Morning Economic News

Morning Must reads: As The Jobs Crisis Rolls On, Elected Officials Look To Hate To Win Votes

At 8:30 Friday morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release data on September payrolls. Bill McBride provides a rundown of expectations that place the payroll count at 65,000 jobs, which would be an improvement from the total of ZERO jobs created in August. Talk about lowered expectations.

Also note that government payrolls have been shrinking by about 35,000 on average per month this year.

Morning Must Reads: Occupy Wall Street and the Banks in Pennsylvania

In just over a week, the Occupy Wall Street movement has gone from being lectured by writers at Mother Jones for not understanding messaging to comparisons to George Washington in a Central Pennsylvania newspaper!

George WashingtonThe protesters didn’t take their beef to the dysfunction that is Washington. Instead, they planted their flag of dissatisfaction in the heart of America’s financial district. It has spread to Philadelphia, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles, and is coming to Harrisburg on Wednesday ... The upstarts who got Occupy Wall Street off the ground might not become storied legends, but their idea looks like it has legs, and with any luck, there’s a next generation George Washington poised to step in, articulate a moderated message, and put American economic equality squarely in the political middle.

Morning Must Reads: Regulations and Jobs

Bruce Bartlett, former advisor to Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, has a column in the Economix blog at The New York Times this morning with compelling fresh evidence (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) that job creation is not hampered by regulation but, you guessed it, a lack of demand.

Also this morning, as if on cue, news stories appeared about the movement Monday of bills to weaken Pennsylvania's prevailing wage statute. The Pennsylvania House majority leader called the current prevailing wage statute a "job-crushing" law — without actually providing any evidence, naturally.

This week is off to a great start! Monday we demonize the unemployed and Tuesday it is all about regulation. I can't wait for Wednesday.

Morning Must Reads: Skill Mismatch Is Back And It Is Still Wrong

The view that people who lost a job due to the economy are lazy and shiftless dilettantes has spread from the editorial page of The Patriot-News to the newsroom with a particularly misleading story today.

The jobs are out there. Companies just can’t find the workers to fill them....Economists and business leaders point to a factor contributing to the pervasive disparity between available jobs and workers: attitude. Prospective work candidates simply want their cake — and on a silver platter. Some don’t want to commute, others want to work only the day shift, and others don’t want to take a job they feel is beneath them.

Morning Must Reads: The Tall Tales Policymakers Tell to Justify Keeping Unemployment and Profits High

The economy is sick. Unemployment has been rising and private-sector job growth has been very weak in the past few months. WE ARE NOT HEADED FOR A DOUBLE-DIP RECESSION! But with unemployment back over 8% here in Pennsylvania, the risks of financial disaster for people who lose their jobs for reasons beyond their control remain higher than they have been at any point since the early 1980s.

The costs of job loss for individuals and society are well documented (PDF). What we need is aggressive action by Congress and the Federal Reserve to spur job growth. But what we are getting is bupkis from Congress. Meanwhile, a broad range of fiscal and monetary policymakers are making stuff up about what is wrong with the economy.

The answer, repeated again and again, is that businesses are afraid to expand and create jobs because they fear costly regulations and higher taxes...The first thing you need to know, then, is that there’s no evidence supporting this claim and a lot of evidence showing that it’s false. The starting point for many claims that antibusiness policies are hurting the economy is the assertion that the sluggishness of the economy’s recovery from recession is unprecedented. But, as a new paper by Lawrence Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute documents at length, this is just not true. Extended periods of 'jobless recovery' after recessions have been the rule for the past two decades. Indeed, private-sector job growth since the 2007-2009 recession has been better than it was after the 2001 recession.

Morning Must Reads: The Challenges of Local Economic Development

This morning's news has some interesting stories on the challenges of local economic development.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that regional stakeholders have been scrambling to find buyers for three area refineries slated to close.

ConocoPhillips announced that it would sell or close its nearby Trainer complex in six months. ConocoPhillips' decision came three weeks after Sunoco Inc. said it would exit the refining business, with plans to sell or close its South Philadelphia and Marcus Hook refineries in July. At risk are more than 2,000 union and nonunion jobs.

Morning Must Reads: Public-sector Job Losses

Good Wednesday morning. Here is your economic news roundup. 

The article focuses on the loss of 600 public sector jobs in the Harrisburg-Carlisle metropolitan area in August, contributing to a rise in the unemployment rate to 7.8%. Since one-month changes in employment are not reliable indicators of employment trends, especially at the metro level, a question exists about whether there is a longer-term trend of public-sector job losses driving down the area's economy. We took a look and the answer is yes, trends in public sector employment are now hurting this region's economy. Below are the details.

To identify longer-term trends in metro areas, economists compute an average of employment over a period of months and then see how this average changes over time. An average over 12 months is reliable and also has the benefit of removing seasonability from the data. The chart below shows a 12-month average of public-sector employment in the Harrisburg-Carlisle region over the past five-and-a-half years. The bottom line: since 2009 the region has shed just over 1,300 jobs in the public sector. We have yet to see the full impact of state budget cuts on local public employment, so more losses are to come.

Morning Must Reads: Local Unemployment Data Released for PA

It is raining again!  Here is your soggy morning news.

Krugman summarizes the modern history of macroeconomics in seven bullet points. Read it; there will be a test!

Morning Must Reads for September 26, 2011

Good Monday morning! Do you know where your weekend went? Me Neither.

Public support for family care, particularly generous in Nordic countries, tends to improve women’s ability to combine paid and unpaid work, explaining why Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland are each ranked higher than the United States on the Newsweek/Daily Beast list. But the rankings would change considerably if policies relevant to mothers were factored in. For instance, consideration of early childhood education and paid leaves from work would move France up from its 12th position on the list and move the United States way down.

Economic News and Opinion for September 23, 2011

Woohoo, it's Friday! Only 12 hours till quit'in time!  Here is your run down of the morning's news.

So do the wealthy look to you like the victims of class warfare? ... What we know for sure, however, is that policy has consistently tilted to the advantage of the wealthy as opposed to the middle class. Some of the most important aspects of that tilt involved such things as the sustained attack on organized labor and financial deregulation, which created huge fortunes even as it paved the way for economic disaster. For today, however, let’s focus just on taxes.

Krugman is great today. Read it all and share widely.

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