Jan
27

Languishing Labor

Inflation is usually a monetary phenomenon and while the American Rescue Plan included huge dollars, it alone has not caused inflation. Rather, aggregate demand has been very strong, and supply-chains have broken down. In time the private sector should fix the supply-chain problems, and demand … [Read more...]

Jan
26

Fed Fortunes

Today, unsurprisingly, the Fed told us they will start raising rates on 3/16/22. Powell was careful to say the rate hikes are designed to reduce inflation, and hopefully not hurt labor markets. With labor supply so tight that should be doable. Markets were somewhat spooked about the Fed’s plans to … [Read more...]

Jan
25

Illness Impacts

During the four calendar years ending 2019, 5.5 million employed persons/day didn’t go to work. In 2020, the year Covid-19 arrived, the number jumped to 6.9 million persons/day. In 2021, it fortunately declined to a still elevated 6 million/day, with the 500,000 person-rise directly attributable to … [Read more...]

Jan
24

Multifamily Moves

In 2020, single-family housing starts totaled 1,004,000 and multifamily starts were 392,800, for a total of 1,396,800. During 2021, rents and home prices skyrocketed. One would thus expect huge increases in both sectors. Multifamily activity increased to 471,500, a Y-o-Y rise of 20%, and their best … [Read more...]

Jan
21

Gender Getaway

The Friday File: Using a sample of super-elite chess games, research shows that males are much more likely to quit when being dominated by a female. By contrast, females appear to show no observable behavioral differences based on the gender of their opponent. The obvious question is why? I haven’t … [Read more...]

Jan
20

PPP Performance

While the $810 billion Paycheck Protection Program was timely and temporary, it was badly targeted. 94% of eligible firms, that is firms with fewer than 500 employees, received funding. This near-universal participation resulted in the saving of three million job-years of employment, but at an … [Read more...]

Jan
19

Store Shopping

Before the pandemic, on-line sales accounted for about 14.25% of all retail sales. During the lockdown of March/April 2020, the percentage unsurprisingly jumped to 20.2%. Since, it has steadily fallen to 16.5% by 6/20, 15.9% by 3/21, and 14.9% through 12/21. The current on-line sales level is now … [Read more...]

Jan
18

Domicile Doings

Before Covid-19, 5% of work was conducted at home, and on websites like GlassDoor, 1 job in 66 offered the potential to partially work-from-home. Now, almost two years into pandemic living, 15% of workers want to WFH exclusively, 30% want a hybrid arrangement. On job websites, 1 in 6 jobs now offers … [Read more...]

Jan
14

Colorful Cats

The Friday File: While cats come in many colors, survey data exists that ranks how we perceive differently colored cats when it comes to friendliness. It turns out, orange cats are considered friendliest, scoring 4.05 out of five. Bi-colored cats follow at 3.95. Black cats are in the middle of the … [Read more...]

Jan
13

Population Problem

For the year ending 6/30/21, the US population grew by a trivial 404,912, 0.12%, the lowest growth rate since recordkeeping began in 1900. For the decade ending 6/30/21, growth was 7.4%, the second lowest in US history, edging out the 7.3% rate during the Depression decade of the 1930s. Last year, … [Read more...]