Poverty in The United States

The Administration recently suggested that ‘ “Anybody who says we are not absolutely better off today than we were just seven years ago, they’re not leveling with you, they’re not telling the truth.” ‘ — is this really the case?

I’ll be dissecting these (specious) claims over the next few posts, but lets start [...]

So who is lying then?

Last week Mr Obama went on what some might call a victory lap, crowing about his Administration’s economic accomplishments, all but calling those who criticise the current state of the American economy “liars”. Hmmm. Why not stop with the name calling, please?

Sure, GDP is positive, but eager to distribute the Happy News Mr [...]

Jobs up but what about wage growth?

The United States reported a fairly decent jobs number today, with a surge of 292K positions added. BLS release is here should you wish to read it direct from The Source.

This is, of course, before the usual revisions. Which generally fail to capture as much public attention as the flash number that was [...]

An already jittery market …

Overnight Chinese markets dropped some 7%, after news that Chinese manufacturing contracted for a 10th straight month.

Some analysts now suggest China – who reportedly contributes between 0.5% to 1% of global GDP – will now drive a global recession in starting in Q2 2016.

Ok, that has looked to me to be [...]

Where are the manufacturing jobs?

Lots of happy news in the US media recently about manufacturing in The United States, some suggesting we are the cusp of resurgence, arguing building goods in China no longer makes sense , others suggesting that as the trade deficit is lowered somehow US Manufacturers are “gaining ground”.

However few addressed the real reason [...]

Looking for work

Lots of happy news in the (where else?) US media about unemployment. “Things are getting better” is the underlying mantra, but if you’re unemployed and looking for work is this true?

The chart above shows the average time folks are out of a job, across two recessions. Specifically, the black line show the [...]

Temporary employment is booming

Lots of happy news in the US media recently about unemployment, specifically the continuing improvement in jobless claims.

Its probably best to look at the composition of the new jobs rather than then absolute number itself; the chart above shows. Specifically, two series – temporary help services (TEMPHELPS) is divided by total nonfarm [...]

Part time employment is booming

There has been lots of media speculation regarding the impact of the Affordable Care Act (aka, “Obamacare”) and employment in The United States. Specifically, the law requires businesses employing more than 50 people to offer full time employees healthcare. Many worry that businesses will cut staff or cut staff hours or, perhaps both.


Feeling good about the economy?

While the media continues an incessant stream of happy news reiterating the mantra “things are getting better”, I try to look at a broad range of indicators to get a true idea of the state of economy. So you think “things are getting better” do you? Enough to quit your job? Perhaps without another [...]

A trillion dollars lost

The chart above shows US Gross Domestic Product for the period 1973 to 2013 (GDP, thick black line), with recessions indicated by vertical gray bars. For each period of economic expansion I’ve added a flat trend line, essentially identifying the level of US GDP as if the recession had never happened. You’ll notice that [...]