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Reuters (May 14)

2020/ 05/ 15 by jd in Global News

Banks mainly seem to be provisioning for consumer debt, but “bad-debt risks could easily spread beyond consumer finance. Commercial real estate could face a brutal reckoning if white-collar workers in major cities decide not to return to the office when lockdowns lift.” When stimulus measures wind down, it will leave “over-indebted small and medium-sized enterprises vulnerable. Mass unemployment would lead to increased mortgage defaults.”


USA Today (August 21)

2019/ 08/ 23 by jd in Global News

“The labor market seemed to defy gravity last year, generating more than 200,000 jobs a month despite a historically low unemployment rate that made it harder for employers to find workers. Turns out job growth wasn’t as robust as it appeared.” The Labor Department just issued its “largest downward revision in a decade.” Total job gains in the year ended March 2019 were revised downward by half a million. Based on this average monthly job growth was closer to 170,000, than the initial estimates of 210,000.


The Economist (May 25)

2019/ 05/ 27 by jd in Global News

“Most of the rich world is enjoying a jobs boom of unprecedented scope. Not only is work plentiful, but it is also, on average, getting better. Capitalism is improving workers’ lot faster than it has in years, as tight labour markets enhance their bargaining power.”


New York Times (June 20)

2018/ 06/ 22 by jd in Global News

“The United States should stop the scattershot, pointless nonsense on tariffs and go the other way, and hard: It should drop all tariffs, even if the rest of the world doesn’t follow.” Economists have long “understood that free trade is the best policy. Studies show that countries with freer trade have both higher per-capita incomes and faster rates of productivity growth. Economists have also long understood that barriers to trade, while pitched as a way to help domestic workers, always heavily penalize domestic consumers.”


The Straits Times (October 24)

2017/ 10/ 26 by jd in Global News

“It will almost certainly turn out that Britain was more powerful—with more sovereignty—when it was part of a large organisation with international clout.” Following Brexit, the UK will likely be isolated, “with far fewer allies. British consumers, workers and entrepreneurs will pay the price.” But the UK’s fall should provide the rest of the world with a valuable lesson. “The sight of Britain’s sudden banishment to a world where you are better off dealing with cousins will be a useful tonic for everybody else.”


The Economist (January 14)

2017/ 01/ 14 by jd in Global News

“When education fails to keep pace with technology, the result is inequality. Without the skills to stay useful as innovations arrive, workers suffer—and if enough of them fall behind, society starts to fall apart.” Robotics and artificial intelligence now emerging “call for another education revolution.” But to succeed, the offerings will need to be lifelong and attract those who aren’t already considered high achievers.


Wall Street Journal (August 23)

2016/ 08/ 25 by jd in Global News

“Robots are coming. Don’t worry, be happy. It’s the path to growth and higher living standards.” Despite the gloom of some prognosticators, very few jobs can be entirely replaced by robots. Many, however, can be enhanced by robots, freeing humans up for higher level activities. “Workers are augmented, not replaced. Salesmen with Google Maps, realtors with 3-D home views, carpenters with laser tape measures. Doctors doing robot assisted minimally invasive surgery.”


USA Today (May 8)

2015/ 05/ 09 by jd in Global News

Though it may seem preposterous, a labor shortage will strike the U.S. “America is about to run short of workers for the simple reason that people are retiring.” In the coming decade, the retirement age population is expected to expand by 37.8% while the working age population will only increase by 3.2%. Those set to retire “will leave jobs while continuing to buy things—food, shelter, haircuts, airplane tickets health care and more—which will have to be produced by the remaining workforce.”


Wall Street Journal (February 20)

2015/ 02/ 21 by jd in Global News

“Wal-Mart’s decision proves that the best way to raise wages is with faster economic growth that creates more demand for labor. Workers can move to better opportunities as more emerge, and their current employers may conclude they have to pay more to keep them.” Wal-Mart will significantly exceed the current U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 when it raises its hourly wage to $9 or more by April and to at least $10 in 2016.


USA Today (November 23)

2014/ 11/ 23 by jd in Global News

“Thanksgiving used to be one of the few holidays retail workers could count on,” but in recent years more retailers have opened their doors to get a jump on sales. “No one needs to be able to buy a big-screen TV on Thanksgiving.” Consumers can wait until Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) when the Christmas sales traditionally commence. Americans should “spend Thanksgiving Day at home — not shopping — so retail workers can be at home, too.”


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