On Friday we learned that the U.S. economy surprised on the upside by adding 280,000 new jobs in May, and that 32,000 more jobs had been created in March and April than originally reported. The fact that economic growth is still sluggish, while more and more workers are finding jobs, suggests that productivity -- output per man-hour -- is slowing.Read more
Let’s say that next Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics comes out with a really handsome non-farm-payrolls report. Something close to 300,000 new jobs and a decline in the unemployment rate by a couple of tenths of a point. How do you suppose the president and his staff would deal with the news?Read more
Last week’s surprising report that the value of all the goods and services produced in America did not grow in the first quarter, which will be subject to two revisions as firmer data come in, tells us one of two things.Read more
The Democrats have finally decided on the fair, just minimum wage -- $12 per hour. But they fail to make one important point in favor of their demand. Recall the tale of the diligent robbers who spend a weekend drilling into the vault of a posh jeweler, making off with millions in bling for their labor. Commenters, this Gleaner included, failed to mention that the creation of half-dozen new millionaires must raise average incomes in Britain, where the theft occurred.Read more
Listen to the president, his staff, and his supporters and you might be ready to believe that the economy is on a rocket ride to prosperity. More jobs, lower gas prices, increased consumer spending. So now, at last, we can afford to do away with sequestration and other implements of austerity. Time to grow and spend and prosper.Read more
Two weeks ago the Commerce Department released its final estimate of Gross Domestic Product for the second quarter. That marked five years since the recession ended—a period of massive experimentation with expansionary fiscal and monetary policy. While those policies were doubtless well intended, all they did was what standard economic theory says they would do—move future economic output to the present. They did not by any means increase long-term economic growth.Read more
The burgeoning deficit has stopped burgeoning, at least for now. So Republican plans to attack the profligate president and to use the debt ceiling as a weapon to get more spending cuts can be shelved. Conservative deficit hawks should turn to a more immediate and important task—devising policies that will help the economy to grow at a rate that ends middle-class malaise and gets the millions who are out of work back into the workforce.Read more
There are two U.S. economies. Well, not really. But there is the economy reported in the New York Times as part of its pre-election coverage, and far different one reported in the authoritative financial press.Read more
The average GDP growth for the first three quarters of this year is 1.77 percent, according to data released by the the Bureau of Economic Analysis this morning. That is less than half of what the White House predicted GDP growth would be this year, and less than a third of what the Obama administration projected when it first took office.Read more
The May jobs report came out today and showed an economy barely adding any jobs: Just 69,000 were added last month, and the unemployment rate increased. This follows news yesterday that GDP was revised downward for the first quarter, and a report today that real incomes remain essentially unchanged.Read more
Reuters: "Growth anemic, debt row poses recession risk"
ABC News: "Boehner gets standing ovation from Senate Rs"
Department of the Treasury: "Treasury Targets Key Al-Qa’ida Funding and Support Network Using Iran as a Critical Transit Point"Read more
On Meet the Press, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said that “political courage on the Republican side means taking on the revenue piece” of the deficit equation. In other words, it requires Republicans to support raising taxes. Time’s Mike Murphy and NBC’s Andrea Mitchell agreed. But these assertions belie the facts.Read more
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