James Pethokoukis

Is the amazing American jobs machine broken?

October 21, 2009

This chart, constructed by the Vice President’s office via BLS data, would seem to indicate just that:

Kudlow: Enjoy the recovery while it lasts

October 15, 2009

The Great One opines thusly:

But storm clouds are gathering. And a big one is the sinking dollar. No one in the Obama administration or at the Fed seems to care about it. In fact, they are probably applauding the lower dollar as a sort of 1970s way of boosting exports and the manufacturing heartland in the Midwest. But the falling dollar is bad for consumers. And it ultimately will cause higher inflation, as signaled by the rising gold price. There also are future tax hikes and the explosion of spending and debt. All of this is why it’s hard for me to be a long-term bull.

The Obama housing plan? Fail — at least so far

October 13, 2009

My Reuters colleagues give the tale of the tape:

Obama, grappling with the worst U.S. housing crisis since the Great Depression, pledged to help as many as 9 million families keep their homes by reworking their mortgages.

The Michigan economic example

October 7, 2009

Both California and Michigan are turning into powerful economic examples of what not to do. Here is a bit on Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s green job push:

Noam Scheiber: Be happy with 8 percent unemployment in 2012, America

October 7, 2009

Over at his TNR blog, Noam Scheiber wonders what unemployment will be when Obama runs for reelection, noting that IHS Global Insight predicts it will be 8.1 percent:

Is America stuck with high unemployment?

October 5, 2009

Is there a “new normal” for the American labor market? Are the days of an unemployment rate of just 4 to 5 percent a thing of the past?

A second stimulus?

October 5, 2009

A NY Times story by my pal John Harwood hints at a second stimulus package may be brewing:

When the US labor market will begin to recover

October 5, 2009

Ed Yardeni has been crunching the numbers:

Based on the previous two cycles, employment might recover within the next 11-21 months after June, or between May 2010 and March 2011! It fell 289,000 during the 11 months following the recession trough of March 1991 and 1.08mn during the 21 months following the November 2001 trough. So far, it is down 768,000 from June through September. A similar analysis suggests that the unemployment rate should peak 15-19 months after June, or sometime between September 2010 and January 2011!

Is the US labor market broken?

October 2, 2009

US unemployment has been far worse than economists would have expected given the magnitude of GDP decline. Has something structurally changed with the American labor market? An interesting angle on this from Brian Wesbury and Bob Stein of First Trust Advisers:

How’s the private sector doing?

October 1, 2009

Not so good. As this GDP chart from my pal Donald Marron shows:

marronchart