PERC Blog


Authored by PERC staff, the PERC Blog focuses on policy issues including economic trends, fiscal policy, Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs, income inequality and Federal Reserve policy.

Weathering the Storm

Posted: May 12, 2022 by Somali Ghosh Sinha, Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Retirees and near-term retirees have taken a financial hit since the start of the year. From the end of 2021 to the present, equity index funds are down 16% and bond index funds are down almost 13%. In addition, traditional defined benefit pension plans – especially those that do not have cost of living provisions – are worth less as...
Tags: Economic Trends, Labor

Inflation, Rising Wages, and Declining Real Wages: The Situation through April

Posted: May 11, 2022 by Dennis W. Jansen
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just released the Consumer Price Index for April 2022 and the price level has now increased 10.1% from January 2021 to April 2022 and 8.2% from April of last year.  This year-over-year inflation rate in April was slightly lower than the March year-over-year inflation rate of 8.6%.  For all of 2021, ...
Tags: Economic Trends, Federal Reserve

A Tale of Seven Inflation Measures

Posted: April 29, 2022 by Dennis W. Jansen
We have many measures of inflation rates as they impact consumers and households.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) produces several versions of the Consumer Price Index.  Perhaps the most widely cited is the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).  For Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, the inflation prote...
Tags: Economic Trends, Federal Reserve

Prices are Rising at Historic Rates, and Rising Much Faster than Wages

Posted: April 12, 2022 by Dennis W. Jansen
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just released the Consumer Price Index for March 2022 and the price level has now increased 9.7% from January 2021 to March 2022 and 8.5% from March of last year.  Moreover, the increase in prices has been accelerating.  From the first three months of 2022, prices have risen at an annualized rate of...
Tags: Economic Trends, Federal Reserve

Rising Gas Prices

Posted: March 25, 2022 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Each time we fill up our car we are reminded of rising gas prices. At the beginning of this week, the average price of gas across all formulations was $4.24 per gallon. While gas prices are rising along with many other goods and services we buy, the question is: are gas prices higher now than in the past? The answer is yes and no....
Tags: Economic Trends

Wages and Prices as of January 2022 – The Spiral Has Begun

Posted: February 11, 2022 by Dennis W. Jansen
Wages were up substantially in the twelve months that ended in January 2022. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that average hourly earnings of all employees in the private sector increased from $29.93 in January 2021 to $31.63 in January 2022. This is a hefty 5.7% increase, and normally would be something to trumpet. However, the BLS ...
Tags: Economic Trends

Wages and Prices in 2021 – Looks Like Old Keynesian Policy

Posted: January 18, 2022 by Dennis W. Jansen
Wages were up in 2021.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that average hourly earnings of all employees in the private sector increased on a seasonally adjusted basis from $29.91 in December 2020 to $31.31 in December, an increase of 4.7% year-over-year.  This seems like great news for workers. Workers, howeve...
Tags: Economic Trends, Labor

The Great Resignation? No, The Great Worker Churn

Posted: January 10, 2022 by Dennis W. Jansen
‘The Great Resignation’ is all over the news.  Millions of Americans are quitting their jobs – 4.5 million in November.  A record number, and a phenomenon that needs to be explained.  Most commentators mention pay, but we also read about burnout, concerns about management and opportunities for advancement.  ...
Tags: Economic Trends, Labor

This Just In - Local Area Real GDP Numbers (for 2020)

Posted: December 10, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen
Yesterday and today, December 7 and 8, the Bureau of Economic Analysis released its estimates of real GDP (RGDP) for counties and for metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) for 2020.  That is, for last year.  Further, unlike national estimates, the local county and MSA-level estimates are only annual, and thus do not capture the large c...
Tags: Economic Trends

How Transitory is Transitory Inflation?

Posted: December 03, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
‘Transitory’ is the adjective used by the Federal Reserve System to describe the recent rise in inflation. Regardless of the inflation measure, since May, inflation has been higher than it has been since 2010, as seen in Figure 1. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 6.2% between October 2020 and October 2021 and the index that exclud...
Tags: Economic Trends, Federal Reserve

College Enrollment During the Pandemic: Texas and the U.S.

Posted: November 01, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Enrollment in colleges and universities across the county has fallen over the past two years. Based on results from the National Student Clearinghouse, enrollment at public four-year colleges and universities fell 2.3% from 2020 to 2021 and fell 4.6% between 2019 and 2021.1 Community College enrollment fell even more at 9% between 201...
Tags: Economic Trends, Education

College Station – Bryan MSA Unemployment Rate Released

Posted: September 08, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) just released unemployment rates for Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) for July 2021, and the College Station – Bryan (CSB) MSA rate fell from 5.0% in June to 4.4% in July. Meanwhile, the state of Texas rate fell from 6.5% to 6.2%, and the national rate fell from 5.9% to 5.4%. (The U.S. rate is avai...
Tags: Economic Trends

The Tale of Two Recessions

Posted: July 21, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Its official; the Pandemic Recession lasted just two months! The previous cyclical peak was February 2020, and the trough occurred in April 2020.  March and April 2020 are in the books for the shortest recession on record. Since that time, we have been in an expansion.  This  news comes from the Business Cycle Dating Committee of ...
Tags: Economic Trends

Equal Opportunity Yes. Equal Talent No.

Posted: July 15, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen
I wonder if anyone else is dismayed by that emotional and uplifting television advertisement from a certain university, the ‘Stand Up’ commercial. If you watch enough TV you have heard it. You know, “Stand up if you are a working mother” and “Stand up if you are a first-generation college student.” But my dism...
Tags: Economic Trends

Not There Just Yet

Posted: July 06, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
With the summer travel season in full swing, airlines are seeing their passenger counts increase.  For two days last week, the number of travelers through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints exceeded the number of travelers on the same days of the week in 2019.  This was the first time since the start of the pandem...
Tags: Economic Trends

This Time College Station-Bryan is not Different: the Current Recession

Posted: June 17, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
During a recession we expect to see employment decline, the jobless rate go up, the total wage bill shrink, and the overall consumption level contract. However, the impact of a recession varies across regions and metropolitan areas. Here we examine how employment, unemployment, and total wages changed during the last three recessions.  Thes...
Tags: Economic Trends, Labor

Apology Forthcoming?

Posted: May 26, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen
On March 2 Governor Abbott announced that businesses in Texas could reopen at 100% capacity, and he lifted the statewide mask mandate.  (Local businesses were of course allowed to require their customers to wear masks inside their shops.) The very next day, President Biden called this decision by Governor Abbott a “big ...
Tags: Economic Trends, Health care

Employment, Hours and Earnings

Posted: May 13, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Between March and April, nonfarm employment rose by 266,000. April’s employment was down 5.4% from its pre-pandemic high in February of 2020. The figure below tracks nonfarm employment, total private sector employment and employment in the Leisure and Hospitality industry. Relative to their respective pre-pandemic highs, total private empl...
Tags: Economic Trends, Labor

The Pandemic Misery Index of North American States/Provinces

Posted: May 06, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Over the past year, the Private Enterprise Research Center has presented its Pandemic Misery Index, or PMI, to assess how different states and metropolitan areas have fared over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. PERC’s PMI adds together the COVID-19 death rate per 10,000 of population to the average unemployment rate over the period ...
Tags: Economic Trends, Interactive

U.S. GDP, Employment, and the State of the Economy in Late April 2021

Posted: April 30, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) just reported the advance estimate of U.S. Real GDP (or inflation-adjusted GDP) for the first quarter of 2021. Headlines report that Real GDP grew at an annual rate of 6.4% this quarter, which is what would happen if the actual quarterly growth rate of 1.6% continued for four consecutive quarters. ...
Tags: Economic Trends

A Texas Puzzle: High Employment, High Unemployment Rate

Posted: April 05, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
This is an unusual, interesting recession. Personal savings are up, as is personal income. In this recession, unemployment did not increase gradually, it skyrocketed, reaching its recession maximum in just two months. Currently, Texas has an unemployment rate that is above the national rate, and by a fair bit.  Typically, Tex...
Tags: Economic Trends

Pandemic Misery Index: February 2021 Update for Metropolitan Areas

Posted: February 26, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The Private Enterprise Research Center introduced the Pandemic Misery Index (PMI) to provide a simple metric to measure the performance of various political entities for both states and metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. This post provides an update to our reported PMI values for various MSA’s throu...
Tags: Economic Trends, Interactive

U.S. GDP 2020

Posted: February 01, 2021 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Late last week, the preliminary Q4 2020 Real GDP estimate was released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Real GDP increased 1% from Q3 to Q4, increasing from $18.597 trillion to $18.780 trillion. For the year, Q4 2019 through Q4 2020, Real GDP was down 2.5%.  But it was a volatile and rocky road during the coronavirus pandemic &ndas...
Tags: Economic Trends

County and MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) GDP Data Released Today

Posted: December 09, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Today, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its estimates of county-level Real GDP for 2019.  That’s right, today - almost mid-December of 2020 - we have official Real GDP values for the calendar year 2019.  We now ‘know’ what happened a year ago.  And it goes without saying that 2020, the year of the vi...
Tags: Economic Trends

PERC’s Pandemic Misery Index Updated -- How the States Stack Up

Posted: December 09, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The PMI is an easy-to-use metric of how states are dealing with the twin crises brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the public health crisis and the economic crisis.  Taking a cue from Arthur Okun’s misery index that added together the inflation rate and the unemployment rate, PERC’s PMI includes a measure of the public heal...
Tags: Economic Trends, Interactive

Texas Statewide Unemployment Rate for October is Back to August Levels

Posted: November 23, 2020 by Dennis W, Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported late last week that the statewide Texas unemployment rate for October, seasonally adjusted, was 6.9%, essentially the same as the 6.8% rate reported for August. The statewide rate took a large upward turn in September to 8.3%, the first upward movement since April. The October reading indicates a return of...
Tags: Economic Trends

2020 Pandemic Misery Index: Update for Metropolitan Areas

Posted: November 09, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The Private Enterprise Research Center introduced the Pandemic Misery Index (PMI) to provide a simple metric to measure the performance of various political entities, both states and metropolitan statistical areas (or MSA’s) in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.  This posting provides an update to our earlier reported PMI values for ...
Tags: Economic Trends, Interactive

The Recession: This Time It's Different

Posted: November 04, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
This recession is different, to say the least. It began with government-mandated business restrictions and business closures aimed at mitigating the public health ravages of Covid-19, and these led to a dramatic rise in unemployment that has no match in our history for speed and magnitude. Then as these government restrictions were lifted, there...
Tags: Economic Trends

Unemployment Rates and Nonfarm Employment

Posted: October 30, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Starting in March, the labor market has been rocked by the responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, from the initial public health responses involving government-imposed lockdowns, followed by staged business reopenings, and overlaid with individual behavioral changes in response to the health implications and risks of the virus. In April, unemployme...
Tags: Economic Trends

Texas Unemployment Rates Rise in All Texas MSAs

Posted: October 29, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The unemployment rate increased between August and September in all 25 Texas metro areas according to yesterday’s release of labor area unemployment statistics by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figure below depicts the August and September unemployment rates for all Texas MSAs. The solid portion of each bar shows the Au...
Tags: Economic Trends, Health care

2020 Pandemic Misery Index: Assessing Metropolitan Areas in the U.S.

Posted: October 05, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Last month, the Private Enterprise Research Center published the Pandemic Misery Index (PMI) for states, which measures the effects of the pandemic on each state and the states’ responses to the pandemic in terms of impact on health an...
Tags: Economic Trends, Interactive

Unemployment Rate in College Station-Bryan Remains One of the Lowest in Texas

Posted: October 01, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The August unemployment rate in College Station-Bryan dropped to 4.3% from a revised 5.3% in July. The local area unemployment rate continues to improve here, and throughout Texas.  The local rate was second only to Amarillo’s 4.1% rate among the 25 Texas Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Tied for the third-lowest rate were Sherman-Deni...
Tags: Economic Trends

2020 Pandemic Misery Index: How the States Stack Up

Posted: September 08, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Which state has been more effective at dealing with Covid-19, New York or Texas? Who has done better at stemming the spread of the virus and keeping businesses afloat, California or Florida?   The answer to these questions depends on how we define and measure ‘effectiveness.’  As shelter-in-place orders...
Tags: Economic Trends, Interactive

The Summer Without Vacations and the Hospitality and Leisure Industry

Posted: August 11, 2020 by Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Between June 2009, the end of the Great Recession, and February 2020, the start of the COVID Recession, total nonfarm employment grew by over 16%. In the private sector, employment grew almost 20%.  The figure below depicts employment by industry indexed to the respective industries’ employment in June 2009. Employment in Transportati...
Tags: Economic Trends

Plunging U.S. and European GDP in the Second Quarter of 2020: A Tale of Two Headlines

Posted: August 03, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen
Recent estimates on GDP that show drastic declines for both the U.S. and Europe have taken a firm hold in the news cycle over the past few days. But these headlines point to very different magnitudes of change. For example, cnbc.com has the following two headlines: For the U.S. on July 30: “<a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020...
Tags: Economic Trends

GDP Fell 32.9% in the Second Quarter! What Does that Mean?

Posted: July 31, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported yesterday that in its preliminary estimate the U.S. Gross Domestic Product – GDP – fell at an annualized rate of 34.3% in the second quarter. (The BEA also reported that Real GDP – GDP adjusted for inflation – fell at an annualized rate of 32.9%.) These are unprecedented...
Tags: Economic Trends, Fiscal Policy

June Unemployment Rate for College Station-Bryan MSA Ranks Among Lowest In Texas

Posted: July 29, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
In data just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the June unemployment rate for the College Station – Bryan Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 5.9%, second only to Amarillo’s rate of 5.8% among Texas’ 25 official MSAs. Abilene came in third with an unemployment rate of 6.1%. For comparison, the May unemployment rat...
Tags: Economic Trends

Hope Mounts as Covid-19 Counts Decrease in Texas

Posted: July 28, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen
The continued economic growth and reopening of the economy in Texas, and in Brazos County, critically depends on getting a handle on the recent surge of Covid-19 cases. Fortunately, the recent evidence from last week is relatively good news, with declining rates of new infections and declining counts of active cases. There are positive signs in ...
Tags: Economic Trends

Unemployment Rates Are Headed in the Right Direction

Posted: July 17, 2020 by Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The unemployment rate in the U.S. reached 14.7% in April, declined to 13.3% in May, and fell further to 11.1% in June.  While the trend is in the right direction, the June rate is still higher than the peak monthly rates in all of the post-war recessions. As the Great Recession waned, the national rate reached 10% in October 2009, and it re...
Tags: Economic Trends

The Unemployment Rate for May in the College Station–Bryan MSA Tied for Lowest in Texas

Posted: July 01, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
In data just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in May for the College Station–Bryan Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 8.9%, tied with Amarillo for lowest among the states’ 25 official MSAs.  Abilene came in third with an unemployment rate of 9.1%.  At the other extreme, McAllen-Edinburg...
Tags: Economic Trends

Initial UI Claims Decline for the Tenth Week in a Row; Still High by Historical Standards

Posted: June 12, 2020 by Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The figure below shows the counts of initial unemployment claims in the U.S. from the week ending March 14, 2020 to the week ending June 6, 2020. The week ending on March 28 had the highest number of initial claims at 6,867,000, with the number of initial claims declining each week since that time. Last week, 1,542,000 workers filed a claim. Ove...
Tags: Economic Trends

This Just In: April Unemployment Rates in Texas Range From 9.2% in Amarillo to 19.1% in McAllen-Edinburg-Mission

Posted: June 04, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The figure below depicts the April rates for all of the Texas metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs). These data were released on June 3 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Only three Texas MSAs had unemployment rates less than 10%. Amarillo had the lowest rate of 9.2%, Abilene’s rate was 9.3% and College Station-Bryan’s rate was 9.4%....
Tags: Economic Trends

New U.S. Unemployment Insurance Claims Drop to 2.1 Million for the Week Ending May 23; Number of Insured Unemployed Decline

Posted: May 29, 2020 by Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
For the week that ended on May 23, 2020, 2,123,000 workers filed unemployment insurance (UI) claims. This is the eighth week that initial weekly claims have declined from the previous week. Initial claims averaged a week-to-week decrease of 13.5% since April 4th. The highest initial claims were recorded the week ending March 28 when they reached...
Tags: Economic Trends, Fiscal Policy, Interactive

Dealing With COVID-19 in Texas: Goodbye China, Hello Sweden

Posted: May 27, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Liqun Liu
Among the many strategies undertaken by the countries in the world to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, two extreme forms stand out prominently. One is China's heavy-handed authoritarian approach which prescribes what individuals and businesses should and should not do with little consideration of civil liberties.  The primary goal...
Tags: Economic Trends, Health care

U.S. Unemployment Insurance Claims Fall to 2.4 Million for the Week Ending May 16; Texas’ April Unemployment Rises to 12.8%

Posted: May 22, 2020 by Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
For the week that ended on May 16, 2020, 2,438,000 workers filed unemployment insurance (UI) claims. This is the seventh week that initial weekly claims have declined from the previous week. The highest initial claims were recorded the week ending March 28 when they reached 6,867,000.  In the last nine weeks, we have seen 38.6 million initi...
Tags: Economic Trends, Interactive

This Time Is Different: Women's Unemployment Rate Tops Men's

Posted: May 13, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Starting with the recession of July 1981 to November 1982, and continuing with the three subsequent NBER-dated recessions of July 1990 to March 1991, March 2001 to November 2001, and December 2007 to June 2009, the unemployment rate for men has increased more during (or immediately after) a recession compared to the increase in the unemployment ...
Tags: Economic Trends, Fiscal Policy

Texas: the 2020 Fiscal Crisis

Posted: May 08, 2020 by Carlos I. Navarro
Contrary to what may be suggested, it is very difficult to assess public performance in an unprecedented situation. However, the natural law is constant in any equation. It is natural for humans to thrive in freedom. The right to enterprise, work and trade freely has been the most important variable when measuring the increase in real income in ...
Tags: Economic Trends, Fiscal Policy

Unemployment Rate in the US Hits Historic High Since Great Depression

Posted: May 08, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases an Employment Situation Summary for the United States. The summary released on May 8th, 2020, includes national unemployment estimates for the month of April 2020. The unemployment data depicted below are seasonally adjusted and are reported by the BLS. The last reported data point for t...
Tags: Economic Trends, Fiscal Policy

Over 30 Million Unemployment Claims During the Last Six Weeks

Posted: May 01, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
For the week that ended on April 25, 2020, 3,839,000 workers filed unemployment insurance (UI) claims. The revised count for the week ending April 18 is 4,442,000 claims. The highest initial claims were recorded the week ending March 28, when they reached 6,867,000. In the last six weeks, we have seen over 30 million initial claims, a number whi...
Tags: Economic Trends, Fiscal Policy, Interactive

Unemployment Claims Over the Last Four Weeks Top 22 Million

Posted: April 17, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
For the fourth week in a row, millions of U.S. workers filed unemployment insurance (UI) claims. For the week that ended on April 11, 2020, 5,245,000 workers filed UI claims. The revised count for April 4 is 6,615,000 claims. For the weeks ending on March 28 and March 21, the number of initial claims were 6,867,000 and 3,307,000, respectively. I...
Tags: Economic Trends, Fiscal Policy

The U.S. lost 10% of its workforce in only three weeks; Texas lost almost 6%!

Posted: April 09, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
For the second week in a row, seasonally adjusted initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims topped 6 million workers. For the week that ended on April 4, 2020, 6,606,000 filed UI claims. Last week’s revised count is 6,867,000 claims, and for the week ending on March 21, the revised number of initial claims is 3,307,000. In the last three ...
Tags: Economic Trends, Fiscal Policy

Unemployment Insurance Claims Reach Another Record High

Posted: April 03, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Seasonally adjusted initial UI claims reached an unheard mark of 6,648,000 for the week that ended on March 28, 2020. This more than doubled last week’s record of 3,283,000, which has been revised upward to 3,307,000. The initial claims over these past two weeks are as large as the first 28 weeks, or almost 7 months, of the Great Recess...
Tags: Economic Trends, Fiscal Policy

A Staggering Increase in Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance

Posted: March 26, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The figure below presents the seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance in the U.S. for the first week of 2007 through the week ending March 21, 2020.  As is evident, there was an unprecedented increase in claims last week, to 3,283,000.  This is an increase of 3 million over the previous week, and this weekly numbe...
Tags: Economic Trends, Fiscal Policy

How Did China Do It?

Posted: March 25, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Liqun Liu, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
By the time a lockdown was imposed on January 23, 2020 in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, ground zero of Covid-19 pandemic, five million people had traveled out of the city in the previous few weeks, according to the city’s mayor.  It was the peak of the pre-holiday traveling season, and Wuhan is a major transportation center in Ch...
Tags: Economic Trends, Health care

Coming Soon: A Massive Rise in Local Unemployment

Posted: March 20, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
Bars closed.  Cinemas and theaters and sporting arenas closed.  Concert halls closed.  Graduations and ring day and parents/family weekend-all canceled.  Hotel occupancy dropping through the floor.  Restaurants struggling to make a go of it serving food to go.  Companies are hurting. But it’s no...
Tags: Economic Trends

Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance

Posted: March 19, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier
The figure below presents the seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance in the U.S.  beginning the first week of 2007 to the week ending March 14, 2020.  As is evident, there was an abrupt increase in claims last week by 70,000 workers from the previous week. While the initial claims reported for the past week will ...
Tags: Economic Trends, Fiscal Policy

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