New college grads: could be worse

It’s become an article of faith lately that there’s little point in going to college—you just end up deep in debt and unemployed. That’s not really true, at least the unemployed part. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York—which has shown an unusual interest in the state of the youth lately, having also developed its own data on student debt—is just out with a presentation on how recent college grads have been faring in the job market. (It’s part of a longer presentation that begins on p. 11 of this PDF.) The… Read More

September employment

[I didn’t do a new radio show this week because WBAI is fundraising. More on this very soon. In the meanwhile, here’s a quick analysis of the September employment report that I did as a special intro to the KPFA version of the show, which was almost all a rerun.] And now a special update on the September employment report, released Friday morning. The headline number was a loss of 95,000 jobs—though more than all of that was accounted for by the continuing attrition of temporary workers who were hired to help… Read More

Radio commentary, September 23, 2010

Summers • recession over! — except in housing and jobs • Zuckerberg & the charter scam Summers back to Harvard So Larry Summers is leaving as head of Obama’s National Economic Council. Everyone who talks about Summers assures us that he’s a very smart fellow, though he left Harvard, where he was president for five years, a financial wreck. (Background here, here, and here.) He’d advised the endowment to borrow heavily to speculate in derivatives that went sour, yielding billions in losses. But, as everyone will tell you, Larry is very smart. He did help… Read More

Radio commentary, January 21, 2010

In the economic news, more stumbling along the bottom. On Thursday morning, the Labor Department (not, by the way, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the main source of data in that agency, but in this case the Employment and Training Administration, another division within the Department—sorry to go all geeky on you) reported that first-time claims for unemployment insurance, filed by people who’ve just lost their jobs, rose by a sharp 36,000 last week. The Department said, however, that this rise was mostly the result of a holiday-related processing delays and not… Read More

Radio commentary, January 14, 2010

I’m going to keep the opening comments pretty short today. Though some of you have already heard my analysis of the December employment report, the WBAI audience hasn’t. So a quick reprise of that. In a phrase: quite disappointing. It looked for a bit like the labor market might finally be turning around, but those hopes were set back, though not thoroughly dashed, by the news that employers shed 85,000 jobs last month. Some of that might have been the result of terrible weather, even by the standards of Decembers. But there… Read More

Radio commentary, September 17, 2009

Mixed news on the economic front, as has been the case for weeks going on months. Which is better than what went before, meaning unmixed negatives, but is still a sign of how weak and tentative the economic stabilization has been so far. Thursday morning we learned that first-time claims for unemployment insurance declined last week by 12,000, exending the previous week’s decline of 19,000. But over the last couple of months, the decline that began in March and ran through July, seems to have stalled. And so-called continuing claims, that is… Read More