Why the Jobs Report Means Diddly

The monthly ritual known as the jobs report made its appearance last week, followed metronomically by the monthly ritual of commentary and political reaction to the jobs report. It was a good report, as they go, with “ better-than-expected” job creation, more workers returning to look for work (hence a slightly higher unemployment rate of 5.7 percent) and major upward revisions to reported job creation in November and December of 2014.

Read More

The Fed Is Not As Powerful As We Think

This past week marked the annual gathering of bankers, financial officials, and other economic experts hosted by the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. On Friday, Fed Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank head Mario Draghi both spoke; in a slow week for the markets, these speeches received the bulk of the econ media’s attention, and Yellen’s remarks were heralded for days as the week’s major financial event.

Read More

Reality Has No Partisan Bias

In the wake of last week’s job report, there has been a flurry of new debate about what precisely is keeping job creation in the United States so anemic.The pivotal issue is whether the challenges facing the job market are cyclical or structural. The cyclical hypothesis is that we are still suffering an employment hangover from the financial crisis and sharp recession of 2008–09, made worse by limp or insufficient government responses. 

Read More

How Counting the Unemployed Started as a Progressive Reform

In an excerpt from his book, reprinted here by permission of Simon & Schuster, Karabell traces how employment data collection originated as a progressive antidote to economic inequality. But even the reformists who developed those statistics, Karabell notes, were wary of the “mania for statistics.”

Read More

The Clash of Generations Reshapes the Workplace

In an age of connectivity, how do different generations interact? Do they trust each other? How do companies seek, find and retain key talent as the worldview of people of different ages in the workplace differs? What does the contrast in attitudes between Millenials and everyone else portend for productivity and business’s future?

Read More

Jobs Numbers: Get Used to Bad Employment Data

Today’s employment figures show that America has entered job stasis. The headline number—69,000 jobs added—was weak at best, made worse by revised data for March and April that subtracted another 50,000 jobs, give or take. The unemployment rate nudged up to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent, but truly the most notable thing about this release was that there was nothing truly notable.

Read More