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% […]
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 […]
The United States has become the world’s largest oil producer. That honor is likely to vanish, and with it a lot of companies. If so – and it is almost certain to be so if the oil price war is not promptly ended – the question will be what impact that will have on the […]
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 […]
More jobs than people to fill them?
We may have reached a point where there are simply not enough people who want to work to fill all the available jobs in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that in March there were 6,550,000 unfilled jobs in the country, on a seasonally adjusted basis. It reported there were 6,585,000 […]
Good and bad news in the jobs report
Here’s the good news: The unemployment rate for young adult men is now lower than it was on the eve of the financial crisis a decade ago. Here’s the bad news: So is the employment rate. The explanation for those seemingly contradictory facts is that there has been a significant rise in the number of […]