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  • March Jobs Report: No Change in Unemployment Rate

    The March employment report showed modest job gains of 192,000 with the unemployment rate unchanged at 6.7 percent. Unemployment remains highest among teenagers (20.9 percent) and African Americans (12.4 percent). The sectors with strongest growth were food services and drinking places (+30,000) and temporary help services (+29,000). With additions in … More

    Jordan Weissmann Thinks Economics Is a Gimmick

    Jordan Weissmann of Slate writes that using modern economic methods in budgetary analysis is a “trick…gimmick…fantasy…miraculous…flight of fancy…picking a number out of a hat.”  Weissmann’s immediate target is Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R–Wis.) new budget. But his haphazard insults implicitly spread to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the general use … More

    Who Creates Jobs—and Why?

    If you want to protect spending in Washington, call it “job creation.” That’s the flip side of yesterday’s quip by Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, skewering the tendency of politicians to dress their favorite lobbies or spending policies as job generators. He’s right: … More

    Fed Nominee Brainard Needs Nuance on Austerity

    In her hearing before the Senate today, Federal Reserve Board nominee Lael Brainard reportedly said that “expansionary austerity is a contradiction and does not work.” This one-dimensional view of a complex set of policies ignores extensive academic research and lacks the nuance we expect from those who serve on the … More

    Paul Krugman: Selective Data Usage

    Paul Krugman, in the words of a former New York Times public editor, “has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers.” Most recently, he selectively cited numbers about austerity in Europe, hoping to redefine the policies that made the German economy so buoyant. Germany is worth paying … More

    Krugman Changes His Tune

    Paul Krugman hates it when conservatives mention that welfare benefits and taxation induce some people to leave the labor force. Today, he wrote of “moochers not really seeking work because they’re cradled in Paul Ryan’s hammock” – mocking the idea that some people have stopped looking for work because of … More

    January Jobs Report: Few Signs of a Thaw

    In January, the economy added 113,000 new jobs and the headline unemployment rate dipped to 6.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey of households shows very good news, namely a large increase in the number of people employed. The employment-population ratio reached 58.8 percent, matching its … More

    Does Inequality Hurt Innovation or Entrepreneurship?

    When you’re fixated on a particular problem, it’s easy to see the problem everywhere. Much of the political left is currently obsessed with income inequality, to the exclusion of job creation, economic mobility, or economic freedom. That means they see the consequences of income inequality in some unlikely places. Slate‘s … More

    Five Economic Reforms That Are Actually Relevant to Millennials

    Good news, millennials: You don’t need to embrace socialist policies if you want to rejuvenate the economy – and your future. Rolling Stone published a piece last week purporting to promote “Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For.” The author, Jesse Myerson, wishes that the government would hire everyone … More

    Larry Summers, Satirist

    One must applaud Larry Summers for his cagey satire in a Washington Post op-ed today. He lets on—subtly—that the recent resurrection of “secular stagnation” is all an elaborate spoof. Secular stagnation is an odd theory that predicts a perpetually weak economy due to low desire to invest. It contradicts both … More