Hey, What’d I Miss? OTE Summary 3/30 – 4/10

April 10th, 2014 at 2:45 pm
  • Over at NYT Economix blog: distinguishing who the real job creators are in today’s economy and explaining three critical labor market trends from March’s jobs report.
  • Highlighting Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s decision to wisely continue to target broader measures of labor market slack.
  • Noting the passivity and transference inherent in today’s budget linguistics.
  • Analyzing the relationship between wage inequality among female workers and the minimum wage.
  • Evaluating the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ vision for creating jobs and improving our productive infrastructure.
  • Pointing out Representative Paul Ryan’s very choosy way of deciding what’s a budget cut and what isn’t.
  • On March’s employment numbers: previewing the data ahead of Jobs Day, highlighting my first impressions of a broadly positive jobs report, and illustrating the data’s favorable trend of labor force participation.

Music: Chicago blues guitarist Elvin Bishop reflects upon “the things that he used to do” in this week’s musical interlude.

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3 comments in reply to "Hey, What’d I Miss? OTE Summary 3/30 – 4/10"

  1. Robert Buttons says:

    ” continue to target broader measures of labor market slack.”

    The only way the fed can attempt to cure the unseeable, untouchable, unmeasurable bugaboo of “slack” is to coax consumers to borrow. Except household leverage is in the 1.8 range (2009 peak: 2.2). This is still massively above the historical average range of 0.8-1.3. I’m sorry to disappoint Dr. Yellen, but there is an upper bound on consumer credit.

    Say’s Law holds and you can’t borrow your way to prosperity.


  2. save_the_rustbelt says:

    Jared:

    I understand the whole demand side “consumers create jobs” theme, but this doesn’t void the fact that someone has to collect the resources and take the risks of putting together and operating a business. Not to mention the pain-in-the-butt of managing a work force.

    I’ve worked with small and medium size businesses since the mid 70s, and they are now wondering what they did to become Public Enemy #1 with the Obama administration and what I call the Krugman lobby.

    What I know for certain is that these employers are doing everything possible to delay the next hire, even when business does picks up. Too much potential cost, too much uncertainty.

    Incentives, or rather disincentives, do matter.


    • Jared Bernstein says:

      Absolutely. But that’s a constant. I’ve seen no evidence that the challenges you’re describing have gotten tougher. Obviously, there’s the ACA in the mix but remember, firms under 50 FTEs, which is the vast majority–over 90%–of firms are exempt from the employer mandate. Which isn’t in effect yet anyway. And the larger firms, btw, are generally doing well, at least by profitability measures, as I’ve stressed in many places.

      What’s changed/weakened is consumer demand.


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