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Ed Dolan  

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  • Forget The Weak Payroll Numbers. January's Employment Report Was Fundamentally Positive [View article]
    You are right that the quality and pay level of jobs also counts, and that not all new jobs are good jobs. I'll try to include some data on those in my commentary on the next employment situation report.
    Feb 9, 2014. 08:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Forget The Weak Payroll Numbers. January's Employment Report Was Fundamentally Positive [View article]
    Yes, some people are leaving the labor force, as reflected in the declining employment-population ratio and the closely related labor force participation rate. The interesting thing from the point of view of job market strength is how many of the people leaving the work force are doing so because of our aging population. Here is a recent report that tries to break out the demographics behind the changes. It indicates that more than half of the decrease in the EPR since 2007 is due to demographic changes. Check it out here, especially noting the third chart in the post: http://bit.ly/NqSPiD
    Feb 9, 2014. 08:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Forget The Weak Payroll Numbers. January's Employment Report Was Fundamentally Positive [View article]
    Thanks for these observations.
    Feb 9, 2014. 08:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls To 5 Year Low Of 6.7% In December But Job Growth Lags [View article]
    You are right that the disability system is broken. I would prefer to see a simple universal basic income and get rid of disability. See my comments here http://tiny.cc/wk038w and here http://tiny.cc/cbkm9w
    Jan 13, 2014. 11:01 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls To 5 Year Low Of 6.7% In December But Job Growth Lags [View article]
    "Can you imagine an economy where everyone who has brains just decides to give up and live off muni bonds?"

    I'm trying to imagine that. Can you tip me some munis that have a high enough interest rate for me to live off of? Thanks!
    Jan 13, 2014. 11:00 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls To 5 Year Low Of 6.7% In December But Job Growth Lags [View article]
    You could be right that the days of a growing economy are over. A majority of Americans are "rethinking exactly the way things are" and realizing that all the gains of growth are going to the top 1%. So why get involved in making the economy still grow? Why not look for the good life, instead?
    Jan 13, 2014. 10:58 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls To 5 Year Low Of 6.7% In December But Job Growth Lags [View article]
    Don't forget that half of more of the people leaving the labor force are simply moving into retirement as the baby boom generation ages. Some of these stayed at work while the economy was really bad. If they are finally retiring now that it is getting better, then to that extent the fall in the participation rate is a health sign.
    Jan 13, 2014. 10:56 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls To 5 Year Low Of 6.7% In December But Job Growth Lags [View article]
    The BLS does not in any way cook the books. They present a full array of data. If you like the higher number--and there is a good case for it--the BLS publishes U-6. What you need to do is urge the press to give more coverage to a broader range of the BLS data.
    Jan 13, 2014. 10:54 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • U.S. Unemployment Rate Falls To 5 Year Low Of 6.7% In December But Job Growth Lags [View article]
    I agree. I would prefer a simple universal basic income, get rid of unemployment insurance altogether. See my discussion here http://tiny.cc/wk038w and here http://tiny.cc/cbkm9w
    Jan 13, 2014. 10:53 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Latest Economic Growth Data Give Cheer To Market Monetarists, Or, What Is The NGDP Gap And Why Do We Care? [View article]
    Yes, a change in benefits does have some effect on U-3. It is highly ironic--most Democratic economists claim that longer unemployment benefits have only a slight effect, maybe about 1 week of extra unemployment for a 6-mo extension, while many Republicans say the effect is much larger. So the conservatives have now succeeded in eliminating extended benefits. If they are right, that will dramatically reduce U-3, with the result that the economy will look artifically better and the GOP will lose the election in the fall.
    Dec 25, 2013. 07:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Latest Economic Growth Data Give Cheer To Market Monetarists, Or, What Is The NGDP Gap And Why Do We Care? [View article]
    I agree, a little early to declare victory. I think I characterized the latest data more as giving a ray of hope.

    As for U-3 -- Yes, I agree here, too. U-3 by itself is too narrow, although I think it is a bit harsh to say "politically contrived." We have to look at more data to understand unemployment. If we do so, the news is mixed. The latest report on U-6, supposedly a broader, more realistic measure, shows an even sharper drop than U-3. However, at the same time, long-term unemployment ticked up a bit and remains stubbornly high.
    Dec 23, 2013. 07:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Budget Deal Is A Victory For Deficit Hawks, Loss For Economy [View article]
    Thanks. The relationship I had in mind between unemployment and the deficit is simply that when unemployment goes up, unemployment compensation and some other kinds of social support spending go up, adding to the deficit--what economists call "automatic stabilizers".

    Your comments on Congress are definitely a propos
    Dec 18, 2013. 08:01 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Budget Deal Is A Victory For Deficit Hawks, Loss For Economy [View article]
    Well, you have a point, of course.
    Dec 18, 2013. 07:58 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Budget Deal Is A Victory For Deficit Hawks, Loss For Economy [View article]
    You are right about asymmetry of spending vs. taxes in the ideologies of the left and the right. My focus, however, was on the deficit itself, regardless of whether it comes from spending or taxes. In fact, the pending deal has little impact on the deficit one way or another, which is why I said it locked in current procyclical policy. The policy could equally well be made counteryclical with more tax cuts or with more spending.
    Dec 16, 2013. 02:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Budget Deal Is A Victory For Deficit Hawks, Loss For Economy [View article]
    My definition of a "deficit hawk" is a person who thinks cutting the deficit is so important that it is worth slowing the recovery in order to cut the deficit now. In my view, there are two rational reasons for being a deficit hawk:

    (1) You don't care about unemployment. Despite the slow recovery, profits are high, so why not cut now?

    (2) You agree that in an ideal world it would be better to "fix the roof when the sun is shining" but you don't trust Congress to cut unless they do it right now.

    Do you agree with either of these?
    Dec 16, 2013. 12:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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