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

Employment report follow up

By Spencer, Yesterday in describing the employment report I said: Moreover, the manufacturing work week rose from 39.5 to 39.8 hours and overtime hours were 2.9 hours versus 2.8 in the second quarter. Much of this was auto and confirms the other reports that at least auto output is rebounding. I was criticized and accused […]

employment report

By Spencer, The employment report was very encouraging. Most importantly, aggregate hours worked were unchanged at 91.1 as compared to 104.1, 101.7 and 99.7 over the last three quarters. An unchanged reading is a massive improvement from the 8% to 9% rate of decline over the past three quarters. With positive productivity this impies that […]

Those Who Think the "Left of Center" is Too Tough on N. Gregory Mankiw

should read Sensible Centrist J. Bradford DeLong on the difference in forecasting between the current Administration and the CEA under N. Gregory Mankiw. Romer/Bernstein/Kreuger et al., 2008-9 edition: As I understand matters, last December the median private-sector forecast had the unemployment rate topping out at 9% in the second half of 2009. The incoming Obama […]

UnReal Business Cycle

Via Dr. Black, those RBC models may be missing a variable or two: In April, the rate in the United States rose to 8.9 percent. When the European figures are compiled, it seems likely that the American rate will be higher for the first time since Eurostat began compiling the numbers in 1993…. First, it […]


THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION: JANUARY 2009Nonfarm payroll employment fell sharply in January (-598,000) and the unem-ployment rate rose from 7.2 to 7.6 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics ofthe U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Payroll employment has declinedby 3.6 million since the start of the recession in December 2007; about one-half of this decline occurred […]

Unemployed Populace Threatening to Break the Cell Size

Unemployed persons (seasonally adjusted) appears to be approaching 10,000,000. The other interesting thing about the table is that December 2007 now looks as if it was much worse than was reported at the time: another piece of data that might indicate that we have been in a recession since Q4 2007.

Working In The Coal Mine

Here’s an oddity from the McCain economic plan — McCain found some jobs that have gone away and that does want to bring back: The development of clean coal technology will revitalize coal mining and return jobs to some of America’s most economically disadvantaged areas. U.S. coal production was 1.146 billion (short) tons in 2007, […]