Labor Force Nonparticipants: So What Are They Doing?

As Dave Altig, Atlanta Fed research director, pointed out earlier this week in this blog post, there is a great deal of interest these days in the labor force participation rate—particularly its level and the direction it’s going. The question that seems to be on everyone’s mind is how many of the nonparticipants in the […]

Employment: Some Good News, Some Bad News

Comparisons can be useful in determining where the economy is at any given point in time, and today’s Employment Situation report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides another opportunity to do just that. According to that report, the U.S. economy added 243,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in January 2012. But total nonfarm employment is […]

Another side of the administration’s tax plan

While discussions of the Obama administration’s tax plan focus on the expected impact on consumer spending and the federal deficit, not much attention has been given to the incentives of the plan for work effort. Different tax rates, deductions, and rebates provide varying degrees of incentives to work less or work more, and those incentives differ across income groups. Here I want to focus on just one of the proposed changes: the reinstatement of the 39.6 percent marginal tax rate for the wealthy.

Higher unemployment: Labor force effects versus job loss effects

The November jobs numbers were expected to be pretty bad, but the magnitude of the decline—the largest monthly drop in nonfarm payrolls since December 1974—surprised most. Moreover, as was noted in the last macroblog post, there is little to single out in the industry distribution of job change since the job losses were pretty much across the board.