Using Three Questions To Understand the Employment Report

Hearing 4.7% unemployment you might think, “Awesome.” But then the 38,000 jobs creation number for May was dismal. How to interpret an employment report? Did the Denominator Shrink? After a 10% peak in October 2009, the unemployment rate has steadily…

Weekly Roundup: From the Diner’s Dilemma to Lost Labor

This week’s economic news summary includes the diner’s dilemma and marginal analysis, property rights in outer space, the Phillip’s Curve and unemployment.

Solving the Mystery of the Disappearing Workers

One reason we have a labor force participation rate of 62.4 percent is because retirees, students, the disabled and people who care for family do not work.

Weekly Roundup: 6 Mysteries

Our everyday economic stories involve participation rates, human capital, signaling, ROI, money, price, austerity, personal income, monopoly and bubbles.

The Revolution That Grandma Started

The NYC Miss Subways competition was about a lot more than pretty “girls” (as they were called). To become Miss Subways for a month, applicants had to submit a picture to the John Robert Powers Agency. From perhaps 1000 applicants,…

Gender Issues: Stay-At-Home Parents

Bryan Grossbauer is a stay-at-home-dad. The subject of a WSJ focus on the new dad style for raising children, he emphasizes problem solving, cares little about submersion in dirty mud puddles, and ignores household messes. One of close to 190,000…

The Labor Force Participation Rate: Misleading Unemployment Numbers

If the August unemployment rate is down to 7.3%… Then,  why aren’t we smiling? The reason is a declining labor force participation rate. The BLS tells us that the participation rate is, “the labor force as a percent of the…

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…