Breakingviews

German job miracle keeps defying gloom-mongers

May 29, 2015

Most experts predicted that January’s imposition of a national minimum wage would lead to heavy job losses. But employment in Germany keeps rising and economists are confused. The fears may yet be vindicated, although it could take a recession to show they were right.

America: land of phantom job openings

November 7, 2014

At 4.8 mln, it’s the most positions free since January 2001. Yet the hiring rate keeps falling. The largest gap is in low-wage roles. Comparatively high unemployment for less-educated workers suggests a skills deficit isn’t the problem. Companies just aren’t adding personnel.

Can sterling hit $2? Only with a perfect storm

June 18, 2014

Having touched $1.70, the pound is on the brink of escaping its five-year range. A return to $2 looks like a fantasy right now. But a more hawkish BoE, a dovish Fed, a Scottish “No” to independence, and a narrowing of the UK’s twin deficits would do a lot to close the reality gap.

U.S. recovery now not jobless, only homeless

January 6, 2012

Despite the 200,000 new jobs last month and another drop in unemployment, job creation is still slower than in recent recoveries and looks a bit like the early 1960s. That’s partly because the weak housing market means few new construction jobs. Still, Obama can breathe easier.

Women are still winning the U.S. jobs game

January 9, 2012

They’ve nabbed only a fraction of the 1.4 mln roles added since mid-2009, new data show. But the post-crisis “Mancession” hurt XYers more. Men getting jobs back isn’t the same as women losing ground. They’re ahead, and should stay that way if education-related trends persist.

U.S. student debt on scary trajectory

July 18, 2012

New statistics from the New York Fed show education loans piling up at an unsustainable rate and delinquencies staying high even as the economy improves. The path to serious trouble is becoming more obvious. Rather than tackling it, though, policymakers are fueling the problem.

Obama job adds match Bush, Clinton but not Reagan

September 7, 2012

Thirty months after the U.S. nadir, employment is a bit over 3 pct higher. That’s in line with the post-recession record of the last 2-1/2 presidents - but far short of Reagan’s 10 pct. The August picture was also mixed: both presidential hopefuls, and the Fed, get talking points.

Japanese workers need to go back to the 1980s

April 23, 2013

Whether the Bank of Japan’s money-printing succeeds in engineering 2 percent inflation depends on wages growing by about 5 percent a year. Although Japanese workers haven’t seen such largesse for two decades, a weak yen and a tightening labour market could do the trick.

Global snowbelt leaves the world behind

October 2, 2013

From a southern country and want to succeed? Head north, to the global snowbelt. That may be the message of a new Human Capital Index. Talent is squandered in much of the world while newcomers help the U.S. cover up domestic failures. Migration risks reinforcing economic gaps.

No wind in these sales

October 14, 2009

Families have levels of debt that remain stubbornly high and are still close to twice the peak of the 1980s boom. Yet consumers have returned to saving just 3 percent of disposable income. At such a snail's pace it will take roughly 9 years to bring household debt down to a more reasonable level of around 100 percent of disposable income.