Monday, April 27, 2015

25 To 34 Year Old Workers Increasingly Moving Westward In US

From BloombergBusiness, "When Your Kid Moves Out West, She Takes the U.S. Economy With Her" by Jennifer Oldham and Lauren Etter:
Cities in the West and Southwest are experiencing economic growth exceeding records set before the financial crisis, with young, educated workers creating housing shortages and traffic jams as they drive up wages.

"The decline in manufacturing in the East, combined with an increase in service and technology jobs, is moving the country’s economic gravity westward," said Kenan Fikri, a researcher at Washington’s Brookings Institution. "Compared to eastern cities, those in the West don’t have the economic baggage that comes from an industrial legacy."

The center of U.S. population is moving steadily — it’s now in Texas County, Missouri, farthest west since the U.S. Census Bureau began tracking it in 1790. The movement is accelerating as workers from 25 to 34 move that way in disproportionate numbers.
Rising GDP Map
Source: BloombergBusiness

Millennial Influx Map
Source: BloombergBusiness

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Disinvestment: Declining US Business Domestic Investment In Excess Of Depreciation

There has been a slow and steady decline in US private domestic business investment in capital (productive business assets) in excess of the investment necessary to undo the negative effects of capital consumption, otherwise known as depreciation, wear and tear, and obsolescence, as shown by the following FRED chart.

The graph [below] shows that over the last 5 plus decades there has been a steady decline in the investment share of incremental (net) private domestic business capital investment in the US.

A slowdown in incremental capital investment negatively impacts growth in employment, productivity and wages.

The graph below shows the quarterly share that net private domestic business investment is of gross private domestic business investment for 1-1-1960 through 10-1-2014. Net investment is derived by subtracting depreciation, wear and tear and obsolescence (capital consumption) from the total (gross) amount of investment. The share amount is derived by dividing net investment by gross investment.

Source: US Bureau of Economic Analysis

Looking at the above chart, one can see that there has been a steady decline in new, incremental investment in private productive business assets in the US.

The decade averages show this declining trend more clearly.

In the 1960's. the average share of new capital was 42.0 percent.

In the 1970's. the average share of new capital was 38.3 percent.

In the 1980's. the average share of new capital was 31.7 percent.

In the 1990's. the average share of new capital was 27.7 percent.

In the 2000's. the average share of new capital was 19.6 percent.

For 2010-2014, the average share of new capital was 15.5 percent.

For the entire data series period, 1960-2014, the average quarterly share of net private domestic business capital was 30.2 percent of gross (total) private domestic business capital.

Unless there is a reversal of this trend and a long-term increase in private domestic business capital investment, the US economy can expect continued slow wage and employment growth for the foreseeable future.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Despite Passage Of ACA, US Government Spending On Healthcare Unsustainable, CBO Projects: Major Changes Required

From Congressional Budget Office, "Overview of the Federal Budget," Presentation by Barry Blom, Principal Budget Analyst, Projections Unit in CBO’s Budget Analysis Division, to the Maryland Association of CPAs, Inc, April 17, 2015:

Source: CBO, Slide 22

Source: CBO, Slide 23

Full CBO Slide Presentation:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Amount of Income Tax Americans Paid From 1940 To 2014

From The Washington Post, The Fix, "Americans paid more income tax in 2014 than ever before. Here’s where it went." by Philip Bump:
Americans paid $1.4 trillion in income tax in 2014.

Source: The Washington Post
Source: The Washington Post

Americans paid about $4,400 per person in taxes last year.

Source: The Washington Post

Thursday, April 9, 2015

My Slashdot Comment To Ellen Pao Salary Negotiation Ban To Equalize Gender Pay At Reddit

My posted comment to "Reddit CEO Ellen Pao Bans Salary Negotiations To Equalize Pay For Men, Women" on Slashdot:
Research about women's poorer negotiation skills or underpayment is based on hard salary dollars and almost always does not include the value of benefits and job characteristics. For example, before the new health law, more women would prefer and accept jobs that provide better health plans at a trade-off of a lower salary, while more men would forego health benefits for higher pay. The compensation value to the employer is identical, but the reported pay of men is higher. Women as a group negotiate or choose jobs with more flex-time, less travel, less overtime, less weekend work and more on the job safety than men. This has been studied and documented by the US DOL and many researchers. Many promoting the idea of women's lower wages as compared to men fail to mention and include the value of non-W2, non-1099, job benefits and characteristics.

Whenever there is a number showing the ratio of women to men's pay, it is always an inter-employer, inter-industry number. Similar job classifications at different industries and different employers have a different ratio of benefits and job characteristic value to salary.

What has been attributed to poor salary negotiating skills of women is really women over time in the workforce, negotiating non-salary benefits or self-selecting into jobs or industries with higher amounts of non-salary benefits.

Because the large scale pay differential between men and women is always across industries or firms, just about all pay discrimination lawsuits against an individual firm employer, whether it be a Wal-Mart or a Kleiner, fails in the court.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Counting Under-Employment, The Employment Gap Is At 3 Million Jobs

From BloombergView, "Still Missing: At Least 3 Million Jobs" by The Editors:
To gauge the number of jobs still needed to reach full employment, Bloomberg View did its own analysis, borrowing the methods of Blanchflower and Levin to account for all the people expected to rejoin the labor force and switch from part-time to full-time work. As of March, the employment gap came to about 3 million -- a great improvement over a few years ago, but still very far from ideal. Here's how that looks:

US Employment Gap Chart
Source: BloombergView

It's possible, of course, that some of those people have lost the skills and motivation they need to return to the job market. If so, wages should be accelerating as employers compete for a smaller pool of willing and able workers. So far, despite reports that McDonald's and Wal-Mart are boosting pay for some workers, that's not happening. As of March, average hourly earnings stood at $24.86, up just 2.1 percent from a year earlier.

In other words, there's little sign that the Fed's efforts to improve the lot of millions of unemployed and underemployed people are threatening inflation.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Obamacare's Ineffectualness: Long-Term Uninsured Percentage, Failure To Obtain Medical Care Due To Cost Percentage And Available Care Access Percentage Are Unchanged From Early 2000

From NCPA, Health Policy Blog, "Access to Health Care Unchanged After Obamacare’s First Year" by John R. Graham:
As shown in Figure 2 [below], the proportion of long-term uninsured is about the same as it was circa 2000. The proportion of short-term uninsured has shrink a little in Obamacare’s first year.

Healthcare Population Percentage Graph; 1997-2014
Source: NCPA Health Policy Blog

However, this masks a dramatic increase in government dependency among working-age adults, ....
Further, this increase in government dependency has not lead to a change in access to health care. The proportion of people of all ages with a “usual place to go for medical care” was 87.8 percent last year, the same as it was in 2002-2003. Further, 5.7 percent reported that they failed to obtain needed medical care due to cost last year, the same as it was in 2003-2004.

These results confirm that the effects of the 2008 financial crisis and recession, and slow recovery, far outweigh Obamacare’s effect on access to health care.