labor supply

The Wage Test

By |2018-08-17T15:32:34+00:00August 17th, 2018|Markets|

In August 2014, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen described the wage dilemma in some detail. She was still relatively new to the job at that time, and there was pressure on her from among the so-called hawks to more aggressively normalize monetary policy. Ben Bernanke had taken the more cautious approach having experienced what both [...]

Proving The ‘L’ In Labor

By |2018-06-06T12:15:56+00:00June 6th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Back in 2011 and 2012, apple growers in the state of Washington got the government there to declare an emergency. They were expecting a record or near-record crop of fruit but they just couldn’t find enough workers to harvest it all. Faced with a potentially devastating labor shortage, Washington’s governor turned to convicts. I wrote [...]

There Aren’t Two Labor Markets

By |2018-04-13T17:35:50+00:00April 13th, 2018|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

Allusions to a labor shortage continue to be ubiquitous. Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal published yet another such story under the headline Iowa’s Employment Problem: Too Many Jobs, Not Enough People. Ostensibly about the experiences of companies trying to hire in the one state, the implication was clear enough. If Iowa, IOWA, has [...]

Labor Stats Are A Big Problem

By |2017-01-10T19:19:50+00:00January 10th, 2017|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

The updated estimates from the BLS for its JOLTS data largely confirm observations from other labor markets figures. The rate of Job Openings in November 2016 was slightly more than October, but still not appreciably different than what it has been over the past two years. The JOLTS survey indicated Job Openings first reached 5.5 [...]

The JOLTS Phantom: Hires or Job Openings?

By |2016-09-08T19:26:42+00:00September 8th, 2016|Currencies, Economy, Federal Reserve/Monetary Policy, Markets|

In all honesty, I could start almost any piece I write with the phrase “economists are stumped.” It has become something of a baseline where there is some element or condition of the global economy that doesn’t make sense to them. The latest update in JOLTS for July continues to be faithful to the seeming [...]