The Morning Economic Report

For several years, economists have been unnerved by government published estimates of first quarter gross domestic product.  With little exception, data characterizing economic performance during the first three months of a given calendar year have been disappointing.  Typically, the U.S. economy bounced back during second quarters. 

If you are trying to raise a young family and you are having difficulty making ends meet, know that you are hardly alone.  As an example of the myriad pressures facing young parents, child care expenses have climbed nearly twice as rapidly as overall prices since the recession ended seven years ago according to Labor Department data. 

Minimum Wage - 7/15/16

Jul 19, 2016

Precisely two weeks ago, fifteen U.S. cities, states and counties raised their minimum wages in what the Wall Street Journal refers to as a mid-year burst that reflects legislative momentum to boost pay floors around the nation even as federal legislation stalls.  The two states raising their respective minimum wages were Maryland and Oregon. 

WorkAdvance - 7/14/15

Jul 19, 2016

There have been many ideas put forth to help rebuild America’s middle class.  Some have proposed higher minimum wages – others have proposed large tariffs on foreign goods and/or vastly reduced levels of immigration.  Some economists have scoffed at such ideas, favoring solutions that make workers more valuable to employers through training. 

According to Oslo, Norway-based Rystad Energy, the United States holds more recoverable oil reserves than any nation in the world, including Saudi Arabia and Russia.  The newly available data indicate that more than half of America’s remaining oil reserves are in the form of shale oil. 

As indicated by writer Nick Timiraos, Puerto Rico has suffered a dive in population that is steeper and more financially disastrous than in any U.S. state since the end of World War II.  Over the past ten years, an exodus of workers, retirees and families as helped to shrink Puerto Rico’s population by more than nine percent to less than three point five million. 

Over the years, many of us have poked fun at the large numbers of people in their twenties and thirties still living with their parents.  While some attribute this to delayed maturation, at the heart of the issue is basic economics.  According to an analysis of U.S. Census data released by Apartment List, a rental listing website, inflation adjusted apartment rents have expanded by sixty four percent since nineteen sixty. 

Economists remain fixated on the enormous gaps in income and wealth that have been forged over time.  Compounding the seriousness of the issue are circumstances under which the lower one’s income, the more one pays for a particular service – take auto insurance as an example. 

A narrative indicating that the top one percent of Americans are doing well, but everyone else is struggling has developed over the course of time.  However, recent data suggest that the situation is not quite so stark. 

Many Americans fret about a real and/or perceived lack of infrastructure investment, which translates into modest broadband speeds, crumbling roads, and precarious bridges.  It turns out that America is not alone. 

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