Social Security and the Recession

I regularly read a variety of blogs that cover macroeconomic issues. This is an item I picked up from the Economist’s View [also in the Blogroll ===>]. It ties into our discussion that Social Security offers insurance that cannot be readily (or reasonably) obtained through private markets. EV cites a paper from the […]

Employment Rates and the Recession

The Great Recession entailed a huge rise in unemployment; that is easy to track, as it is prominently featured in the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics releases and is soon thereafter up on the St. Louis Fed FRED data site. Almost as well known is the rise in workers on (involuntary) short hours. That […]

More Employment

…more important is employment to population… The data for October 2012 – the last “big” data release before the election — are now available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics web page and on a select basis as graphs on the St Louis Fed FRED database. I do look at unemployment and other […]

How Fast is Job Creation?

…age composition matters… How long recovery takes depends on the rate of job creation relative to the growth of the working age population. It turns out that age composition matters. In 2005-6 the economy needed roughly 125,000 a month to keep unemployment from changing; by 2008, when the Great Recession began, that rate had fallen […]

It’s not just kids and retirees

…early retirement and education aren’t “safety valves”… At 8.3%, “headline” unemployment represents 1 in 8 would-be workers without jobs. Furthermore, we know that we’re seeing not just high unemployment but also a big drop in the size of the labor force. That is, we’ve observed a big drop in the unemployment-population ratio. OK, but isn’t […]

Economic Policy: Treating Symptoms, Treating Causes?

Mike Smitka …Inaction is the Best Medicine?… The question: can we use an analogy from medicine, that we should treat the disease rather than the symptoms? Of course treating the common cold or a mild case of the flu may not be worth the effort (tamiflu?!) — take 2 aspirin, drink lots of […]

The devil in the unemployment details

Two charts. One is the number of employed, compared to where employment should be absent the Great Recession. I’ve not tried to correct this for the pending retirement of the Baby Boomers, but the bottom line (or rather the gap) is unfortunately all too robust. The second eliminates those who are employed but […]