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

State Unemployment Rates

Bill McBride at Calculated Risk does his usual excellent job of reporting economic data; He just reported the state unemployment rates and published a chart comparing the current rate with each state’s peak rate. One very significant point that popps up in this chart is that Michigan and Ohio appear to have had the greatest […]

Employment Situation

The August employment report shows the economy continuing with its very sluggish pace. Although the unemployment rate fell it was due more to a contracting labor force rather than expanding employment. The household survey showed a drop of some 119,000 while the payroll or headline data increased only 96,000 — private rose 103,000 while government […]

Private Real GDP in Recoveries

Update: Paul Krugman at Conscience of a Liberal points to Spencer England’s post in his column 8/1…Dan I thought it would be interesting to post this chart of real private GDP in recoveries. It clearly shows that since the great moderation we have experienced three recoveries that compared to previous recoveries were very weak.  Whether […]

Energy Bulletin…impact of oil prices on advanced countries

Spencer England writes: This article is worth reading – it is at two sources:  Energy Bulletin and Financial Times…is peak oil dead? The marginal price of new oil is now in the $70 to $90 — where WTI has bottomed at its last three corrections. If we are at a bottom for the real price of oil and the […]

Employment situation

Both  the payroll and the household. survey showed continued weak employment gains as payroll employment only added some 80,000 jobs and the household survey showed a 128,000 gain. Private payrolls expanded some 84,000 as government jobs only contracted by 4,000. But the workweek did expand from 34.4 to 35.5 hours for all employees and from […]

Employment Situation….Spencer England

This was another disappointing  employment report  It is looking more and more like the stronger numbers last winter stemmed more from the mild weather rather than a strengthening of underlying trends. The headline or payroll report showed a gain of 115,000 jobs– 130,000 in private jobs and a 15,000 drop in government employment.    The […]

Oil and the Real US Trade Deficit

The monthly trade data was reported this morning and you will see press reports about the nominal trade deficit. But I like to look at the real trade data as it gives a better feel for the economic impact of trade. The real trade deficit is improving and the balance in February was $44,148 million […]

Employment Situation

The employment report was a major disappointment. Payroll employment rose some 120,000, significantly less than the over 200,000 anticipated. Moreover, the household survey displayed a-31,000 drop in employment. The unemployment rate did tick down from 8.3%to 8.2%. But that was largely because the labor force fell -164,000 Moreover, the average work week fell from 34.6 […]