by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Senior Fellow
While May's stronger job growth is welcome, continuing low inflation and annual wage growth below 2.5% don't present any macroeconomic threats that warrant driving up interest rates. But the Fed, like many economic policymakers, seems to be operating in a "new normal" where an unemployment rate of 5.5% is considered full employment. That is not a world where most workers and families will make any significant economic progress.
The May employment report...
by Rick McGahey, SCEPA Faculty Fellow
Employment for the first month of 2015 continued the steady growth from last year. 257,000 new jobs were added, and although the unemployment rate ticked up one-tenth of a percent to 5.7, that resulted from people entering the labor force to look for jobs—what economists call "labor force participation." Participation in December was at an historic low, so there's a long way to go to restore healthy levels there.
Average hourly wages in...
SCEPA works to focus the public economics debate on the role government can and should play in the real productive economy - that of business, management, and labor - to raise living standards, create economic security, and attain full employment.