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December Jobs Report Comes In Way Off Estimates, 300,000+ Leave Labor Force


A surprisingly disappointing jobs report for December.

Rasmussen: Voters Trust Obama On Job Creation More Than Romney


The latest Rasmussen poll result could be seen as a sign that Mitt Romney is losing control of his own narrative: Following another dismal jobs report, voters overwhelmingly rate job creation as important to their vote but are almost evenly divided when it comes to which presidential candidate they trust more on the issue. The […]

College Education Economics: Is A Degree Worth It?

Apparently, some economists are arguing that we’re sending too many people to college.   A piece by Jacques Steinberg for the May 14 NYT, “Plan B: Skip College,” outlines the argument. A small but influential group of economists and educators is pushing another pathway: for some students, no college at all. It’s time, they say, to […]

Whites 5 Times Richer Than Blacks


After reading a Guardian story is headined “A $95,000 question: why are whites five times richer than blacks in the US?” I still don’t know. A typical white family is now five times richer than its African-American counterpart of the same class, according to a report released today by Brandeis University in Massachusetts. White families […]

Jobs Never Coming Back


One of the recurring themes that Dave Schuler and I have advanced since the global recession began is that we’re seeing a massive realignment of the economy and that many of the lost jobs will never come back.   That’s especially true of the financial sector.  There will simply be fewer people making big money moving […]

America’s Top Problems: Economy and Jobs


When I saw the Gallup headline  “‘Jobs’ Drops to No. 2 on Americans’ List of Top Problems,” I was skeptical. What could have topped Jobs with unemployment hovering at 10 percent and no real prospect in site for improvement? Lydia Saad (a family friend) answers: After two months as the clear No. 1 perceived problem […]

College Educated and Unskilled


Economist Arnold Kling points to some federal earning statistics of people who graduated college ten years ago and  concludes that we’re graduating far too many people with essentially worthless degrees: Major average income 25th percentile not in grad school 25th percentile Humanities 23791 11900 15600 Social Science 23361 9840 18000 Life Science 20120 0 17500 […]

Bunning ‘Furlough’ Wasting Millions in Name of Fiscal Responsibility


Remember Jim Bunning blocking unemployment extension and playing chicken with dozens of projects?  Well, they’re now coming home to roost: The Department of Transportation said Monday that Republican Sen. Jim Bunning’s blockage of legislation designed to keep a host of federal programs operating forced the agency to furlough nearly 2,000 employees without pay, temporarily shut […]

Misleading Recovery Charts

Road to Recovery - Organizing for America

Yesterday, I explained why this Obama chart purporting to show that the stimulus created a lot of jobs was misleading: Today, Pollster.com’s Charles Franklin displays the chart’s information in a different way to point to an even more glaring problem: The OfA chart gives the impression that we have “returned” to where we were in […]

6% Believe Stimulus Created Jobs


Gateway Pundit‘s Jim Hoft and The Hill‘s Walter Alarkon have found an interesting statistic in a week-old CBS/NYT poll: “just 6 percent of Americans believe that [Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package]created jobs, even though independent economists estimate that it has saved or created more than 1 million jobs.” That’s pretty amazing since, Jason Mattera tweets, […]

Scott Brown Win a Nihilist Moment?

Scott Brown Win

The special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat vacated by the passing of Teddy Kennedy is ongoing, with most expecting a win by Republican Scott Brown.  Andrew Sullivan sees this as the death knell of American politics. I can see no alternative scenario but a huge – staggeringly huge – victory for the FNC/RNC […]

Two-Income Households and Lifestyle


One common refrain in the comments section of yesterday’s income inequality post is that much of the lifestyle gain made by Americans in the past thirty years is a result of dual-income families.  Whilst a man could earn enough to support his family in a middle class lifestyle in those days, they argue, that’s no […]

Jobs Created or Saved…Again


It looks like the Obama Administration’s brilliant political jujutsu move of using “jobs saved or created” is making its way around some of the economics blogs again. First up is Brad DeLong’s attack on Allan Meltzer. Meltzer wrote the following, There is no greater recognition of the failure of the stimulus program to create jobs […]

American Opportunity Myths

opportunity knocks

Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins have written a piece for Brookings titled “Five Myths About Our Land of Opportunity.”  None of it’s new to those who’ve paid much attention to these things in recent years. What’s interesting, though, is the seeming contradiction in Myths 1 and 4. 1. Americans enjoy more economic opportunity than people […]

Recession Over, Obama Takes Credit

Recession Recovery Signs

As widely expected, the Powers That Be have declared the recession  over, while cautioning that the economy still has a long way to go.  And, of course, the Obama administration is crediting its stimulus packages for the good news. It might not feel like it to most voters, but the U.S. economy is growing again […]

Obama Pay Czar Slashes Compensation for Bailed Out Firms


The top earners at the top firms bailed out by the U.S. government during the financial crisis will have their pay and bonuses drastically cut. Deborah Soloman and Dan Fitzpatrick for WSJ: The U.S. pay czar will cut in half the average compensation for 175 employees at firms receiving large sums of government aid, with […]

Pilot Pay: Supply and Demand


The hard luck story of Bryan Lawlor demonstrates the brutality of the free market. The dark blue captain’s hat, with its golden oak-leaf clusters, sits atop a bookcase in Bryan Lawlor’s home, out of reach of the children. The uniform their father wears still displays the four stripes of a commercial airline captain, but the […]

White House Hard on Families


NYT wants you to know that Team Obama is sacrificing mightily for you.  A feature titled “‘Family Friendly’ White House Is Less So for Aides” begins: When President Obama talks up the family-friendly vibe at the White House — the nightly family dinners, the flexibility to attend school presentations and join impromptu plunges in the […]

Will Teach for Food


Reacting to news that “more than 120” professors at Tehran University have “collectively resigned in protest to the killings of students by suppressive forces,” Thoreau responds in a way quite familiar to many of us: The important question for any postdoc (or any untenured professor at a school in a budget crisis, *cough*) is, with […]

Whither Empty Car Dealerships?


Richard Florida reports the results of a poll of what should be done with the 2000+ car dealerships being shuttered as a result of the bankruptcy reorganizations of Chrysler and GM: Ask the local residents about what the community needs (222 votes) Urban gardens (200 votes) Create walkable, vibrant places and improve current communities (138 […]

Bloggers For Hire


There are nearly as many people making their living as bloggers than as lawyers — and more than as computer programmers or firefighters.  At least according to a report by Mark Penn (with E. Kinney Zalesne) in today’s WSJ. The best studies we can find say we are a nation of over 20 million bloggers, […]

Chrysler – Fiat Deal in Trouble


In “Fiat CEO: Cut Wages or No Chrysler Deal,” I detail how the Obama administration’s attempt to shepherd a shotgun marriage between Chrysler and Fiat appears to be in serious trouble. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is demanding major concessions from labor unions before agreeing to any deal — and is offering next to nothing in […]

Academic Hiring: Year of No Jobs


For years, there’s been talk of a wave of Baby Boomer faculty retirements that would finally break the logjam that has made it difficult for newly minted PhDs to find jobs. The waiting continues: Fulltime faculty jobs have not been easy to come by in recent decades, but this year the new crop of Ph.D. […]

Working Hard – Or Hardly Working?


Matt Yglesias challenges Lisa Schiffren‘s assertion that “The doctors, lawyers, engineers, executives, serious small-business owners, top salespeople, and other professionals and entrepreneurs who make this country run work considerably harder than pretty much anyone else (including most of the chattering class, and all politicians).” Matt counters, reasonably enough, that guys who move furniture for a […]

Unemployment Hits 8.1 Percent


Really bad news on the jobs front: The nation’s unemployment rate bolted to 8.1 percent in February, the highest since late 1983, as cost-cutting employers slashed 651,000 jobs amid a deepening recession. Both figures were worse than analysts expected and the Labor Department’s report shows America’s workers being clobbered by a wave of layoffs unlikely […]

Barack Obama’s Rhetorical Sleight of Hand


Greg Mankiw points us to this rather ingenius political ju-jutsu on the part of President Obama. Question: The American people have seen hundreds of billions of dollars spent already, and still the economy continues to free-fall. Beyond avoiding the national catastrophe that you’ve warned about, once all the legs of your stool are in place, […]

GM, Chrysler Seek Billions for Dumb Business Plan


Having already wasted billions of our tax dollars, GM and Chrysler are back. But don’t worry, they’ve got a plan: General Motors and Chrysler, two flagships of traditional American manufacturing, reported yesterday that the decline of the U.S. economy has outpaced their bleakest expectations of just two months ago, forcing them to significantly boost their […]

Obama Backers Denied Jobs


In my New Atlanticist piece “Obama Advisors Stiffed on Administration Jobs,” I tackle the hurt feelings of the preponderance of the 300 Obama foreign policy advisors who didn’t get administration jobs for their efforts.  The conclusion: It’s worth noting, too, that most senior level political appointments, especially in technocratic fields like foreign- and national security-policymaking, […]

F-22 as Stimulus

F-22 Raptor Advertising

Andrew Exum catches something that we online-only news consumers missed: Those of you who still read the paper copy of the Washington Post in the morning could not have helped but notice the full-page color advertisement for the F-22 in today’s front section. The really interesting thing about the advertisement was that it made the […]

Michael Steele: Government Work Not Same as Job


Yesterday morning’s appearance on ABC’s “This Week” by new GOP chair Michael Steele is causing some consternation. This passage in particular: STEELE: What this administration is talking about is making work. It is creating work. STEPHANOPOULOS: But that’s a job. STEELE: No, it’s not a job. A job is something that — that a business […]

Pelosi: ‘500 Americans Lose Their Jobs’

Nancy Pelosi has a powerful argument for passing the stimulus:  “Every month that we do not have an economic recovery passage, 500 million Americans lose their jobs.”    As Jim Geraghty notes, “That’s astonishing, considering the population of the United States is about 300 million.” Kate McMillan has the video: During the primaries, Barack Obama famously […]

Government Created Jobs Worth the Cost?


Paul Krugman argues that President Obama’s critics are misrepresenting his so-called “economic stimulus” plan. For example: [T]here’s the bogus talking point that the Obama plan will cost $275,000 per job created. Why is it bogus? Because it involves taking the cost of a plan that will extend over several years, creating millions of jobs each […]

Auto Subsidy Hypocrisy?


Are Southern senators arguing against a federal bailout of Detroit on free market grounds hypocrites? Mike Lillis thinks so: Yet this argument — that the government has no business interfering in free markets — ignores an increasingly frequent tradition among Southern states, which have fronted billions in local taxpayer dollars in the past two decades […]

Auto Bailout Dead, Politics Alive and Well

Auto Deal Runs Out of Gas

Senate Republicans killed the bailout deal worked out between President Bush and congressional leaders that had previously passed the House.  NYT: The failure to reach agreement on Capitol Hill raised a specter of financial collapse for General Motors and Chrysler, which say they may not be able to survive through this month. After Senate Republicans […]

Putting the Job Loss Figures Into Perspective (Updated)

I was googling around for historical statistics on job losses prior to going over to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to pull them out for myself when lo! and behold I found a blog, Live Granades, that had done the work for me. Go on over there and take a look at his graphs and […]