[This is the edited text of a talk I gave via Zoom, like everything else these days, sponsored by the North Brooklyn chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America. It reprises and updates several things I’ve written recently, but it’s hard to be original these days. Video will be posted, but who wants to look at me? The Q&A was quite good though.] Before I get into the body of my talk, I want to celebrate our electoral victories and say how proud I am to be a member of DSA. If… Read More
When Trump promised to end “American carnage” in his inaugural address, he had no idea he’d end up presiding over mass death and economic collapse, but history can be a brutal ironist. Here’s a look at the bloodletting in the job market, which is central to most people’s economic well-being. Most of the time, the monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is of interest mostly to econogeeks, but the April 2020 edition, released on Friday, May 8, was like no other since the end of World War II. The… Read More
This morning the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 701,000 jobs disappeared in March. Economists had been expecting about a third that number. Hardest hit were bars and restaurants, accounting for 60% of the loss. Also hit hard: retail, temp work, and, shockingly, health care. One reason job loss expectations were relatively low was that the survey of employers on which the count is based is done during the week containing the 12th—in this case, between March 8 and 14. (No one is expecting anything but a torrent of bad news in… Read More
The irrepressible Jack Rasmus, who has never demonstrated any real understanding of how economic statistics are constructed, has a new post claiming that the “real” unemployment rate is more like 10–12% than the officially reported 3.7%. He has a point, even if it’s somewhat overstated. The government’s own broad unemployment rate, U-6, was 7.2% in August, nearly twice the headline rate, though short of the Rasmus rate. (See table A-15 here.) One of the ways the government undercounts the unemployed, says Rasmus, is that the monthly survey “misses a lot of workers… Read More
This is the first in a series of lbo-news posts about the state of the U.S. job market. On March 10, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the employment report for February showing a robust job market, Donald Trump finally liked the numbers. His press agent, Sean Spicer, quoted him as saying “They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now.” Trump himself retweeted Matt Drudge’s gloss on the news that employers added 235,000 jobs in the month as proof that America was already “GREAT AGAIN.” That was… Read More
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
Freshly posted to my radio archives: April 9, 2011 Carrie Lane, author of A Company of One, on how unemployed tech workers see themselves (as heroic, self-reliant questers, mostly) • Adolph Reed on the uselessness of TV liberals, the limits of spontaneity in politics, and the sponginess of race as a politlcal and analytical category
Left Business Observer #125 is out! Already emailed to electronic subscribers, and on press for the dead tree contingent. Contents: a risky return to the familiar college: best way to make a buck, especially if you’ve already got a few contemplating exits; Obama’s stingy budget unemployment & GDP: U.S. more savage than usual Tastes here. But why settle for a tease when you can get the real thing for just a few bucks? Support the kind of economic and political analysis you can’t get anywhere else: LBO subscription info.