The Morning Economic Report | WYPR

The Morning Economic Report

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Economists are ubiquitous in the world of public policy. As pointed out by writer Neil Irwin, walk half a block in downtown Washington, for instance, and there is a good chance you will pass an economist. Turn on cable news, and you will find an abundance of economists, often ones who serve a chief economist function for some organization of note.  

Anirban has more. 


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One of the emerging mysteries in the U.S. macroeconomy is the growing gap between the number of workers losing their jobs and the number applying for unemployment benefits. One would expect these things to move together. When one loses a job, it is perfectly natural for them to seek out unemployment benefits to bolster their spending power until they are able to secure replacement employment.

Anirban has more on this story.

The Best Paying Jobs

Mar 20, 2017
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Money isn’t everything, and yet people often rank job quality based on how much the typical person makes in a given occupational category. Career website Glassdoor recently ranked the 25 best paying jobs in America.  The Glassdoor report is based on an analysis of salaries Glassdoor users entered on the site during the one year period ending in February 2017. 

Anirban has more on the best paid positions. 


For many young people, it’s time for spring break – so the last thing one should talk about is bad grades. But that’s precisely what U.S. infrastructure received during the most recent assessment supplied by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Every four years, the Society publishes an analysis regarding the capabilities of American infrastructure, including the nation’s seaports, airports, water systems and roads. American infrastructure received a grade of D+, unchanged from its last report card delivered in 2013.  

Here's more from Anirban.


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American wealth is on the rise. Thanks primarily to a surging stock market during the final quarter of 2016, aggregate household wealth increased 2.3 percent to end at nearly $93 trillion. The value of household stock and mutual fund portfolios leapt by more than $700 billion during the fourth quarter. The value of homes rose by roughly another $560 billion.  

Anirban has more. 

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There has been considerable discussion recently about bringing high quality jobs back to America.  Many policies have been proposed, including a border adjustment tax and other mechanisms that would induce Americans to purchase more goods and services from one another.  But such mechanisms would generally not address structural shifts in how people are employed in America.  

Anirban has more of this story. 


Construction Growth

Mar 14, 2017
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U.S. productivity growth, measured in terms of output per hour of labor has been anemic over the past several years.  As indicated by writer David Harrison, since 1995, overall productivity has expanded at a compound annual rate of less than 1.8 percent. Remarkably, America’s construction sector is actually less productive now than it was in 1995 according to a study released by the McKinsey Global Institute.  

Anirban has more of the story. 


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One of the most polarizing issues in America is illegal immigration. While some insist upon a nation of laws firmly enforced, others favor a more relaxed approach. Economists are also divided, but there are certainly many who believe that if America were to lose vast numbers of illegal workers, the nation’s economy would suffer.  

Anirban has more of this story. 


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One of the greatest fears of workers is their potential to be replaced by technology. Many of us have already been forced to shift jobs due to automation. As pointed out by writer Binyamin Appelbaum, in 1900, factories and farms employed 60 percent of the nation’s workforce. By 1950, those two sectors employed about 36 percent of the workforce -- by 2014, less than 10 percent of worked in a factory or on a farm.  

Anirban has the rest of this story. 


Economic Growth

Mar 9, 2017
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Last year, the U.S. economy expanded 1.6 percent. During last year’s final quarter, the economy expanded at a 1.9 percent annualized rate and growth is actually not expected to pick up significantly during the current quarter. So much of the talk about faster U.S. economic growth is largely speculative. In this context, one could ask the question, just how much faster could the U.S. economy grow?  

Anirban has more on this story. 


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