A Surprisingly Weak Payrolls Report For August

Ouch! That stings. The private sector created substantially fewer jobs in August than expected, according to this morning’s monthly update from the US Labor Department. Private payrolls increased 134,000 last month, far below the consensus forecast that anticipated a gain of 220,000, according to Econoday.com’s estimate. Even worse, the August rise is the weakest so far this […]

The UK’s Immigration Quandary

Immigration is an issue it would be easy to file away in the “too difficult” drawer. Is it one of those where good economics – most economists would say it brings net benefits for the country – can never be good politics? Or is it a bit more complicated than that? A few days ago […]

Congress’s Job Training Overhaul: A Modest Step in the Right Direction

This is a guest post by Robert Maxim, research associate, competitiveness and foreign policy, for the Council on Foreign Relations studies program. Any bill that receives the support of both Ted Cruz and Harry Reid is notable in its own right. When that bill takes steps to streamline the complex web of U.S. worker training […]

Jobless Claims Fall to 7-Year Low as Industrial Production Unexpectedly Declines

Today’s reports on jobless claims and industrial production offer a mixed review for the macro outlook. On the one hand, the sharp decline in new filings for unemployment benefits to a seven-year low is a powerful signal for expecting continued growth in the labor market for the near term. But the surprisingly big slump in industrial output last month […]

How to Fill the Skills Gap: Bring Back Apprenticeships

by Robert Maxim, research associate, competitiveness and foreign policy, for the Council on Foreign Relations studies program Manufacturing is growing in the United States, but many companies claim that they face a “skills gap.” These companies have unfilled vacancies, but say that unemployed workers and recent high school graduates do not have the technical knowledge […]

Reich: U.S. Minimum Wage Should Be Raised to $15 an Hour

Momentum is building to raise the minimum wage. Several states have already taken action  — Connecticut has boosted it to $10.10 by 2017, the Maryland legislature just approved a similar measure, Minnesota lawmakers just reached a deal to hike it to $9.50. A few cities have been more ambitious — Washington, D.C. and its surrounding […]

A Round Of Upbeat News For Jobless Claims and Retail Sales

Retail spending revived last month and new filings for unemployment benefitsdeclined last week, according to this morning’s reports from the government. In both cases the changes beat expectations with surprisingly upbeat data. But there are two issues that remain worrisome. First, the year-over-year rate of growth for retail sales is still falling. Second, the annual decline in jobless claims […]

Jobless Claims Slide to 3-Month Low

Today’s weekly jobless claims report suggests that that the harsh winter really is the main source of the soft economic data we’ve seen over the past month. If so, the future is somewhat brighter for anticipating a spring rebound. The standard caveat applies when it comes to drawing conclusions from one jobless claims number. Nonetheless, […]

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