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July 2024

Why still no robust employment recovery?

Gary Becker summarizes the reasons for the slow job recovery into three categories:

1. The aftermath of a big financial crisis, as explained by the research done by Reinhart and Rogoff;

2. Policy and regulation uncertainties hinder investment, although Corporate America are flooded with cash;

3. Relatively more generous unemployment benefits offer no immediate incentives for job seeking, keeping a non-negligible proportion of population out of labor force.

(graph courtesy of Calculated Risk)

Jobless recovery – the role of multinationals

WSJ research reveals that the largest U.S.-based multinational companies added jobs much faster than other U.S. employers in the past two years, but nearly three-fourths of those jobs were overseas.

Between 2009 and 2011, these multinational firms boosted their employment at home by 3.1%, or 113,000 jobs, the same rate of increase as the nation’s other employers.  But they also added more than 333,000 jobs in their far-flung—and faster-growing— foreign operations.

(click for details)

State of US economic recovery

Almost three years after the recession ended, where do we stand now, in terms of employment and investment?

Not much to cheer about.

(Graph courtesy of San Francisco Fed. )


What is dragging economic recovery?

Compare housing starts and unemployment across different business cycles:



(graph courtesy of Wells Fargo economic research team)

What’s wrong with America’s job engine?

A nice video/graphical analysis from WSJ:

A conversation with Alan Greenspan

Charlie Rose interviews former Fed Chairman Greenspan. He talks about the almost certainty of a Greek default, why US economic recovery has been so weak, prospect for inflation, among other things.   Despite that his reputation was severely tarnished in the past few years,  Greenspan offered some really good insights of the current state of the economy.

(click on the graph for the interview)

What is dragging economic recovery?

What impedes banks from lending more widely, and what prevents businesses from hiring? It could be the uncertainty in coming regulation rules, at least that’s what Jamie Dimon fears.  It’s remarkable that Jamie Dimon went public with his frustrations.

An inside analysis:

What’s holding back small businesses?

Here’s a chart from NYT breaking down what percent of small businesses cited each of these problems as their biggest challenge, going back to 1986:


Besides weak demand as shown up in poor sales, uncertainties in tax issues and government regulations are small business’ biggest concerns.