EconoMonitor

Ed Dolan's Econ Blog

Category Archive: Labor market

  • As Unemployment Rate Hits a New Low, More Slack Remains in the Labor Market than Meets the Eye

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that the unemployment rate dropped to 5.6 percent in December, a new low for the recovery. For the first time in years, the unemployment rate has fallen to the range of 5.25-5.75 percent that the Fed considers consistent with its mandate to maintain full employment. In the same […]

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  • Update: By One Measure, It’s Now Cheaper to Drive Than Ever Before

    In August, I posted an item showing how many miles you could drive your car on an hour’s wages. At that time, the average US price for gasoline was $3.60 per hour. Based on an average wage for production and nonsupervisory workers of $20.61 per hour and an average fleet economy of 24.3 miles per […]

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  • As Jobs Surge, Term Structure of Unemployment Remains Distorted

    The US economy added 321,000 payroll jobs in November, the best in almost three years. Strong upward revisions to September and October numbers boosted the 12-month gain to 2,756,000, a new high for the recovery. The official unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.8 percent. The broad unemployment rate, U-6, which takes into account discouraged workers […]

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  • Universal Basic Income vs. Unemployment Insurance: Which is the Better Safety Net?

    A universal basic income (UBI) and unemployment insurance (UI) are two possible forms of social insurance for an economy in which job loss is a significant risk. Which works better? How generous should either program be? Would a combination of the two be best of all? These are the questions that Alice Fabre, Stéphane Pallage, […]

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  • Fourth Quarter Off to a Good Start with Strong Job Gains, Falling Unemployment

    The first major report on the health of the US economy for the fourth quarter of 2014 showed continued gains in the job market. Payroll jobs were up by more than 200,000 for the ninth month in a row. With upward revisions to August and September data, the twelve-month jobs gain was 2,646,000. Annual job […]

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  • Five Reasons Not to Fear Deflation: Which Ones Make Sense?

    In a post earlier this week, I explained why a majority of economists fear deflation. They argue that deflation disrupts the operation of financial markets and labor markets in a way that risks touching off a downward spiral. At the same time, they say, deflation weakens the power of monetary policy to reverse the downward […]

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  • Why Should Europe (or Anyone Else) Fear Deflation?

    This is the first of a two-part series on deflation, which continues with “Five Reasons Not to Fear Inflation: Which Ones Make Sense?” This additional post updates the euro deflation story through December 2014 and discusses the impact of oil prices on deflation in Europe. Europe is fearful as it teeters on the brink of […]

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  • Strong Job Growth, Big Revisions Send US Unemployment Below 6 Percent

    The US unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in September, dropping below 6 percent for the first time in more than six years. The decrease was powered, in part, by strong growth of payroll jobs. Payroll jobs increased by 248,000 in September, well above the average for the year to date. In the same report, […]

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  • Broad and Long-Term Unemployment Fall to New Lows Despite Slowdown in Payroll Job Growth

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the broad unemployment rate and long-term unemployment have fallen to new lows for the recovery, despite a slowdown in the growth of payroll jobs. Payroll employment increased by 142,000 in August, significantly less than the 212,000 average for the previous three months. The standard unemployment rate fell […]

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  • A Universal Basic Income and Work Incentives. Part 2: Evidence

    In Part 1 of this series, I outlined some basic economic theory regarding a universal basic income (UBI) and work incentives. By a UBI, I mean an income support policy that provides a set monthly benefit to every citizen. A UBI, as I define it, would to everyone, regardless of income, wealth, or employment status. […]

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