According to today’s release, employment and hours downturns in Wisconsin and Kansas continue. The Wisconsin economic downturn continues along several other dimensions (with the labor force now declining).
I spent the last two weeks in Boston at the NBER Summer Institute where I learned about a lot of interesting new economic research. Here I describe a new paper by Jae Song, David Price, Fatih Guvenen, Nicholas Bloom, and Till von Wachter on the role of firm-specific factors in rising income inequality.
Wisconsin employment has now fallen below pre-recession peaks…
[Updated, with comments from WMC and Lt. Gov. Kleefisch; warning – your head will hurt after reading]
Figures released this afternoon indicate the three month change in nonfarm payroll employment and civilian employment have been negative for two and three months respectively. Since the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) memo makes no mention of this, I think it useful to document the negative trends in Wisconsin employment.
Today, we’re fortunate to have a guest contribution by Jeffry Frieden, Stanfield Professor of International Peace at Harvard University, and author of the newly published book Currency Politics: The Political Economy of Exchange Rate Policy (Princeton University Press, 2015). This post is based upon this paper.
In my interview with NPR’s Jim Zarolli, the question came up about wage developments. Embarrassingly, I had no opinion, having not looked at the data (I know that doesn’t stop some people from opining; in any case, that question and lots of other stuff didn’t make it into the piece that aired). Well, I looked up the data, and surprisingly the level of real hourly earnings in May 2015 is the same as it was in January 2011(!).
Even if Greek Prime Minister Tsipras is able to maneuver the new agreement through the parliament , it’s not clear to me that — even with the aid and reprofiling of debt — Greece will resume growth (see discussion O’Brien/Wonkblog). That’s true even though there has been noticeable adjustment in production costs in Greece.
It’s very clear that two things have to happen from here. First, Greece needs relief from its mountain of debt, and second, the country needs to find a way to become more competitive economically.