Economics Roundtable

May 2014 Payroll Employment

After 76 months, we finally got back to the prerecession level of payroll employment.

Click on the image to get a bigger version.


The best summary of the state of our economy is the graph (below) of employment as a fraction of population for people over 16 years old. The decrease is large, but the most troubling feature of the graph is the flat trend .

Click on the image to get a bigger version.

Graph-of-the-Year Candidates

Donald Marron likes European interest rates. Click on the image to get a bigger version. Can you find three distinct subperiods?

Brad DeLong favors the U.S. gdp gap.

Remember M1?

Money Supply M1 growth is now over 20% per year over a 12 month lag. M1 growth has touched 20% before, but not with excess reserves of $1.6 trillion. Where is M1 headed?

Click on the chart for a larger version.


The Economics Roundtable is sponsored by EconModel.

The Classic Economic Models cover micro, macro, and financial markets.

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- Recent Entries

February 27, 2017, 5:03 am, 1723703

The Presidents Day holiday may have shortened the trading week that was the fourth week of February 2017, but unfortunately, squeezing the entire trading week into just four days didn't make the market's action any more interesting, despite the setting of new record highs. Our ...

February 27, 2017, 5:03 am, 1723702

February 27, 2017, 4:45 am, 1723701
Sir Tony Atkinson, the doyen of inequality economics, passed away in January. This column, by a longstanding friend and co-author, outlines his contributions to the analysis and measurement of inequality – and many other areas of economics, including taxation, social protection, and the welfare state. The ultimate goal of Atkinson’s ...

February 27, 2017, 4:04 am, 1723699

Average hourly wages in China’s manufacturing sector trebled between 2005 and 2016 to $3.60, according to Euromonitor, while during the same period manufacturing wages fell from $2.90 an hour to $2.70 in Brazil, from $2.20 to $2.10 in Mexico, and from $4.30 to $3.60 in South Africa.

Chinese wages also ...

February 27, 2017, 2:04 am, 1723672

From Dan Wang:

Let me take this opportunity to register a complaint with the term “open-minded,” which is increasingly praised as an important virtue.

I’ve started to dislike the term. First of all, it’s unobjectionable—who would profess he is not open-minded? More importantly, it’s not always ...

February 27, 2017, 12:34 am, 1723661
By: Thorsten Polleit

Globalization has fallen into disrepute. More and more people are rejecting it outright as unfair and as a source of all sorts of evil — including economic crises and migration.

This kind of blanket condemnation of globalization however is a huge ...

February 27, 2017, 12:34 am, 1723660
By: João Pedro Bastos

As you may know, Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff, from the Workers Party, was impeached some months ago. Since her impeachment, Vice-president Michel Temer took power as president, and the Brazilian economic mess is turning to a slightly more ...

February 27, 2017, 12:04 am, 1723656
I’m no expert on South Africa, but I did some reading and pieced together a brief history of the country’s last 50,000 to 150,000 years. It begins with the San. Depending on who you ask and what evidence they are looking at, the San people have been in Southern Africa ...

February 27, 2017, 12:04 am, 1723655

Editor’s note: The next president is in for a rough welcome to the Oval Office given the list of immediate crises and slow-burning policy ...

February 27, 2017, 12:04 am, 1723654

The modern economy is more reliant on data than ever before. Without reliable information about the economic and social environment, making sensible choices that produce positive outcomes in commerce, research, and governance is impossible. Although the federal government’s statistical agencies play a vital role in generating this information, their value ...

February 26, 2017, 10:44 pm, 1723640
A growth surge in the world’s largest economy could provide a significant boost to global activity. In contrast, uncertainty about the direction of US policies could have the opposite effect. This column investigates spillover channels linking the United States and the global economy. An acceleration in US growth would have ...

February 26, 2017, 10:04 pm, 1723639

President Trump is upset that the media missed this economic event:

“The media has not reported that the National Debt in my first month went down by $12 billion vs a $200 billion increase in Obama first mo”

I do not have the stats for Inauguration + 1 month data, ...

February 26, 2017, 9:03 pm, 1723633
The automakers will report February vehicle sales on Wednesday, March 1st.

Note: There were 24 selling days in February 2017, unchanged from 24 in February 2016.

From WardsAuto: Forecast: U.S. February Sales to Reach 16-Year High

A WardsAuto forecast calls for U.S. automakers to deliver 1.34 ...

February 26, 2017, 8:44 pm, 1723632

Illegal drugs appear to be a scourge on many a community, and while wanting to solve the drug problem is laudable, this week's EconTalk guest argues we're going about it ...

February 26, 2017, 8:04 pm, 1723626
(February 26, 2017 10:30 AM, by Alberto Mingardi) I find it kind of amusing that in a very short time the public discussion of the dangers lying ahead has moved from the great stagnation to excessive automation. That is, we stopped talking of productivity stalling, to start worrying... (0 COMMENTS)

February 26, 2017, 7:34 pm, 1723625

Discussions about demographics are typically focused on trends in fertility/morbidity and immigration/emigration, and these are what matter at the national level. But at the local level, trends on internal migration are also important. Statistics Canada has been publishing data on inter-provincial migration for years, but there's only so much you ...

February 26, 2017, 6:34 pm, 1723619

Dear readers,

ThinkMarkets was set up in late 2008. It needed a facelift. We hope you like the new mobile-friendly look. You can now follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Stay tuned for new posts!

Filed under: Uncategorized

February 26, 2017, 6:04 pm, 1723618
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 33-34 my great teacher Leland Yeager’s 1954 monograph, Free Trade: America’s Opportunity, which ...

February 26, 2017, 5:33 pm, 1723617
Scott Pruitt is the new Chief of the EPA. In this piece, he is quoted as saying that his agency will deliver "regulatory certainty". How should we interpret this goal? As a fan of Prescott's "rules over discretion", I full understand the importance of sending clear ...

February 26, 2017, 5:33 pm, 1723616

From Warren Buffett’s annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, which was released yesterday (my emphasis):

One word sums up our country’s ...

February 26, 2017, 4:04 pm, 1723611

From Warren Buffett’s annual letter to the shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway, which was released yesterday (my emphasis):

One word sums up our country’s ...

February 26, 2017, 3:03 pm, 1723589

Rajiv Sethi:

Arrow, Edgeworth, and Millicent Garrett Fawcett: There's not much one can say about Kenneth Arrow that hasn't already been said, but there's one personal story that I can add to all the tributes and remembrances.

I met Arrow just once, at a Stanford conference in ...

February 26, 2017, 2:34 pm, 1723588

Kenneth Arrow died last week, at 95, as modestly as he lived. He had survived his economist wife of seventy years, Selma Schweitzer Arrow, by eighteen months.   Of what I read in the obituaries, the most telling glimpse was one his son David afforded the Associated Press.

He was a ...

February 26, 2017, 2:04 pm, 1723585

February 26, 2017, 2:04 pm, 1723584
(Don Boudreaux)

In a Facebook response to this ...

February 26, 2017, 1:03 pm, 1723566
After a solid start for 2017 - during the slow season - hotel occupancy has been weak over the last few weeks.

From STR: US hotel results for week ending 18 February

The U.S. hotel industry reported mixed results in the three key performance metrics during the ...

February 26, 2017, 12:04 pm, 1723564
(Don Boudreaux)

In light of Trump’s economic nationalism – and of many people’s embrace of this foolish and ...

February 26, 2017, 10:04 am, 1723548
(Don Boudreaux)

… is from pages 18-19 of Razeen Sally’s 2008 book, New Frontiers in Free Trade: Globalization’s Future and ...

February 26, 2017, 10:04 am, 1723547
(Don Boudreaux)

Stuart Anderson, writing in Forbes, explains why economic nationalism is economic nonsense.  A slice:

Economists have understood for centuries that trade ...

February 26, 2017, 8:34 am, 1723526

Chris Edwards says the privatizations started by Thatcher “transformed the British economy” and boosted productivity. This raises an under-appreciated paradox.

The thing is that privatization isn’t the only thing to have happened since the 1980s which should have raised productivity, according to (what I’ll loosely call) ...

February 26, 2017, 8:04 am, 1723525
(Don Boudreaux)

February 26, 2017, 7:33 am, 1723524

It's been quite a year for sports, all right.

The Patriots' stunning comeback was just the latest in an epic string of championship games -- we take a look back.

Related: "Are we in the greatest era of championship sports?"

February 26, 2017, 5:33 am, 1723495

I didn't know about sorrel before, but now I do.

February 26, 2017, 5:33 am, 1723494

(p. A2) Imagine you're president and Congress gives you a huge chunk of money to spend as you wish. Instead of cutting taxes or splashing out more on health care, infrastructure and defense, why not send a check to every adult?

That's the essence of universal basic income, ...

February 26, 2017, 4:04 am, 1723483

Pension spending is already the equivalent of 12% of GDP, half as much again as the average among members of the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries that have many more senior citizens (see chart). The combined annual shortfall of the pension schemes is 4.8% of GDP, equivalent ...

February 26, 2017, 4:04 am, 1723482
My regular column is available to subscribers on This is an excerpt. Every little bit of information adds to our knowledge, and changes our perceptions. In recent days we have had a flurry of such information from the...

February 26, 2017, 2:04 am, 1723474

I was walking from Union Station to about NY Ave. and 11th, and needed to eat along the way.  I passed through Chinatown, but to have taken a meal there seemed to me a bit…complacent.  I have Chinese food all the time, and at this time I cannot afford ...