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What to Look for in Tomorrow’s Jobs Report

August 6, 2015

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and her policy-making colleagues have made clear that their decision about when to start raising interest rates will be “data driven.”  Fed watchers will get lots of data in tomorrow’s jobs report, but don’t expect it to give them an epiphany about what the Fed will do when they next meet in September.

The great unknown in the jobs market isn’t whether...

Blurred Crowd

Obama’s Climate Plan Gives States Needed Flexibility

August 4, 2015

Constrained by Congress’s unwillingness to take up climate legislation, President Obama has done the next best thing by using the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority under the Clean Air Act to promulgate standards for reducing U.S. electric power plant emissions while giving states and utilities considerable flexibility in how they meet them.     

That flexibility is...

Climate Change - factory smokestack

Supply-Side Miracle Needed for Sustained 4-Percent Growth

July 17, 2015

My latest post for the US News & World Report Economic Intelligence blog explains why prospects for the economy attaining presidential candidate Jeb Bush’s goal of “...

Worker at a Machine

What to Look for in Tomorrow’s Jobs Report

July 1, 2015

Tomorrow’s monthly jobs report will likely show that private employers added jobs in June for the 64th straight month (see chart) but that unemployment remains above 5 percent, its rate at the December 2007 start of the Great Recession.  Here are some key facts to put the headline numbers in perspective.


Private Payrolls Have Grown Every Month for 63 Straight Months

Award-Winning Study: Minimum Wage — Solid Benefits, Small Costs

June 30, 2015

After reviewing more than 200 scholarly papers on the minimum wage for their book What Does the Minimum Wage Do?, Dale Belman and Paul J. Wolfson have found that it does pretty much what policymakers intended it to. 

Their conclusions, in a nutshell:


Jobs and Wages - factory worker

Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures

June 5, 2015

Today’s strong jobs report shows continued solid growth in payroll employment, and many other labor market indicators have recovered substantially since the Great Recession.  Nevertheless, the Federal Reserve should not rush to raise interest rates.  By testing whether it can push unemployment lower — rather than raise rates to avoid any risk of inflation — the Fed could bring more...

Private Payrolls Have Grown Every Month for 63 Straight Months (June 5, 2015)

Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures

May 8, 2015

Today’s solid employment report shows the economy continuing to add jobs even though economic growth stalled in the first quarter.  But the share of Americans with a job, which rose modestly in 2014, also has stalled this year and remains well below pre-recession levels.  We’re still waiting for clear signs of greater labor force participation and faster wage growth that, together with a...

Private Payrolls Have Grown Every Month for 62 Straight Months (May 8, 2015)

Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures

April 3, 2015

Today’s lackluster employment report shows that despite substantial job market improvements over the last year or so, the Federal Reserve should not yet start raising interest rates to prevent the economy from overheating and producing unacceptable inflation.  There’s still too much labor market “slack” (too many people who want to work, or to work more hours) for the Fed to shift its chief...

Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures

March 6, 2015

Today’s solid jobs report shows that private employers have added jobs every month for five straight years. Unemployment has dropped sharply, though it has room to fall further.  To herald a truly healthy labor market, however, labor force participation should be higher – it fell in February as more people stopped looking for work than found jobs – which will mean a larger share of Americans...

Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures

February 6, 2015

Today’s strong jobs report shows continuing labor market improvement but also continuing significant “slack” — people who are not working but want to be, or people who want to work full time but can only find part-time jobs.  Prominent among those struggling to find work are the roughly three-in-ten jobless workers who’ve been looking for a job for 27 weeks or longer.