Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

There is great buzz over today’s jobs report. The economy added 321,000 jobs in November. The New York Times: “After more than five years of elusive gains, ordinary Americans may finally be about to see the benefits of the recovery where it really counts: in their pocketbooks and wallets. … For the year as a … Continue reading Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

This One Figure Shows How the New Deal Made the Great Depression Worse (updated)

Source: Barry Eichengreen, "The Origins and Nature of the Great Slump Revisited" So U.S. real wages rose more or less throughout the Great Depression. During the Hoover years, you can write this phenomenon off as sticky wages plus the Federal Reserve's disastrous policy of deflation, plus some of Hoover's jawboning of executives to get them … Continue reading This One Figure Shows How the New Deal Made the Great Depression Worse (updated)

Nominal Wage Growth Over Time

Here are quarterly data on "usual weekly earnings" in current dollars from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The first graph shows the first (lowest) decile of wage earners. The second shows the ninth (why not the tenth? BLS does not make that an option). These data should be relevant to the debate over whether most … Continue reading Nominal Wage Growth Over Time

Trade and Employment

I teach my undergraduates that trade has no long-run effect on aggregate employment. I teach it because it's right, and very few economists would disagree. Tyler Cowen's recent postings on MR about the negative employment effects of trade have the potential to mislead. To the extent that trade and technology correlate with persistent disemployment in … Continue reading Trade and Employment

Occupational Licensing as an Implicit Barrier to High Skill Migration

That's the subtitle of a new working paper from Peterson, Pandya, and Leblang. Here's the abstract: Skills are often occupation-specific, a fact missing from existing research on the political economy of immigration. Although analyses of survey data suggest broad support for skilled migration occupational licensing regulations persist as formidable barriers to skilled migrants’ labor market … Continue reading Occupational Licensing as an Implicit Barrier to High Skill Migration

The Paycheck Fairness Act vs the Market

As you likely know, the Paycheck Fairness Act died in the Senate earlier this week, with strong GOP opposition. (see coverage here). The key provisions of the bill are nicely summarized in the Christian Science Monitor: The legislation…would require employers to prove that differences in pay are based on qualifications, education and other "bona fides" not … Continue reading The Paycheck Fairness Act vs the Market

Texas Job Numbers and Inter-State Migration

Political Math's piece on Texas' amazing job growth has been getting a lot of attention around the 'Net. As regular Pileus readers know and as Political Math's piece confirms, job growth is largely a consequence of population growth, and population growth is largely a consequence of warm climate, low cost of living, low taxes, and … Continue reading Texas Job Numbers and Inter-State Migration