Friday, October 08, 2004

All about Economics

For those who are interested in status of the current economy, here is an article with more information than you could ever want. "Framing the Economic Debate" covers everything from unemployment to health care to poverty to taxation.
The first paragraph:
The U.S. economy has displayed a remarkable resilience following the bursting of the Internet bubble and the 9/11 terrorist attacks that struck at the heart of American business. The economy’s strength was such that the 2001 recession is among the weakest on record. Today, business investment continues on an unprecedented expansion and more Americans are working than ever before. Still, myths are rampant. This paper presents a basic statistical overview of the American economy and prosperity that Americans today enjoy.
Of note, a discussion between the two job surveys, Payroll and Household as well as this about unemployment:
The unemployment rate is the preeminent measure of the intensity of labor demand. When the rate dips below what economists consider the “full-employment” rate of around 5 or 5.5 percent, then the labor market is likely overheating, driving up inflation.

But some critics contend the current low rate of 5.4 percent is a mirage because it neglects to include all the discouraged workers. The problem with that argument is the fact that BLS counts discouraged workers and even publishes an alternative “underemployment rate” called U-4, which is barely higher than the official rate. There are no more discouraged workers today then there were in the mid-1990s.

If you have a favorite economic issue, I'm sure you'll find it there. There are nice bolded headings throughout the page so scan through and read what interests you.

Here's the conclusion:
The economy has added more than 1.5 million payroll jobs over the past year and nearly 2 million jobs on the household survey. Most indicators point towards continued growth. Output is booming, the manufacturing outlook is positive, business confidence is high, and productivity continues to set records. Even such favorites among economic pessimists like data on long-term unemployment, manufacturing employment, and worker discouragement are showing marked improvement. Unfortunately for the pessimists, these are the facts that frame the debate on the economy today.

(via Powerline)