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Tag Archives: Unemployment

ND Wages and Unemployment Benefits

There are lots of stories around unemployment benefits and the good or bad aspects of the policy enacted through the CARES act, specifically an additional $600 in benefits per week. Why that dollar value in particular? There was an intent to make it more of a locally based number, but that quickly became an intractable problem that would delay, arguably needlessly, necessary aid. As a result the legislation used more of a national average number. The upside is it should help maintain...

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Different Looks at Initial Claims in ND

While there are no shortages of economic issues to tackle these days the circumstances surrounding unemployment get a great share of the attention. I am not going to argue with that given the difficulty I have envisioning an economy doing “alright” with 20 million unemployed. Since the claims numbers sky rocketed people ask me less frequently (yes, that is less frequently, not stopped asking) if we are in a recession. It is also the case that the fiscal policy arguments right now in...

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The Worst Jobs Day Ever

Driven by the COVID-19 shutdown, April marked the greatest job loss in American history. The unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7 percent, and employers cut 20.5 million jobs. Those figures are heart-wrenching. But as awful as they are, they do not fully capture workers’ hardships. To be counted as unemployed, people must be available for work and actively seeking it. With schools closed, job opportunities withering, and social distancing the new norm, many displaced workers don’t satisfy...

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Whatever is reported for ND unemployment rate, the real number is worse.

The March unemployment rate will be released Friday, and unlike previous releases this report is likely to be outdated as soon as it is printed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, February had 9,035 unemployed and a labor force of 404,494 in North Dakota. That was an unemployment rate of 2.2%. The report only covers events from a single week, the one that includes the 12th of the month which is again why it is horribly outdated. North Dakota did not report a case of COVID-19...

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Occupational Distribution of Initial Claims in ND

Along with the geographic distribution of initial unemployment claims one of the other interesting aspects to examine is the distribution of the claims within the different occupational categories in North Dakota. One of the reasons this would be important from a policy perspective is that it provides some information about the degree of output lost that may not be recovered. To put it bluntly not all losses are permanent losses. The sales lost by a restaurant are unlikely to be...

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Canada’s unemployment rate will likely double to 10%, and that’s an understatement

Normally, I don’t venture into to predicting month-to-month changes in the unemployment rate, but this month is an exception for two reasons. The changes are certainly going to go well beyond the statistical noise inherent in the Statistics Canada survey, so there is no chance that the picture will be clouded. And history really isn’t a guide to what is coming next (in the very short term), so sophisticated models based on past data don’t have a particular advantage. My bets are on...

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What you need to know about Statistics Canada’s survey of the labour market

On Thursday, April 9th Statistics Canada will release the results of the Labour Force Survey for the month of March 2020. COVID19 makes this one of the most scrutinized releases in the 75 year history of the survey, reporting as it will on jobs and unemployment during the week of March 15th to March 21st. Here’s what you need to know, and what to look for. 1. As luck has it, the survey is well timed to capture the start of the economic meltdown The survey is anchored on a...

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Morning Brief: Radio today, Unemployment Claims

I will be on the radio this morning. I think unemployment will be a topic of conversation. US claims continued their rise from 3.3 million last week to 6.6 million this week. You can read articles in (Marketwatch link and the New York Times link). In North Dakota the Governor announced claims so far this year already exceeded last year’s total. The number from two weeks ago was 5,976 and the number released today (which is for the week ended March 28, 2020)is 12,591. Pretty large...

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A letter to the Canadian Prime Minister, with two suggestions for next steps in dealing with #COVID19

Prime Minister, I certainly hope you and yours are well. I was in New York City up until last weekend. Earlier in the previous week the university where I work announced that it was moving all courses online, and closing the campus. There was really no further need for me to stay in the City, but my initial thought was to wait it out, and decide later on when to return to Canada. I started to have second thoughts when a student emailed me for advice just after President Trump...

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