Posts Tagged ‘unemployment’
Tags: cartoon, fast food, food stamps, healthcare, immigration, inequality, pope, Republicans, sweatshops, unemployment
Tags: cartoon, deficit, hunger, jobs, poverty, Tea Party, unemployment, zombies
Tags: economics, Europe, history, history of economic thought, macroeconomics, mainstream, unemployment, United States, youth
They never give up. But no matter how much lipstick they put on a pig, it’s still a pig.
Ross Douthat did it back in February, by painting a rosy picture of the drop in the employment-population ratio.
Now, we have Zachary Karabell expressing his optimism about the youth unemployment crisis (16 percent in the United States, more than 50 percent in countries like Spain and Greece). Based on a single anecdote, he concludes that young people, at least college graduates, are not really unemployed. They’re just choosing to look for better options.
many college-educated young people are choosing not to take low-paying service-level jobs if they don’t absolutely have to. Because they can live with their parents (and as many as 45 percent of recent grads do) and because they rarely have much in the way of fixed costs such as homes and children, they can hold out for a job that matches their ambitions. They can also retool their skills as they discover that their college degree in marketing and communications may not leave them in the best position to get the type of job that they want.
This type of unemployment is one of choice — rational, legitimate choice — not of systemic failure. It is a challenge to find a meaningful job, but that hasn’t stopped people from trying. A youth cohort determined to create meaningful work should not be seen as lazy, lost or in dire straits. Instead it could be exactly the type who might actually lead the transition of our economy away from the making-stuff economy of the 20th century to an ideas economy of the 21st. . .
In the United States, youth unemployment is not quite what it seems. It is not a simple sign of how bad the economy is. Youth unemployment is actually a sign of ambition and expectation. Young people aren’t part of a generation of despair, but rather a generation determined not to settle. That may not always be realistic, but it is a vital fuel to propel our society forward.
If it looks like a pig, smells like a pig, no matter how much lipstick you put on it, it’s still a pig.
And, while we’re on the topic (of porcine cosmetics, not unemployment), there’s Simon Wren-Lewis, who so desperately wants to tell us, notwithstanding the spectacular failures of mainstream economics in recent years, that all is well. Everything we need is right there in the textbooks, he argues. Like the “the proposition that austerity was a crazy thing to try in this recession.” Well, on that one point he’s right: all you need is some basic Keynesian economics to criticize austerity. But, no matter how hard you look, you’re not to going to find the appropriate tools for analyzing a whole host of other crisis-related issues, such as the role of inequality in creating the conditions for crisis or the tendencies within capitalism to endogenously produce such crises. Sure, the ideas are there to push back against the austerians but, nowhere in mainstream macroeconomics—whether in the textbooks or in the most advanced areas of research—are you going to find a theory of capitalist dynamics that explains how we got into the current mess, much less how to get out of it. Wren-Lewis wants to blame partisan concerns (and, sure, there’s plenty of that) but not the basic theory.
To give credit where credit is due, Wren-Lewis sincerely wants to do the right thing and take the ideological lipstick off the pig. But then, even after adding a bit of economic history and the history of economic thought, he’s still left with the same old pig.
Tags: chart, Europe, Greece, Spain, unemployment, United States, youth
“We hope 2014 will be a year of recovery,” said Stefano Scarpetta, the director of employment, labor and social affairs at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. “But we are still looking at a very large number of youth who will have endured a long period of extreme difficulty. This will have a long-lasting effect on an entire generation.”
Tags: inequality, jobs, recovery, Second Great Depression, unemployment, wages
As the Wall Street Journal admits,
Despite three years of steady job gains, and four years of economic growth, many Americans have yet to experience much that could be described as a recovery. . .
For those with decent jobs, wages are rising, albeit slowly, and job security is the strongest it has been since before the recession. Many families have paid down debts and are seeing the value of assets, from homes to stocks, rebound strongly.
But many others—the young, the less educated and particularly the unemployed—are experiencing hardly any recovery at all. Hiring remains weak, and the jobs that are available are disproportionately low-paying and often part-time. Wage growth is nearly nonexistent, in part because with so many people still looking for jobs, workers have little bargaining power.
That’s what a “recovery” looks like in the midst of the Second Great Depression.
Clearly, as Catherine Rampell explains, “employment still has a long way to go before returning to its pre-recession level.”
And that just may be the understatement of the day.
If we use the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s jobs calculator, it would take an additional two years of average monthly growth in employment of 210,264 to reach a reasonable (but, historically, not particularly successful) unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.
The number of new jobs that were created in October, which seems to be lifting the spirits of many commentators, was only 204,000.
Tags: Bill de Blasio, cartoon, CEOs, election, food stamps, Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan, New York, rich, unemployed, unemployment
Tags: corporations, crisis, inflation, unemployment, wages, workers
Yes, it is true, Binyamin Appelbaum’s original article on inflation is a bit of a mess—combining quotations from clown Alan Greenspan and golfer Kenneth Rogoff with an attempt to assess the distributional consequences of increasing prices. (The follow-up column starts out a bit better, since he makes it clear that wage incomes may not keep pace with higher prices, but then he ends with a statement that—somehow—”a little more inflation” will solve the “profound and enduring unemployment, slow growth, rising income inequality.”)
It’s even worse, though, to attempt to correct Appelbaum by arguing that the only distributional effect of inflation “has been and always will be between net lenders and net creditors.” Yes, wages are prices and nominal incomes, by definition, rise with prices. But that doesn’t mean all incomes—especially wage incomes—move hand in hand with prices.
The chart above is a perfect illustration. Hourly wages (the blue line) and consumer prices (the red line) are not particularly correlated, especially since the crash of 2007-08. And given the continued existence of a large Reserve Army of the Unemployed and Underemployed, it’s quite likely that higher inflation will be accompanied by falling real wages. That’s one reason why corporations would be quite happy with a more accomodationist monetary policy, which would push inflation above the current 1.5-percent rate and 2-percent target. Their profit margins would rise (as output prices increase) while real unit labor costs would fall (as real wages decline).
Workers have already paid the bulk of the costs of the crisis (as a result of massive unemployment, slow growth, and rising income inequality). And now they’re being asked to pay the costs for the recovery (by decreasing, in real terms, what little they receive in nominal wages).
The corporations they work for would like to lower their nominal wages (and there’s an army of neoclassical economists who are willing to make that case for them, in the name of labor-market “flexibility”). The next-best alternative is to lower their real wages (and there’s an army of other economists standing by to make that case, too).