Sunday , April 21 2019
Home / Jared Bernstein: On the economy (page 4)

Jared Bernstein: On the economy

Nerd Alert. This is not a test. New BLS data on employer costs by percentiles!

You go, BLS! The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released a new data series derived from the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation series. These ECEC data have been around for awhile–they’re the basis for the more commonly cited Employer Cost Index data*–but only for averages (see Technical Note here if you want more info). Now we have compensation, wages, and benefits for the 10th, 50th (median), and 90th percentile. I consider these to be high quality data that, relative to other series,...

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Some greatest hits of the 10-year lookback pieces on the crisis.

I’ve read probably 100 of those “lessons learned (or not)” pieces about the crisis on the 10-year anniversary of Lehman’s collapse. Here are some that stood out to me, though one inevitably leaves out some worthy of your attention, so feel free to add others. (My own piece is out today on WaPo.) –I found this Steve Pearlstein piece interesting on a couple of levels. It’s a solid take of the shampoo economy dynamics (bubble, bust, repeat) that I’ve long bemoaned, citing the insights of...

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New Census data show that low-income people are responding as they always do to tight labor markets…by working!

One of the particularly frustrating, fact-free aspects of the conservative push to add (or ramp up) work requirements in anti-poverty programs like Medicaid or SNAP is that low-income people who can do so are already working hard. Moreover, as the job market tightens, they respond to tightening conditions. Using the new Census data, Kathleen Bryant and I, with help from Raheem Chaudhry, used the 2017 microdata (the data on which the poverty and income numbers are based) to compare the...

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Poverty and middle-class income data out tomorrow morning

It’s that time of year again, when the Census Bureau releases its poverty, income, and health-insurance coverage data for 2017. I’ll get a write-up out as soon as I can after the 10am data release, but be forewarned: these data are more complicated and a lot less standardized than, say, the BLS jobs data. So, it will take a few hours to chew through them. For what it’s worth, which isn’t much, as recent survey changes make these data tough to accurately forecast, my predictions are that...

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A couple of economists respectfully disagree on the politics of policy in the age of Trump and the new socialists

Belle Sawhill is an economist I greatly admire, so I carefully read her Twitter-thread critique of a piece I recently posted in the WaPo. My piece makes the case that technocratic policy wonks, like Belle and me, should not be overly critical of ambitious, even unrealistic, policy proposals by the new socialists. True, they often eschew the path dependency by which many of us are constrained. But they signal to key constituencies that, relative to establishment or centrist Democrats, they’re...

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Jobs Report: A long-awaited wage pop that’s hopefully part of an emerging trend

Payrolls grew 201,000 last month, and the unemployment rate held steady at 3.9 percent in yet another in a long series of strong job reports (at 3.853 percent, the rate just missed a tick down). Though there are still some people and places who’ve been left behind, the U.S. labor market remain solidly in the midst of one of its longest expansions on record, with no signs of strained capacity or overheating. Hourly pay for private-sector workers is a standout in today’s report, up 2.9% over...

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Thumb on the scale: correcting the CEA’s corrections re real wage growth.

By Jared Bernstein and Larry Mishel President Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers has a new piece out claiming to show that real wages are growing faster than has been widely reported. Their conclusion stems from numerous adjustments to Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data that otherwise show flat real earnings for most workers. However, most of CEA’s adjustments, applied accurately, do not change the inconvenient fact that even amidst strong macroeconomic results and a tight labor market,...

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Some thoughts on that new Fed paper everybody’s talking about.

It’s a lovely morning on the back porch, and the mind turns to that new Fed study everybody’s talking about. It’s the one by Erceg et al about monetary policy at moments like this one, with a flat Phillips Curve (PC), u<u*, along with much uncertainty about u* (importantly, I’d argue that uncertainty is asymmetric; the Fed’s estimate u* looks too high). BTW, ‘u’ is the unemployment rate; ‘u*’ is the estimate of the “natural rate,” the lowest rate associated with stable prices. I’ve got a...

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ISDS and the US

I’ve been touting the fact, i.e., as I understand it, that this new US/Mex NAFTA agreement just struck yesterday largely gets rid of investor dispute rules (investor state dispute settlement, or ISDS) that many progressive have long complained about. (To be clear, whether this deal is going anywhere is a whole other story; I’m skeptical.) I’m working on a piece about how the new deal looks a lot better for workers on both sides of the border than prior agreements, but re ISDS, the very...

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Links; some wage thoughts

A few WaPo entries for your entertainment: —A deeper dive into similarities shared by Trump and Erdogan. And yet, despite their…um…sub-optimal leadership, our economy booms and Turkey’s tanks. I focus on what that has to do with a) dollars, and b) Fed independence. —My old pal Kudlow is sounding off on how the US economy is just “crushing it!” under Trump. Yeah…not so much. Co-written with Cong. Ro Khanna, who has some highly worthy legislative proposals in the mix which we link to in the...

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