US labour market weaker in March 2018

On April 6, 2018, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their latest labour market data – Employment Situation Summary – March 2018 – which showed that total non-farm employment from the payroll survey rose by just 103,000 in March – or “edged up” to use the BLS words. The Labour Force Survey data, however, showed that employment fell (37 thousand) in March 2018 but was accompanied by an even larger fall in the labour force (158 thousand) which meant that total unemployment fell by 121 thousand. The weaker labour market means that underutilisation outside of the official labour force will have risen (‘hidden unemployment’). There is still a large jobs deficit remaining and the bias towards low paid work intensified in the first three months of 2018. Finally, there is no evidence of a wages breakout going on. Taken together, the US labour market is showing no definite trend up or down at present and it is still some distance from being at full employment.
Read the rest of this entry »

Spread the word ...
    Posted in Labour Force, US economy | 1 Comment

    The Weekend Quiz – April 7-8, 2018 – answers and discussion

    Here are the answers with discussion for this Weekend’s Quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you haven’t already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of modern monetary theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Spread the word ...
      Posted in Saturday quiz | 5 Comments

      The Weekend Quiz – April 7-8, 2018

      Welcome to The Weekend Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention or not to the blogs I post. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.
      Read the rest of this entry »

      Spread the word ...
        Posted in Saturday quiz | 6 Comments

        Latest Europhile advocacy beggars belief – surrender sovereignty to regain it

        Today, I have a lot of travelling coming up. So time is tight. Regular readers will know my views on the Eurozone. I have held those views since the late 1980s when I was a young lecturer. Nothing has changed to change my opinion. It is an unmitigated disaster. And, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, the Europhiles on the Left and the Right continue to put out propaganda trying to defend their monstrosity. Here is a selection of the latest input from the elites on how the EU is the salvation of democracy and sovereignty and yet Eurozone Member States are to be treated like high risk car drivers – paying more for a pittance of fiscal protection from the technocrats. It really beggars belief.
        Read the rest of this entry »

        Spread the word ...
          Posted in Eurozone, Reclaim the State | 24 Comments

          Basic income guarantee progressives cosy up with the worst CEOs in the world

          A short blog post today (Wednesday and all). I am working on the revisions to our Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) textbook that will be published by Macmillan-Palgrave in November 2018. We have all the editorial and external reviews available now and are working through the editorial process to complete the final version. Mostly clarifications and style issues. There will be a slight rearrangement of chapter order and emphasis but nothing major. In the meantime, some thoughts on UBI and some music for today. A more detailed blog post will come along tomorrow.

          Read the rest of this entry »

          Spread the word ...
            Posted in Job Guarantee, Music | 84 Comments

            My response to a German critic of MMT – Part 3

            This is the third (and final) part of my response to an article published by the German-language service Makroskop (March 20, 2018) – Modern Monetary Theory: Einwände eines wohlwollenden Zweiflers (Modern Monetary Theory – Questions from a Friendly Critic) – and written by Martin Höpner, who is a political scientist associated with the Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung (Max Planck Institute for Social Research – MPIfG) in Cologne. Today, we will discuss inflation and round up the evaluation of his input to the debate. The overriding conclusion is this. As a researcher, I am instinctively driven to dig deep before I make public comment. It is easy to think you have an idea that is novel and then venture forth with it. One usually finds, fairly quickly, once you start digging into the literature, that the idea is anything but novel. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) has been around for around 25 years now (give or take) but has really only gained traction in this era of social media (blogs, tweets, YouTube, etc). When I make presentations to a new audience I am regularly asked the same questions, over and over. Which is understandable in a public forum. But I expect researchers, especially those associated with highly credible institutions such as the Max Planck Institute in Köln, to first of all do their research before they make public comment. Many of the issues raised in the Makroskop article have been ‘done to death’ over the last 25 years. Many academic and non-academic articles have been written by us on these issues. One may not agree with the conclusions or our analysis but raising them as if we have never thought about them or discussed them in rather minute detail is not a very ‘friendly’ strategy.
            Read the rest of this entry »

            Spread the word ...
              Posted in Debriefing 101, Eurozone, Reclaim the State | 43 Comments

              My blog is on holiday today

              The blog is on holiday today (Easter Monday) and will return with Part 3 (and final) of my response to a German critic tomorrow (Tuesday, April 3, 2018). I have been travelling a lot today and decided to spend the rest of the free time on some writing and other things. You might want to spend your free time today playing the new Google – Where’s Wally? – game, which has some really nice drawings available. Go to Google maps and test yourself out. Music accompaniment if you click on …
              Read the rest of this entry »

              Spread the word ...
                Posted in Admin, Music | 1 Comment

                The Weekend Quiz – March 31-April 1, 2018 – answers and discussion

                Here are the answers with discussion for this Weekend’s Quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you haven’t already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of modern monetary theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.
                Read the rest of this entry »

                Spread the word ...
                  Posted in Saturday quiz | 18 Comments

                  The Weekend Quiz – March 31-April 1, 2018

                  Welcome to The Weekend Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention or not to the blogs I post. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.
                  Read the rest of this entry »

                  Spread the word ...
                    Posted in Saturday quiz | 14 Comments

                    My response to a German critic of MMT – Part 2

                    This is the second part of my response to an article published by the German-language service Makroskop (March 20, 2018) – Modern Monetary Theory: Einwände eines wohlwollenden Zweiflers (Modern Monetary Theory – Questions from a Friendly Critic) – and written by Martin Höpner, who is a political scientist associated with the Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung (Max Planck Institute for Social Research – MPIfG) in Cologne. In this part we discuss bond yields and bond issuance. I had originally planned a two-part series but the issues are detailed and to keep each post at a manageable length, I have opted to spread the response over three separate posts. In Part 3 (next week) we will discuss inflation and round up the evaluation of his input to the debate.
                    Read the rest of this entry »

                    Spread the word ...
                      Posted in Debriefing 101, Eurozone, Reclaim the State | 37 Comments