Friday, June 1, 2012

Quick-look data from the JUST RELEASED jobs report for May. Not good---only 69,000 net job change. See where the strenghts and weakness were HERE

For the current month measured (May) look at the data to the far right.  Read the numbers in "thousands".  The first number shows 69,000 job gain. The losses are denoted with the negative sign in front of the number.  Be careful reading the chart. Notice the indentations on some of the sub categories.  This is to drill down a bit to show job sectors within jobs sectors and how they are performing.  GO HERE  for the complete report and summary.

Source: BLS

Thursday, May 31, 2012

NY City is proposing a ban on sugary drinks sold in containers over 16 oz. Take one last Big Gulp of your Slurpee, City dwellers. It might be your last. (Nice graphic showing what is and is not acceptable HERE)

The powers that be in New York City are proposing a ban on certain  types of sugary drinks in quantities over 16 oz's.  This is in response to health concerns, especially for children. 

Here is a chart that illustrates what is and is not a qualified drink and the allowable quantity is can be sold in.  Good idea? Bad idea? How do you think interest group politics will affect this proposal? Will it pass and become local law?


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Interesting survey on EU countries attitudes regarding each other. Without looking, guess which country is in the most denial about its work ethic?

 Greeks think they are the Greek God Ponos but are perceived as the Goddess  Aergia.  This survey of European attitudes about their fellow EU members is interesting and pretty telling.  Greeks self-assess themselves as being the hardest workers but they "get real" when assessing their own corruption.  Germany is obviously widely respected by their peers on the continent. 
Source: The Economix

Monday, May 28, 2012

Link to a study on Household Production and how much it would add to GDP if it was counted.

When we cover the basics of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Economics we learn that "Household Production" is not included in the official measure of GDP. Household production is classified as work (labor performed) you do yourself that does have a market value but since you perform it yourself the value is not counted in GDP. 

Examples:  I can clean my own house (value of labor not counted) or I can hire someone to do it for me (value of labor counted). I change my own oil in my car (value of labor not counted) or I can hire someone to do it for me (value of labor counted).  I can tutor my own child in Math (value of labor not counted) or I can hire someone to do it for me (value of labor counted). I can fix a leaky faucet or hire a plumber to fix it.  So on and so forth.

Here is a recent study from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) that attempts to determine how much GDP would be if household production was included in the official measure.  Below I copied and pasted only the basic conclusions from the paper. 

Summary of Findings

This paper develops a satellite account that adjusts gross domestic product (GDP) for household production between 1965 and 2010. The primary findings are as follows:
  • Incorporating the value of non-market household production raises the level of nominal GDP 39 percent in 1965 and 26 percent in 2010. The decline reflects the steadily decreasing number of hours households spent on home production.
  • In 1965, men and women spent an average of 27 hours in home production, and by 2010, they spent 22 hours. This overall decline reflects a drop in women’s home production from 40 hours to 26 hours, which more than offset an increase in men’s hours from 14 hours to 17 hours.
  • The downward trend in the hours spent on non-market household production appears to be unaffected by the 2007–2009 recession, despite the increasing number of unemployed household members.
  • Including the value of household production lowers measured GDP growth by accounting for the losses in home production associated with increases in women’s labor force participation and in market wages between 1965 and 2010. Over this period, adjusting nominal GDP for home production lowers growth from 6.9 percent to 6.7 percent.
  • Home production reduces measured income inequality. Although households engage in a similar number of hours in home production regardless of income, adding a relatively constant value of home production to all households proportionately raises the income of low-income households more than that of high-income households.
Applications of this can be significant. One in particular comes to mind.  In poor, developing countries people, in general, do a lot more things for themselves. Most notably in the production of food and securing the everyday necessities of life. LOTS of production they do themselves that is not compensated for monetarily. 

Thus, on national level the official GDP statistic would UNDERESTIMATE the value of production in that country.  This can lead to a misunderstanding/misrepresentation of the actual standard of living in the developing nation. 

I lived HERE for two years. I have seen the disconnect up close and personal.

Note: Additional analysis of this study can be found at The Economix. I just noticed this morning they did a post on this study as well. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Of these 3 people with fake tans which one has been the MOST fiscally responsible and created the MOST private sector jobs for other people? Yes, we ARE in trouble.

Couple of graphs showing college grade distribution over time. Grade inflation or are we getting smarter? You be the judge...

No real commentary from me.  Just thought it was interesting the change over time.

Both of these are from Carpe Diem---go there to read the commentary/conslusions.

The first graph shows the general distribution of grades given at the college level.  It is combined private and public universities/colleges.  "A's" have been on an upswing for a long time, "B's" relatively constant and "C's" are almost a mirror image to "A's". 
The second graph shows the break out between private and public universties/colleges. 
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