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A Goldilocks Scenario - 4/14/16

While many Americans continue to express sorrow regarding U.S. economic performance, many economists are beginning to celebrate the economy’s recent achievements.  In March, national payrolls jumped by another two hundred and fifteen thousand. 

As reported by the New York Times, that capped the best two year period for hiring since the late nineteen nineties when many Americas were delighted by the economy’s performance.  Certain economists have referred to the current set of circumstances as representing a Goldilocks scenario – one in which hiring and wage gains are reasonably healthy, but not so robust as to trigger inflationary fears and a rapid rise in interest rates. 

Perhaps most encouraging is that fact that the size of America’s labor force has begun to expand briskly.  Until recently, the share of Americans either employed or actively seeking employment was in decline.  But the labor force participation rate appears to have bottomed out at sixty two point four percent in September of last year. 

The labor force participation rate is now back up to sixty three percent, where it was roughly two years ago.  National unemployment rose to five percent in March, but as many have indicated, for all the right reasons.    

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.