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Bait-and-Switch

In retail sales, as defined by Wikipedia, first, customers are “baited” by merchants advertising products or services at a low price, but when customers visit the store, they discover that the advertised goods are either not available or are not as good as expected, or the customers are pressured by sales people to consider similar, […]

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Is the U.S. Facing a Jobs Crisis?

Recently reported employment data suggests that there are now as many unfilled job openings (6.55 million), as there are unemployed Americans (6.59 million).  This is the narrowest gap, between available jobs and those seeking jobs, in nearly 20 years of record keeping.  At the same time, workforce participation rates remain near record lows. This is […]

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U.S. Small Business Earnings At Record Levels

According to the results of a recent survey from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), a lobbying organization that represents small business owners nationwide, small business earnings are at record levels and optimism is also at very high levels. NFIB’s chief economist attributes improving consumer spending, the new tax law and lower regulatory barriers […]

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Killing the Golden Goose?

Seattle is proposing to levy a tax on local employers that make $20 million or more in taxable gross receipts.  Amazon has announced that it is pausing further construction planning of a building to be built in downtown Seattle and is reconsidering plans to occupy a building that is already built, potentially jeopardizing 7,000 new […]

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Labor-Force Participation, Revisited

We have previously discussed the importance of labor-force participation (see blog from 09 Jan 2018).  The recently reported February jobs report was probably about as good as it gets. Nonfarm payrolls grew by 313,000, the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1%, wages grew by a too modest 0.1% and, most important, the labor-force participation rate […]

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Uncertainty

Uncertainty describes a situation without a straight forward description involving ambiguous and/or unknown information. Markets don’t like uncertainty. Markets tend to over react in the near term, as traders attempt to get ahead of any suggestion of a possible change in sentiment. Recently, markets reacted sharply to an announcement relating to the possibility of new […]

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