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Tag Archives: New Posts

The tip of the wave: Jobs report shows large losses, but predates the worst of it

Payrolls fell by 701,000 in March, their first monthly decline in almost 10 years, and the jobless rate ticked up to 4.4 percent (from 3.5) as the coronavirus and efforts to contain it pounded the U.S. labor market last month. Because of the timing in the surveys in this report, it only picks up the front end of tsunami of layoffs that occurred in the second half of March, when initial claims for Unemployment Insurance rose by almost 10 million, an increase most economists would have...

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A wounded Trump is an especially dangerous Trump: Thoughts on his proposed economic pivot.

When I first heard that Trump and some other conservatives were making the case for punting on containment of the virus in the interest of reflating the economy, I ignored it because it made no sense to me. It still doesn’t, but from what I’m seeing, the idea seems potentially serious enough to warrant a response. There are at least three reasons this pivot idea is nonsensical. First, Trump may admire and aspire to emulate authoritarian leaders, but he has no such powers. He did not close my...

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Yes, this is an emergency. No, that doesn’t justify a $500 billion Trump/Mnuchin slush fund.

By Jared Bernstein and Dean Baker While the indicators are lagging, the U.S. economy is in a recession that will very likely be extremely deep. It’s likely that real GDP falls at double-digit pace in the quarter that begins next month and the unemployment rate more than doubles. If that sounds implausible, history shows that in sharp downturns, the unemployment rate takes the elevator up and the stairs down. To their credit, after a slow start Congress appears to have grasped this urgency and...

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Jobs report: Calm before storm as the virus hasn’t hit the job market…yet

In yet another upside surprise to the U.S. labor market, payrolls grew strongly last month, up 273,000, well above expectations. Upward revisions to earlier months show that contrary to what many have expected, the monthly pace of job gains has accelerated in recent months. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.5 percent, but wage growth, which has been remarkably unresponsive to strong labor demand, remains a soft spot, stuck at 3 percent, year-over-year, just slightly ahead of consumer...

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Rockefeller Foundation launches an equity/opportunity investment targeting low-income people/places.

It’s takes a village–a robust suite of policies and institutional supports–to reconnect a lot of people and places who’ve long been left behind to overall economic growth. There are roles for government at all levels, with the federal gov’t poised at the top, both in terms of setting policy precedents and financing sub-national initiatives (remember, states can’t run deficits). There are roles for market-oriented, or pre-tax and transfer policies, like persistently tight labor markets and...

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Another solid jobs report, with lots of evidence that there’s still room-to-run in this labor market.

Employers added 225,00 jobs last month as the unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 3.6 percent, largely due to more people entering the job market, yet another sign that there’s still room-to-run in this long labor-market expansion. Wage growth, a perennial soft spot in recent jobs reports, ticked up slightly to a yearly rate of 3.1 percent, around where it has been for much of the past year. That’s ahead of inflation, last seen running at 2.3 percent, but the fact that the wages have not...

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Dr. King knew that full employment raises the price of prejudice

There are so many reasons to celebrate the life, work, and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., whose birthday we celebrate today. The dimension I like to elevate is Dr. King’s profound understanding of the importance of full employment to the opportunities of black Americans. Remember, the full name of the March on Washington was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (my bold). A sign some of the marchers held that day told of a simple but powerful equation: “Civil Rights Plus Full...

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2019: A robust year for job growth; less so for wage growth

Payrolls rose 145,000 last month, capping off a strong year for job gains with payrolls up 2.1 million over the year, an average of 176,000 per month. These are solid numbers, especially at this stage in a uniquely long expansion, but as we show below, their magnitude is well within historical context. In fact, in percentage terms, employment growth in 2019 posted the slowest growth rate (1.4%) since 2010. This, however, is to be expected, as such growth rates typically decelerate as...

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Back-up evidence for WaPo piece on most important econ lessons of the decade

Here are the companion figures to my WaPo piece today on econ lessons of the decade. 1) The unemployment rate can fall a lot lower than most economists thought without triggering inflationary pressures. 2) Budget deficits cannot be assumed to place upward pressure on interest rates. 3) Weak worker bargaining power has long been a factor driving inequality. In the last decade, the increasing clout of certain employers has joined the mix. Source: NY Times 4) Progressive health care reform,...

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CBPPs best graphs of 2019!

For a certain breed of wonk and nerd, it’s not the holiday season until some of CBPP’s best graphs of the year are collected and briefly annotated. This year, Kathleen Bryant and I took a stab at picking some of the figures we thought were most important to document the economic and policy landscape facing economically vulnerable people. One of the most important and positive trends of the last decade was the decline in share of Americans without health coverage due to the Affordable Care...

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