Thursday , December 5 2019
Home / Tag Archives: New Posts

Tag Archives: New Posts

Things to like, not like, and to be unsure about re Sen. Warren’s M4A plan (along with a mea culpa)

Along with many others, I’ve had lots of things to say about Sen. Warren’s Medicare for All (M4A) plan, some positive, some negative, some head-scratchy. But because the issue is so politically loaded, both in terms of the Democratic primary and conservative antipathy toward this or any other idea that expands government’s role in health care, and also because of my association with VP Biden, it’s been hard to have a straight up policy discussion. In a CNBC TV debate, for example, I was asked...

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October jobs report: Robust job growth minus wage pressure equals NOT-full-employment.

Payrolls rose 128,000 last month, well above expectations for 85K, and job gains in the prior two months were revised up by 95,000 (a sizable upward revision). Also, the October gain of 128K was dampened by the absence of about 50,000 striking workers at General Motors who are now back at work as the strike ended. In other words, despite slowing global growth, political uncertainty, weakening trade flows hit by the trade war, the U.S. job creation machine remains in high gear. What’s...

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September jobs report: solid, slowing, and not yet at full employment

Payrolls rose 136,000 last month and the unemployment rate dipped to 3.5 percent, its lowest rate since the late 1960s. Though the payroll number missed analysts’ expectations (~145,000), the more reliable 3-month average came in at a healthy 157,000, strong enough to put downward pressure on unemployment (the prior two months of payroll data were revised up by 45,000 jobs). Our monthly smoother takes 3, 6, and 12-month averages of monthly job gains to help pull out the underlying trend out...

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Got work? The highly responsive labor supply of low-income, prime-age workers.

[Note: this is draft of a forthcoming paper for CBPP’s Full Employment Project. I posted it here first as I will be referencing its findings at a Brookings inflation conference on Thurs, Oct 3 By Jared Bernstein and Keith Bentele[i] Introduction The benefits to running a hot labor market continue to be evident both in the data and in anecdotal accounts. In our last paper, we examined the monetary policy rationale for allowing high-pressure labor markets to continue to flourish.[ii] We also...

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The King of the Blues Birthday!

Google tells me that today would have been BB King’s 94’th birthday, so I got my booty over to YouTube to queue up one of my fav BB jams–Let’s Get Down to Business! BB crushes it, of course, but also dig busy-yet-funky electric bass playing by Jerry Jemmott. “Whatever made us breakup baby I don’t know til today But if it was my fault I swear I’ll change my ways!” Share the post "The King of the Blues Birthday!"

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How hot labor markets can lead to misleading median comparisons.

The Census income and earnings data sometimes have a confusing characteristic that is not uncommon in these sorts of data, especially in periods of tight labor markets, as was 2018. The issue has to do with changes in medians from one year to the next. For example, the data that came out this morning showed that for both men and women full-time, full-year workers, real annual earnings rose 3.4 and 3.3 percent, respectively, 2017-18. But for all ft/fy workers, combining both genders, earnings...

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The 2018 Poverty, Income, and health coverage results: a tale of three forces.

This morning, the Census Bureau released new data on health insurance coverage, poverty, and middle-class incomes. While the data are for last year, they shine an important light on key aspects of families’ living standards that we don’t get from the more up-to-date macro-indicators, like GDP and unemployment. As the economic recovery that began over a decade ago persisted through 2018, poverty once again fell, by half-a-percentage point, from 12.3 percent to 11.8 percent. Other results from...

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Payrolls slow and the trade war is hurting manufacturing. But underlying job market still solid.

Payrolls rose by 130,000 last month and the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent, close to a 50-year low and the same level as the past 3 months. Still, job growth is cooling (25,000 of this month’s gains were temporary decennial Census workers), as the pace of monthly gains, while still strong enough to support low unemployment, has slowed. Wage growth also stayed parked at about where it has been in recent months, and there’s some evidence that the trade war is taking a toll on factory...

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The NYT wrote a woefully imbalanced piece on Opportunity Zones.

A number of people (OK, four…but it’s early) have asked me to respond to the NYT piece from last Sunday on how the Opportunity Zone tax break is nothing but a boon to the rich. As I’ve written in a few opeds, I’ve been a cautious supporter of the program, though I’ve been careful to make the points that a) it’s too early to say much about outcomes, and b) while OZs have the potential to become a wasteful tax shelter mechanism, some early signs are hopeful. And, as the Times points out, some...

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Recession Readiness and State UI Trust Funds

Given the recent dramatic spike in media coverage of our economic headwinds and recession readiness over the past week, we decided to take a closer look at the balance sheets of state unemployment insurance (UI) trust funds. While the Department of Labor (DOL) is responsible for overseeing the UI system and paying administrative costs, the basic program is managed and mostly funded by the states. Using the most recent final data available from the Treasury Department, we analyzed the number...

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