Tag: "economy"

Minimum Wage and the Quaint Little Diner

I had the pleasure of vacationing in southern Utah last week and spending time in a couple of their breathtaking national parks.  I have been to several remote parts of the United States, but I have to say that the “otherworldly” landscape of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks, as well as the few towns […]

Does Extending Unemployment Benefits Really Help the Unemployed?

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, introduced during the Great Recession, provided the long-term unemployed a maximum 99 weeks of benefits. The program ended in December 2013, and Congress decided not to reauthorize the unprecedented benefit extensions. Recent studies show that the economy had not been affected by the benefit cut, and unemployment kept decreasing thereafter. […]

Are Weekly Jobless Claims Numbers a Concern? Yes and No.

Economists’ predictions were a bit off this week pertaining to the number of applications filed for unemployment benefits, according to Shobhana Chandra in Bloomberg.  Forty-eight economists surveyed predicted 290,000 jobless claims for the week ending January 10.  But the actual count was 316,000, the most since early September.  Is this a cause for concern?  In and of […]

Is Having a Job a Necessity or Simply an Option?

According to Josh Zumbrun in the Wall Street Journal, the improving economy is simply not enough to get people back into the labor force.  Zumbrun features three “nagging indicator” charts showing that a dramatic share of the unemployed are simply leaving the workforce (particularly since 2008), the rate of unemployed reentering the workforce is the lowest […]

Los Angeles Planning to Hike the Minimum Wage for Hotel Employees

Just when I thought the granola state could not get any nuttier, here comes a city-council approved plan (to be subject to a final procedural vote and the mayor’s signature), to hike the minimum wage for employees of large hotels to $15.37 an hour. The law would apply to hotels with 300 or more rooms […]

More Evidence: Unemployment Benefits Hurt the Unemployed

In an earlier post, I highlighted a study from the Federal Reserve concluding that the extension of unemployment benefits through December 2013 may have prolonged unemployment. Several previous studies over the past decades have suggested this same effect of unemployment benefits.  To add to the body of evidence, a study just released from the House […]

Yes, State Taxes Matter

A recent study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that, unsurprisingly, states with higher taxes have lower economic growth, even when controlling for a variety of factors including a state’s population growth, educational attainment, and value of natural resources.  One of the study’s findings?  A one-percent increase in the average tax rate […]

New Fed Study On Unemployment Benefits

If the North Carolina experience with unemployment benefits was not convincing enough for naysayers, a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis finds that the expiration of unemployment benefits in December 2013 may have reduced unemployment in early 2014.  No surprise here, but worth noting.

Seattle and Midland: A Tale of Two Cities

I was perusing the latest news on jobs and wages this morning, and I have been intrigued by the happenings in Seattle recently – the city council’s approval to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour (phased in over seven years) and now a proposed plan for free universal pre-school paid for with a $58 […]

You Read It Here First…Maybe College is Overrated

In a recent Bloomberg article, Ohio University economist Richard Vedder wrote about the plethora of college degrees being churned out annually compared to the supply of jobs that historically not required a degree.  Dr. Vedder is an expert in higher education and has long bemoaned the “college at all costs” policy used to promote federal student […]