Did the tax cut really produce those bonuses and pay raises?

Featured image Veronique de Rugy suggests that the bonuses and pay raises granted by many employers right after the tax cut was signed into law might well have been coming even without the tax cut. The key to the increase in worker compensation, she proposes, is the very tight labor market. De Rugy quotes the Wall Street Journal: With the unemployment rate low and unfilled job openings high, losing workers to a »

It was a very good year

Featured image Robert Schlesinger, managing editor for opinion at U.S. News & World Report, calls 2017 “a dumpster fire of a year, especially for those who reside and operate in the world of politics and policy.” Who, he asks, will mourn its passing? Only a fool would mourn the turning over of the calendar in any year. But, as Roger Kimball demonstrates, folks who reside and operate in the real world can »

About Trump’s “re-election” ad

Featured image John wrote about and posted what he calls Trump’s first re-election ad. The ad touts the record level stock market and the unusually low unemployment numbers. It doesn’t cite any legislative victories or foreign policy accomplishments. Nor could it. As a re-election pitch, current stock market prices and employment numbers couldn’t be less relevant. The relevant numbers will be the ones in 2020, when Trump faces the voters. At that »

Job growth stalls

Featured image One of the reasons I have thought Hillary Clinton probably will be elected president, assuming she’s not indicted, is the state of the economy. It’s pretty good now, and Americans recognize this. The relatively good economy explains why President Obama’s approval rating his risen. It’s borderline decent now. This hasn’t seemed to help Hillary’s poll numbers, but likely would once we get to crunch time. Today, however, comes a new »

Talkin’ unemployment blues

Featured image President Obama made an appearance in the White House press room on Friday to take a victory lap over the fall of the official unemployment rate (U-3) to 4.9 percent (video below, about 15 minutes). Is that number for real? Referring to the hell he saw tending to wounded men during the Civil War, Walt Whitman held that “the real war will never get in the books.” By the same »

Men not at work

Featured image The new unemployment rate announced this morning was 5.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent last month. The AP story is here; the Bloomberg story is here. The economy is said to have added 223,000 jobs last month, but the decline in the unemployment rate is, as usual deceiving. The decline in the unemployment rate reflects the continuing decline in the labor participation rate: “The participation rate, which indicates the share »

Does Illegal Immigration Explain the Disconnect Between Jobs and Wages?

Featured image After seven years of “recovery,” the jobs picture is finally beginning to brighten a bit. Last month’s jobs number, 280,000, was relatively good. But economists are puzzled: if hiring is picking up, why are wages and GDP stagnant, or even shrinking? At ZeroHedge, the pseudonymous Tyler Durden proposes an answer. It begins with the fact that nearly all job gains have gone to immigrants: There were other curiosities: the vast »

All Job Growth Since 2007 Has Gone to Foreign-Born Workers

Featured image With the latest jobs report published, Senate Budget Committee staff have updated their analysis of job creation and population growth. They start their analysis in December 2007, when the last recession began. This is their conclusion: There are two tables underneath – one showing foreign-born employment, the other showing US-born employment. What it shows is astonishing: foreign employment in the U.S. rose by 1.7 million, while the employment of U.S.-born »

The Big Lie On Unemployment

Featured image The administration is crowing over the fact that the unemployment rate has finally fallen, after six years, to 5.6%–not even a good number, by historic standards. But almost everyone understands that the reality is quite different, in part because the rate has dropped largely on account of people giving up, dropping out of the labor force, going on disability, and so on. But one question I have never seen answered »

Where Did the Jobs Go?

Featured image Somewhat remarkably, given that it has presided over the worst recovery–by far–of the post-war era, the Obama administration tries to slice and dice employment numbers to portray itself as a champion of job creation. There are, indeed, a few more jobs today than there were six years ago. Yet for most Americans, the employment scene has gotten worse, not better. Why is that? Senate Budget Committee staff offer data in »

Will Yesterday’s Jobs Report Boost Democrats?

Featured image Democrats are touting yesterday’s jobs report–248,000 net new jobs were added in September, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.9%–as a victory for the administration that should improve the party’s prospects in November. Thus, to cite just one example, President Obama boasted in a speech yesterday that by any measure, the economy today is better than when he took office. I should hope so! Obama took office shortly after the »

The Obama Economy, In Eleven Charts

Featured image Today the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee put out a chart book that documents the Obama administration’s failures in economic policy. From the introduction: The great economic tragedy of our time is the erosion of the American middle class. Millions of Americans find themselves locked out of the American Dream. Their wages are either flat or falling, even as the price of energy and goods surges; the labor force »

Let’s Not Drive Down Wages With Immigration “Reform”

Featured image Today’s jobs report was disappointing–only 142,000 jobs added, well below analysts’ expectations; 60,000 workers left the labor force; June and July payroll estimates were revised downward; and 12% are either unemployed, or working part-time while seeking full-time employment. All of which raises, once again, the question why anyone would consider it a good idea to import tens of millions of new, unskilled and semi-skilled workers to compete with Americans who »

The Awful Jobs Picture: 6.2% Unemployment Is Only the Beginning

Featured image The Labor Department reported today that the economy added 209,000 jobs in July as the official unemployment rate rose to 6.2%. But, as Peter Morici explains, that dismal unemployment number only begins to tell the story: Adding in discouraged adults who say they would begin looking for work if conditions were better, those working part-time but say they want full time work, and the effects of immigration, the unemployment rate »

The scandal of part-time America

Featured image Mort Zuckerman, writing in the Wall Street Journal, notes the deceptive nature of the hype surrounding the June jobs report showing the addition of 288,000 jobs. In reality, full time jobs decreased by 523,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — a shocking number that is obscured, but hardly offset, by the addition of 800,000 part time jobs. Following the release of the June report, President Obama proclaimed, “Make »

Today’s Jobs Report: A Note of Caution

Featured image Today’s jobs report was the best in a long time, thank goodness. But a friend on the Hill points out some facts that shed light on the broader issues that are still very much with us: Today’s report shows increasing strength in the jobs market. June employment (according to the survey of businesses) rose by 288,000 jobs. The BLS revised their April jobs estimate from 282,000 to 304,000 and their »

The Disaster of Obamanomics, In Two Charts [Updated with more charts from Joe]

Featured image Apologists for the Obama administration sometimes argue that the nation’s declining rate of labor force participation is largely a function of baby boomers retiring from the labor force. Unfortunately, this is not the case. This chart, prepared by the Senate Budget Committee, pretty much says it all. An unprecedented number of men–one in six–between the ages of 25 and 54, what should be their prime earning years, are either unemployed »