Ed Dolan's Econ Blog

Roubini Topic Archive: Labor Markets and Productivity

  • US Unemployment Drops to 7.7%, Lowest Since January 2009, Payroll Jobs Continue Steady Rise

    The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November, according to today’s data release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was down 0.2 percent since October, and was the lowest rate reported since January 2009. Payroll jobs increased by 146,000 in the month, continuing a moderate but steady trend. The unemployment rate is the ratio […]

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  • Fourteen Minutes a Day: What the Great Recession has Done to the Way We Spend our Time

    Writers of economics textbooks like to remind us that official employment and GDP data are not very good measures of how hard we work or of the goods and services we produce, but what alternatives do we have? One little­-noticed alterative is the annual American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which […]

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  • February Jobs Market Report Shows Across the Board Strength

    The latest report from the BLS shows across the board strength in the U.S. jobs market. Data on payroll jobs, unemployment rates, and labor force participation all showed a gradually strengthening economy. The headline increase of 227,000 new payroll jobs (233,000 in the private sector) was down a little from the January report. However, that […]

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  • Latest Economic Data Begin to Shift the Counterfactual in Favor of Democrats

    For all of last year, as the parties tested their rhetoric in the early stages of the election campaign, Democrats were stuck in the unenviable position of arguing a counterfactual: “The economy is bad, but without what we have done, it would have been even worse.” That could very well  have been true, but it […]

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  • Understanding the New View of Poverty (2): What Helps and What Hurts

    Last week, the Census Bureau published a new Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) that changes our understanding of poverty in America. The first installment of this post looked at the way it erodes our stereotypes of who is poor, especially by showing that there are more poor white, working-age, home-owning Americans than we thought. No matter […]

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  • Understanding the New View of Poverty (1): The Erosion of Stereotypes

    We all thought we knew who is poor in America. Children, especially in one-parent households. Racial minorities. Families who aren’t able to participate in the great American dream of home ownership. Really? The Census Bureau’s new Supplementary Poverty Measure (SPM) erodes all of these stereotypes. They still contain some truth, but less than it seemed. […]

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  • Why Rolling Back Environmental Protection is the Wrong Fix for Jobs

    Just when it seemed nothing could do it, persistently high U.S. unemployment has produced bipartisan agreement in Washington—agreement to roll back environmental protection in an attempt to save jobs and create new ones. The White House, shrugging off environmentalist opposition, has quashed a major EPA initiative that would have strengthened ozone regulations and is reportedly […]

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  • The Ecosocialist Critique of Capitalism vs. Real World Socialism

    It has been twenty years now since first glasnost and then the collapse of the USSR lifted the curtain on the appalling environmental record of Soviet socialism. Over that same 20 years, the burgeoning economy of socialist China has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gasses. Still, it remains common to hear capitalism singled out as the greatest environmental threat to our planet, and socialism as its salvation.

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  • U.S. Ethanol Subsidies: A Bad Policy that Refuses to Die

    U.S corn farmers and ethanol distillers are among those celebrating passage of last week’s tax bill. A little-noticed provision of the law extends ethanol tax credits ($.45 per gallon, plus a bonus for small producers) and tariffs on ethanol imports ($.54 per gallon), previously set to expire at the end of 2010. Should the rest of us also celebrate? I think not.

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