Strikes upset France’s reform calculus

May 24, 2016

Labour law changes forced through by the Socialist government are sparking strikes in refineries, ports, and railways. The benefits of the measures were watered down when the reforms were diluted. Protracted social unrest could deter investment and push up the costs.

Brexit job risk threatens more than just bankers

April 15, 2016

The UK might miss out on 100,000 finance roles by 2020 if it quits Europe, a trade group says. The reason those outside the City should be concerned is that the real impact could be wider and more prolonged. The trouble is, immediate job losses elsewhere may seem a bigger risk.

Darkening German economy could be Merkel’s nemesis

February 9, 2016

Falling industrial production and weak exports suggest emerging markets may be chipping away at Germany’s economic miracle. Chancellor Angela Merkel has ridden out a refugee crisis. But if economic weakness is allowed to reach labour markets, her political fate could be sealed.

Jobs and wages mean rate hikes are go!

December 4, 2015

Barring market meltdown at home or abroad, American job creation in November looks strong enough to allow Janet Yellen’s Fed to lift interest rates this month after seven years near zero. The shift in stance is overdue, but unexciting growth will keep the central bank wary.

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.