A comment on median vs. mean, and job-stratified wage growth

A comment on median vs. mean, and job-stratified wage growth  – by New Deal democrat Before today’s avalanche of data, I wanted to comment briefly on the Employment Cost Index for Q4 that was reported yesterday. This index has the advantage of weighting for type of employment. If low wage workers gain a disproportionate number of […]

December JOLTS report: while hiring has weakened, firing (and quitting) continue to show a strong labor market

December JOLTS report: while hiring has weakened, firing (and quitting) continue to show a strong labor market  – by New Deal democrat Yesterday’s JOLTS report for December showed a labor market that, while decelerating, remains relatively strong. Let me start with layoffs and discharges, which increased by 85,000 to 1.616 million (blue in the graph […]

Review by David Zetland: When a Crocodile Eats the Sun”

The same as David, I have heard good things about this book. I am also old enough to remember some of the news of the turmoil in Zimbabwe. Book Review: When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, The one-handed economist, David Zetland A white woman in South Africa suggested that I read this 2006 book by Peter Godwin, […]