35 thoughts on “Economic Report of the President, 2024

  1. James

    President Biden and the Dems have been great stewards of the U.S. economy and set us up for above trend economic growth while preparing us to meet the challenges of climate change. The report shows that the Biden admin and Dems are a model for progressive responsible governance.
    What is the GOP offering ? – more tax cuts for billionaires and taking away Social Security and healthcare.

  2. Moses Herzog

    I know these can be overly optimistic from time to time, but am I to take it we can put a little more trust in this than when Hassett “The Maggot” was running the show??

  3. pgl

    First chapter:

    The Benefits of Full Employment

    This chapter is dedicated to Dr. William Spriggs and his lifelong efforts to promote economic justice for all. It is hoped that the chapter reflects his view: “Full employment should mean full employment for all; not some.” (Spriggs 2015)

    This chapter discusses the economic effects of tight labor markets—loosely speaking, when jobs are plentiful relative to searchers—on working families and the macroeconomy. This topic is of great consequence for working Americans, and thus also for the worker-centered policies of the Biden Harris Administration. The chapter draws attention to three economic periods characterized by tight labor markets: the late 1990s, the late 2010s, and the most recent period, starting in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Should be an interesting read as the author rebuts the usual trash we endure for good old John Hofer (or whatever our troll calls himself).

    1. Macroduck

      In that first chapter, beginning on page 30, is a section on monopsony in the labor market. We have been assured by a member if the troll choir that the economics profession ignores monopsony. That same troll has also criticized Democrats exclusively for ignoring workers, without ever criticizing Republicans. Somehow, economists working for a Democratic administration have written about monopsony in the labor market in the very first chapter of this report. In the process if writing about monopsony, they have cited 14 separate works by other economists, each of which, in turn, cites other works dealing with the structure of the labor market.

      The very same troll has recently instructed us that economists should stop paying attention to abstract concepts and pay more attention to, well, apparently to issues this troll hopes will stir up resentment among workers. Monopsony is, of course, an abstraction. There is more than one employee in the U.S., in every U.S. state, in every U.S. city and in most U.S. counties, so we cannot directly observe monopsony power in the labor market any more than we can directly observe r*.

      Trolls don’t concern themselves with consistency, or honesty, or even reality. This particular troll wants the U.S. political party which opposes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine out of power. He wants U.S. politics to be as divisive and destructive as possible.

      The evidence of this Report is that this administration and the economic advisers to this administration care about monopsony power, about full employment, about wages, about the environment, about housing, about our future. Only a troll would pretend otherwise.

      1. JohnH

        Love it! Totally out of character, Tricky Ducky suddenly wants to discuss monopsony!!! He managed to discover the word in the “Economic Report of the President, noting that the current Democratic administration has written about monopsony in the labor market in the very first chapter of the report! Woo-hoo!!

        An immediate question is begged: Is this just more political posturing? If I recall, Democrats ran on union card check in 2008 and then consigned it to the circular filet afterwards, despite a veto-proof majority in Congress. And Democrats, despite occasional chirps, have shown virtually no enthusiasm for raising the minimum wage from its 2007 level, despite a 50% rise in the CPI, and the pain the declining purchasing power of minimum wages has caused workers. Actions speak louder than words. Let’s see the beef!

        As for economists generally ignoring monopsony, I did a bit of research. According to a search of this blog, monopsony has been addressed a grand total of only 10 times in the whole history of this blog and its threads. So we have evidence of the degree of concern shown about monopsony by Tricky Ducky and other economists who comment here. While monopsony is not totally ignored, it patently obvious that it gets almost no attention.

        However, if the attention monopsony has gotten here is scant, it can be very good. In a relatively recent post, the host stated that “In recent exchange [1], some exhibited skepticism that monopsony power exists in labor markets. A recent article documents evidence that manufacturers exhibit such power. From Yeh (2022):

        “we show that the degree of employers’ market power is substantial and widespread in the U.S. manufacturing sector. A worker in the average manufacturing plant receives only 65 cents on each dollar generated in the margin. … We find that employers’ market power decreased between the late 1970s and the early 2000s but has sharply increased since.” https://econbrowser.com/archives/2022/01/employer-power-in-labor-markets-measured

        Better yet, Yeh showed a way to quantify it by manufacturing sector!

          1. Baffling

            Monsopsony is a term i have seen frequently in the comments section of this blog. It certainly has not been a concept that was ignored, as ponzi johnny seems to claim. You get a big fat pinnochio on that one ponzi johnny.

        1. Macroduck

          I see that Menzie has already corrected Johnny, but I sweat and strained and counted comments, so I’ll post this anyway. And thanks, Menzie.

          First, notice how Johnny has tried to change the subject, tell half-baked stories and lie about, well, about me. When his lies about economists ignoring market power are exposed, he starts thrashing around, trying to distract us.

          For instance:

          “Totally out of character, Tricky Ducky suddenly wants to discuss monopsony!!!”

          I have been part of a fairly regular exchange here regarding the extent of corporate power in labor markets and goods markets, and the Biden administration’s anti-trust actions. Johnny is simply lying when he claims – with three exclamation points!!! – that what I wrote above is out of character.

          Johnny has moved the goal posts. His claim has long been that “economists” or “mainstream economists” or sometimes “academic economists” ignore monopsony power. I’ve shown that he’s wrong. So what does Johnny do? He pretends that this blog is the issue. All he has to do is count up the mentions of monopsony on this blog. Actually, he short-counts the mentions of monopsony – see below.

          Johnny also pulls a rhetorical trick that I routinely warn writing students and colleagues about. Johnny pulls out a number – only ten times!!! – as if ten is a small number. Says who? Johnny. “Grand total of only” does all the rhetorical dirty work, so the number hardly matters. And he’s lying again when he says there are only ten instances, including comments. Hell, Moses has probably mentioned “greedflation” ten times, all by himself, and “greedflation” is just another term for monopsony pricing.

          Here’s what Johnny did: He used search box on the right-hand margin of this blog, querying “monopsony”. How many resutlts did he get? Ten, just like I did when I did the same thing. Here are a few:







          And so on, for a total of ten.

          So that’s all the attention anyone here has paid to monopsony, right? Nope. Johnny claimed that those ten included comments, too. I looked further – here are just a few of the ones he missed:





          Keeping mind that this is an economic blog. Anytime we discuss market power, pricing power, wages below the marginal cost of labor, “greedflation”, labor unions and a number of other related topics, we are implicitly discussing monopsony power. We know that, but Johnny apparently doesn’t.

          The boy can’t do economics, but he can sure lie about those who can.

          1. pgl

            “The boy can’t do economics” Pity Jonny boy’s preK teacher. She’s still trying to teach this moron to tie his own shoe laces.

          2. pgl

            We all know Jonny boy does not read actual economics so I decided to highlight this 2015 piece from Dr. William Springs:

            The Case Of Women: Why The Fed Isn’t Close to Achieving Full Employment And Shouldn’t Be Discussing Raising Interest Rates


            I bet little Jonny boy back then was banging the drum for the FED to raise interest rates. Of course Jonny boy both hates full employment as much as he loathes the idea that working women get a real chance to share in rising prosperity.

        2. pgl

          Listen little liar – check out the resume of Dr. William Spriggs. Of course after you check out that Professor Emeritus at Dr. Chinn’s school. Your comments here are beyond dishonest and dumb. They are disgusting.

        3. pgl

          Your link to that excellent post from our host completely undermines your disgusting claim that this blog pays little attention to monopsony power. Dude – we get you are a moron so relax. Your continual efforts to show how utterly stupid you can be have become redundant.

      2. pgl

        There is one member of the troll choir that has gone rogue. Princeton Stupid Steve has claimed over and over again that there cannot be monopsony power in the US labor market. Of course this claim is idiotic. But how many times has little Jonny boy fired back at Stevie pooh? Zero.

    2. JohnH

      Interesting how they dealt with wage compression…and stopped at the 90th percentile, conveniently evading the issue of the rise in incomes of the top 10%, particularly their income from unrealized capital gains.

      As for the benefits of the tight labor market, the evidence is mixed. Some indicators show a rise in real earnings and average wages, while the employment cost index for wages and salaries shows a decline. The actual, realized benefit of the tight labor market is put further into question by the fact that the rise occurred mostly during the past year, as the rate of inflation declined (the Fed takes credit for that.) Before the decline in inflation became significant, labor markets were very tight, and real wages dropped.

      1. Macroduck

        Uh, no to nearly all of this. Johnny is mumbling again.

        “The actual, realized benefit of the tight labor market is put further into question by the fact that the rise occurred mostly during the past year,…”

        The gains of the past year don’t count? What, exactly, does “called into question” mean here? Most likely, it means “I need to keep people from noticing that a tight labor market is doing exactly what the textbook says it does.”

        With Johnny, it’s always the mumbling that matters. Facts don’t count. Well, here are the facts:


        Who are you going to believe, lying Johnny or your own eyes?

        Apologies to Groucho.

      2. pgl

        “As for the benefits of the tight labor market, the evidence is mixed.”

        Is it mixed? Oh right – Jonny boy cheers for recessions as Jonny boy thinks they raise real wages. Yea – Jonny boy is a friggin MORON.

    1. Moses Herzog

      I used to work for Reagan recruiting kids for war, and fought shoulder to shoulder together with Reagan against the Japanese on the Culver City and Burbank front lines. As you can imagine the hand-to-hand combat that Reagan and I experienced in southern California was vicious. Reagan and I never discussed it with men who didn’t serve together with us. Mister, it’s “job creators”, not the drab word employer, ok??

  4. Bruce Hall

    Just a couple of data:
    • The Labor Participation Rate is still 0.8pp below when Trump left office
    • The Employment-Population Ratio is still 1.0pp below when Trump left office

    It appears that those who want to find work can find work, but few people in total seem to want to find work for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the discussion should not be about a qualified “full employment”, but why more people are not working than there should be. “Justice” would be those who are able to work do, not just those who want to work do. But there is great resistance to saying one should work if one can and wants supplemental assistance (not those who are physically or mentally unable to do so). The argument is that such requirements are unfair and difficult. That’s another topic.

    Additionally, in May 2022 the U.S. Chamber surveyed unemployed workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic to gain more insight on what is keeping them from returning to work. Here are a few of the key findings.

    Two thirds (66%) of Americans who lost their full-time job during the pandemic say they are only somewhat active or not very active at all in searching for a new job.
    About half (49%) are not willing to take jobs that do not offer the opportunity for remote work.
    More than a quarter (26%) say it will never again be essential for them to return to work.
    Nearly one in five have altered their livelihood, 17% have retired, 19% have transitioned to homemaker, and 14% are now working part time.
    Almost a quarter (24%) say government aid packages during the pandemic have incentivized them to not actively look for work.
    Younger respondents, aged 25-34, are prioritizing personal growth over searching for a job right now; 36% say they’re more focused on acquiring new skills, education or training before re-entering the job market.


    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Bruce Hall: Labor force participation rate (CIVPART in FRED) in February 2024 was 62.5%, compared to 61.3% in January 2021. By my counting, CIVPART is 1.2 ppts higher in February than when Trump left office. Corresponding numbers for employment to population ratio (EMRATIO in FRED) are 60.1 vs. 57.4, a 2.7 ppt difference.

      1. pgl

        Brucie is pretending Trump left office in early 2020. Well – it is true Trump did NOTHING to combat COVID.

      2. Bruce Hall

        Yes, that’s correct. 62.5% is higher than 61.3% but lower than the 63.3% rate of Jan 2020 before the CDC encouraged states to shut down the economy. The comparable numbers for EMRATIO are 61.1% vs. 60.1%.

        Other than the unnecessary economy shutdown of 2020, the EMRATIO had been steadily increasing for a decade, including the first three years under Trump. The number for February 2024 is the same as March 2022. That’s hardly progress.

        1. pgl

          “that’s correct. 62.5% is higher than 61.3% but lower than the 63.3% rate of Jan 2020”

          So you admit that Trump was AWOL during his last year in office. Brucie boy – Kelly Anne Conway is not happy with this.

        2. pgl

          “Other than the unnecessary economy shutdown of 2020”

          Unnecessary? Now I get you wanted a lot of old people to die but since you are still holding up in your basement, you need your mommy to get your groceries.

  5. Macroduck

    The President’s Report contains a section on term premium, which notes that term premium had gone from negative to positive, and is now alternating between the two. Here are term premium estimates for 2s, 5s and 10s:


    Notice that term premium for 2s is again persistently negative while premium on 5s and 10s is near zero. None of this is yet “normal” in the sense of a positive and upward sloping term-premium curve, but the last time we were normal in that sense was Spring of 2011.

    I’m curious as to why there is excess demand for 2s right now, relative to longer maturities; duration is out of fashion for some reason, but I can’t think of what it is. The weighted average maturity of Treasury debt outstanding has fallen back to pre-Covid levels, so that’s not a reason to prefer short paper. The Fed’s reduction of its portfolio continues apace, so that’s not it. Twos/funds is still inverted, so that’s not it.

    Not the most fascinating topic for most folks, but I’m curious.

    1. Ivan

      There are just so many things that goes into rates at different maturation. Presumably the markets will even most of it out by always buying the best deal. So if treasury and the Fed offers an excess of a particular maturity then the markets will purchase more of those and get rates “back in line” with the fundamentals. My guess would be that there could be some excess desire for shorter maturations if people are not sure how fast rates will move in a particular direction. At longer terms you lock in your guess (for better or worse), whereas shorter terms allow you to “re-guess” much earlier.

    2. joseph

      “Notice that term premium for 2s is again persistently negative while premium on 5s and 10s is near zero.”

      Did you have a typo there? Currently the 5s are negative while the 2s and 10s are near zero. There’s a dip in the middle of the curve.

  6. Macroduck

    Off topic – House politics:

    Taylor-Green has filed a motion to boot Johnson from the Speakership. The timing is interesting, as yet another Republican House Member has announced his resignation, so that Johnson needs all but one (says both The Hill and Politico) GOP vote to hold power, and we know Taylor-Green won’t vote for Johnson.

    Politico suggests this may be good for Ukraine. House Democrats would normally vote to boot any Republican Speaker, but might support Johnson in return for a vote on the Senate’s Ukraine aid bill.

    It’s pretty clear that the four House Republicans who have announced early resignations this year have done so because of the likes of Taylor-Green and Matt Geatz. Democrats have the power to neuter these bad apples, even if they can’t shut them up.

    1. Ivan

      You can also look at it this way. Jeffries just needs to convince 2 GOP members to vote for him. Then he will be speaker and can put all kinds of things up for a vote in the house.

      MTG did this as a way to register unhappiness with the outcomes in the passed budgets. She is not the brightest light in the dim “chaos caucus” but did not actually set a date for the motion – so she still has an off ramp. It will be very interesting to see what happens. Trump may insert himself into this and since MTG is running heavily for vice-president candidate he will decide where this end.

      1. Baffling

        I found it interesting she did not actually proceed with the vote. It is all posturing. The speaker has now called them on this game. I dont think he will be removed again.

        1. Ivan

          Yes he called their bluff and now he should be safe until the election. He will have more room for action on border security and Ukraine/Israel deal, but probably will not do anything on anything. Action is a lot more dangerous than inaction.

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