A Goldilocks Look at the U.S. Debt

How to decide if adding $4 trillion (or so) to the U.S. debt is too much, too little, or just right? We can start with ourselves and ask if $200,000 is a lot to borrow when you buy a home.…

Three "Tear-Water" Graphs

The U.S. has had an economic recovery from the Great Recession with sluggish GDP growth, a worrisome output gap and slowly diminishing unemployment.

Human Capital: Unemployment Predictions

Tepid. Called “tepid,” during May, the US unemployment rate was 7.6% and job creation was an “okay” 175,000. The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution perfectly displays what tepid means. If we add 175,000 jobs monthly (orange line in the graph,…

Understanding the Jobs Report

Hearing yesterday’s jobs report, most people said, “No good news.” Lower wages, almost no hiring, less time on the job and 9.2% unemployment meant more worries about the economy. These facts might provide some insight. The output gap: Minimizing the…

More On Unemployment

These are great graphs! In just a minute or 2, through a series from The Washington Post, you can understand our employment problems. Our starting point is potential output during the past decade. We see how much we could have…