A Job Boom That Left Many Out

Job growth in the United States was distinctly uneven for decades before the Pandemic hit, a fact that was emphasized this week when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a list of when each county in the United States reached its highest employment, based on data from 1975 to 2020. It showed that only 27% […]

Votes, deaths and layoffs

There are 50 states, but only 13 where the 2016 presidential election was decided by a margin of less than eight percentage points. Six of them went for Hillary Clinton and seven for Donald Trump. It is likely that this year’s election will be largely decided in those states. So how are they faring in […]

Market Volatility

Get ready for another crazy month on Wall Street. Months like March tend to come in pairs, at least as far as volatility goes. Daily moves of 4% or more are usually rare for the S&P 500; there were only ten of them in the entire decade of 2010 through 2019. In March, there were […]

The best kind of stimulus

No sooner was the ink dry on the March 27 $2 trillion stimulus package than Washington began work on the next stimulus. This is the right thing to do. Deficit hawks who worry about the debt-GDP ratio should want it, because without further stimulus, the debt-GDP ratio will soar because of crumbling GDP. Both President […]

COVID-19 Data: Signal versus Noise

Two burning questions confront all of us: How big is our public health problem? How sharp is our economic retrenchment? We think that the toolkit of economic forecasters has something to offer on the scale of the public health problem. Ignore the frantic quotes focused on reported COVID-19 cases—the numbers are all but meaningless. Instead, […]

Embracing Distancing and Cushioning the Blow to the Economy

The global COVID-19 outbreak now sports exponential growth rates for cases and deaths on every continent save Antarctica. Students of the economy must add that we are also in the midst of an unprecedented blow to global output, income, and employment. In financial markets, the pace of decline for equity and corporate bond prices exceeds […]

Trump stocks

President Trump has frequently pointed to the performance of the stock market in praising his own performance, although not in the past week when markets worldwide came down with (fears of) the coronavirus. Even at the end of the market’s worst week since 2008, the S&P 500 has still risen at a compound rate of […]

Memo to the Fed: Remember 2008

One thing I learned during more than 40 years as a journalist is that the power to set the terms of the debate sometimes can be decisive in determining the outcome of the debate. That could be happening now with monetary policy. By loudly demanding that the Federal Reserve lower interest rates – and announcing […]

Gangbusters Jobs Growth and No Fed Tightening. A Snapshot Unlikely to Persist.

President Trump tweeted on Christmas Eve that he was “all alone (poor me).” It was a sentiment with which Fed Chairman Jerome Powell could sympathize. As 2018 came to a close, the president blasted Powell for raising interest rates and causing the stock market to plunge. Wall Street pundits warned that swooning share prices suggest […]

Workers Return, Oldsters Retire, and the Jobless Rate Continues to Fall.

Five percent was the magic number. For years after the Great Recession officially ended in 2009, the recovery seemed to be proceeding at a snail’s pace. Even as the unemployment rate fell, it appeared that millions of Americans who had lost work during the recession had given up on looking for jobs. There were worried […]

A higher loyalty

After over a decade of first-rate stewardship, Jon Faust is resigning from his post as CFE Director to become senior special advisor to the newly appointed Federal Reserve Board Chair, Jerome Powell. Ordinarily one protests the exit of an esteemed colleague. However, in his new role, Jon will be immersed in debates of the utmost […]

CFE blog gets some notice

This blog has recently been listed on the Intelligent Economist’s list of the Top 100 economics blogs.