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Negative Views, Good Economic News - 9/20/16

It wouldn’t be hard to find an economist who believes that the average American is a bit too grumpy with respect to the U.S. labor market.  After all, the U.S. labor market is enjoying its longest string of monthly job gains in the nation’s history. 

As indicated by economist Ryan Sweet, about fifteen million jobs have been created since job growth resumed more than six years ago.  While other aspects of the economy have recovered slowly, the U.S. job market has bounced back faster from the most recent financial crisis than job markets in other nations that have suffered financial crises in the past. 

Trend job growth is presently running at nearly one hundred and ninety thousand jobs per month.  That’s a bit slower than at the beginning of the year, but well above the one hundred thousand job per month pace the nation requires to keep pace with growth in working age population. 

So why all the complaining?  That’s obvious.  Having a job is not enough people want good jobs, including those that pay well.  That’s where the labor market falls short.  Wage growth remains below three percent in nominal terms below the three to three and a half percent pace one might expect normally.   

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.