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

Record High July Job Openings, June  Record Revised Higher

MarketWatch 666’s RJS: 5th record in a row; job openings have risen 62% so far this year . . . Here is the Fred graph. Despite record highs, hiring is down and layoffs are up . . . Something is clearly broken. July Job Openings at Record High after June Record Revised Higher; Hiring Down, Job Quitting  and  Layoffs  […]

Employment and Deficits: A Tale of Two Administrations

Stan Collender notes that, for the first time in four years, the U.S. Treasury reported a surplus in the month of April.  It isn’t just that there was a surplus in April of 2008, though.  If you look back through Aprils (data here), the last time that month showed a deficit is 1983—the April less […]

PSA: FRB St. Louis Webcast Tonight, and Some from History

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, without whose FRED database and Excel Add-in Economics Bloggers (and Matt Yglesias) would be Even More Boring, has been running a series of Discussions explaining why the Fed is incompetent—er, Why They Don’t Follow Their Dual Mandate—er, well, something about how They’re Doing The Best They Can.* The […]

Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Largest Absolute Drop in Private Employment Since the US Started Keeping Records

A commenter at Steve Benen’s Washington Monthly blog was grousing (correctly, as spencer notes in comments) that Benen had allocated all of the 2009 change (read:drop) in private-sector jobs to Obama, while GWB was in office for the first 19.5 daysduring the time the employment data for January was gathered. Turns out that there were […]

When I Steal A Blog Post, I Leave A Link

I wanted to look at the WSJ job database, suspecting what I might find, but currently lack the bandwidth in a major way. Fortunately, Noah took some (more) time from his thesis (“distraction from productive activity”) and did the dirty work. Apparently, being a STEM undergraduate isn’t the path to Nirvana:* I went through the […]

Obama’s First Fifteen Months, Composite Edition

Brad DeLong has two posts, one from Ezra “I’m a liberal who is safe for the Washington Post” Klein and one from Mike “I actually looked at the data” Konczal. Brad deals with Ezra’s folly: I think a B+ is too high a grade–largely because one big task of 2009 was to set up the […]

The Argument Against the "First Derivative Mistake" Excuse

Unless you’re really stupid, or bending over backwards to find excuses for the Obama Administration’s Geithnerian malfeasance, you should be less than impressed with Matt Yglesias’s attempt to argue that the Administration saw reason to be happy with overall employment (link to Brad DeLong). If you’re Matt Yglesias, you should be even less impressed with […]

Bad Expansions Are In the Eye of The Beholder

Via Barry Rithholtz, I see that Martin Feldstein has not yet finished with his Atonement. I think I’ve posted a variation of this before, but apparently I’ll have to keep screaming, at least throught Simchat Torah (and, I suspect, beyond). Anyone have Feldstein appearances or editorials from early 2004 talking about how badly the economy […]

Uh, Brad, This is How You Do It

If your question—correctly—is “why Axelrod and Plouffe were satisfied,” then you have to think like people whose vote support came, in some significant numbers, from people who were just entering the workforce in 2008 (and who did not show up in 2010 because, having entered, they found they were unwelcome). Which means, if you’re any […]

Private-Sector Employment in Jobless Recoveries

I still think Obama is toast—a result of his own making, since he’s really the apotheosis of a government-hating Republican who never tries to do anything because he’s afraid it would succeed.  He’s basically Jon Huntsman, economic policy and all, with a slightly better social policy—or at least a willingness not to try to compete […]