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

Obama and Regulatory Uncertainty

One of the current Republican talking point is that a major reason that firms are not hiring is regulatory uncertainty. Of course there is little or no evidence to support this argument and virtually every poll of business and especially small business shows that fear of regulation is a very minor factor in current business […]

Employment Dynamics

In recent years the BLS has developed a new database where they can track the jobs created by an establishment over time. It is called Business Dynamics and you can read about it here. Research using the new database has altered the basic view of where jobs are created. The old view that jobs are […]

Industrial Production

Industrial production was reported to have increased 0.2% in June as compared to – 0.1% declines in April and May. The entire gain was in mining and utilities as manufacturing output was unchanged. The chart shows industrial production this cycle compared to other cycles. The old forecasting rule of thumb was that it took about […]

GDP Gap versus S&P 500 EPS

Over at Economist’ View he has posted a nice set of charts on the GDP Gap, employment versus the long term trend and other measures of how much excess capacity the economy has that have become very popular among economists over the last couple of years. But these charts never include profits in their […]


The employment was bad news as payroll employment only rose by 18,000 as compared to the last months disappointing rise of 25,000. Government employment fell 39,000 versus 48,000 inMay. Private payrolls expanded only 57,000 that was even weaker than the prior months 73,000. Over the last two months payroll employment was essentially unchanged. Moreover, the […]


In March the CPI increased 0.5% bringing the year over year change to 2.7%. I will leave the analysis of the CPI to other and just discuss some of the implications. First, this caused my Fed policy index to turn positive for the first time since 2008. This index is a form of a Taylor […]


The employment report was the strongest this cycle as total payroll employment expanded some 216,000. This consisted of a 230,000 gain in private payrolls and a 14,000 drop in government jobs as state and local governments are still shedding jobs. Moreover, the household survey reported a 291,000 gain in employment. The last two months private […]

Employment situation

The employment report was one of the best seen this cycle. Total payroll employment rose 192,000 and private payroll employment rose 222,000– one of the strongest this cycle. Moreover the household survey reported employment gains of 250,000.Part of the strength obviously was just a make up for the very weak gains in January because of […]