Beige Book — October 16, 2013 (Federal Reserve); Never Saw It Coming: Why The Financial Crisis Took Economists By Surprise (Foreign Affairs); Sovereign Debt in Advanced Economies: Overview and Issues for Congress (CRS); Well-being and the global financial crisis (OECD); Impacts and Costs of the October 2013 Federal Government Shutdown (OMB); Rescuing the Recovery: Prospects and Policies for the United States (Levy Economics Institute, Bard College); and Home Value and Homeownership Rates: Recession and Post-Recession Comparisons From 2007-2009 to 2010-2012 (Census Bureau).
Archive for Business
How Economic Insecurity in Children Changed Over the Course of the Great Recession: Fact Sheet (Urban Institute); Impact of 2008 global economic crisis on suicide: time trend study in 54 countries (British Medical Journal); Global Financial Stability Report: Transition Challenges to Stability (IMF); and Five years on: The European economic crisis leaves a legacy of poverty (International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies).
Minimum wage debates at both state and federal levels are nothing new here. But what about minimum wages in the European Union countries? Does the EU have a standard rate crossing all countries and sectors? The answer is no; each country sets its own minimum levels. Buried on pages 23-24 of this draft report – A coordinated EU minimum wage policy? - are the minimum monthly wage levels and median monthly wage levels for all the EU countries for 2009 and 2010. (The countries are listed by their EU abbreviations; a list is available .) The figures must be used with caution as the data come from various sources and legislation, but they do allow for some comparative analysis. (A lengthier explanation is contained in the previous pages of this report; see especially p.22 for a succinct overview.)
One of the ways employers try to engage their employees is by offering some kind of flexibility in their work schedules. WorldatWork has just released its Survey on Workplace Flexibility 2013 that shows how prevalent this practice is. More than 80% of companies offer telework, or flex time, or part-time schedules (5) with larger companies offering a greater variety of arrangements. Compressed workweeks (the same amount of work in less than five days) are offered in 43% of companies (8). The executive summary on pages 5-10 offers a succinct distillation of the 46 informative tables that follow.
Five Years After the Crash: What Americans Think about Wall Street, Banks, Business, and Free Enterprise (American Enterprise Institute); The Financial Crisis Five Years Later: Response, Reform, and Progress In Charts (U.S. Treasury Dept); Striking it Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States (UC Berkeley); Living Below the Line: Economic Insecurity and America’s Families (Wider Opportunities for Women); Rebuilding Household Wealth: Implications for Economic Recovery (CRS); Financial Planning Profiles of American Households: The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey and Index (Consumer Federation of America); Financial Crisis: Five Years Later (White House); and Bibliography of the Global Financial / Economic Crisis (European University Institute Library).
The Databook on International Labour Statistics from the Japan Institute for Labour Policy and Training contains over 140 tables on a wide variety of socioeconomic topics. The figures focus mainly on industrialized economies; i.e., Sweden, Japan, United States, Brazil, India, etc. This can be supplemented by using Charting International Labor Statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and Labordoc from the International Labour Organization.
Gizmodo has just released A Map of Who’s Got the Best (and Worst) Internet Connections in America. This interactive map shows that speed is a function of income, the higher the income in a congressional district, the faster the speed; population density matters less because while rural areas have slower speeds (it is expensive for cable companies to put in the infrastructure in under-populated areas), urban areas suffer from heavy use which slows speeds. (For those interested, please read this June 2013 NITA report – Broadband Availability Beyond the Rural/Urban Divide.) The national average is 18.2 Mbps; the fastest connection is in Ephrata, Washington with a speed of 85.5Mbps, while the slowest is in Fort Defiance, Arizona at 1.5 Mbps. A list of 5690 ranked locations is here; Jersey City comes in at 1372 with 21.73 Mbps with eight New Jersey municipalities in the top 50. A digital divide still exists as is evident in the ranking of Vermont’s capital of Montpelier; it places 4816 with a speed of 8.99 Mbps. Even its commercial center of Burlington ranks only 2804 with a speed of 16.60 Mbps.
Disengaged workers are not as productive or positive as their engaged colleagues. There are many reasons for this condition, ranging from the boss-from-hell to the lack of clearly defined objectives/expectations. The Gallup 2013 State of the American Workplace survey concentrates on employee engagement, and what companies can do to foster it. As it points out: “Engaged employees have well-defined roles in the organization, make strong contributions, are actively connected to their larger team and organization, and are continuously progressing.”(27) This report is not just for the profit sectors, the education industry could easily follow some of the recommendations in this report. Survey questions, charts, and strategies are included.
How Bad Was It? The Costs and Consequences of the 2007–09 Financial Crisis (Federal Reserve, Dallas); Evaluating early warning indicators of banking crises: Satisfying policy requirements (BIS); and The relationship between the housing and labor market crises and doubling up: an MSA-level analysis, 2005–2011 (BLS).
We have both retail and government reports on this topic. The National Retail Federation has released its report expecting a decrease is back-to-school spending while the Census Bureau has published its Back to School: 2013-2014 feature with many links of interest.
Rising Income Inequality and the Role of Shifting Market-Income Distribution, Tax Burdens, and Tax Rates (EPI); Crisis Chronicles: 300 Years of Financial Crises, 1620-1920 (an ongoing series of articles, Federal Reserve); Credit and growth after financial crises (BIS); The Economics of Student Debt (Hamilton Place Strategies); and Global Risks 2013 (World Economic Forum).
From income inequality to natural disasters like la Hurricane Sandy to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the world faces many threats according to Global Risks 2013 from the World Economic Forum. A thousand experts from various fields were asked to give their opinions on what constituted the greatest risks we now face. Figure 29 of this report has the five areas of concern: economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal, and technological along with the associated risks, numbering ten for each group. We should point out that one of the societal risks is “water supply crises”. This risk is also considered a … ” ‘centre of gravity’ – the one risk that they[survey-takers] thought is the systemically most important one in that group. Due to their influence on other risks, these are the risks to which leaders and policy-makers should pay particularly close attention.”(figure 36) The report is somber reading but nonetheless needs to be consulted. And nowhere does the spectre of nuclear conflict arise as a threat.
The Financial Crisis and the Impact on Households (Federal Reserve – St Louis); Regulatory Landscapes: A U.S. Perspective (Speech – Federal Reserve); National Financial Capability Study (FINRA); and The Financial Crisis, Capital Flows, and Global Liquidity (Speech – IMF).
In light of today’s Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing on Offshore Profit Shifting and the U.S. Tax Code – Part 2 (Apple, Inc), some relevant links are in order. For starters, review Part 1 (Microsoft & Hewlett-Packard) and the related issues/links attendant on both parts. Then continue onto: Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-2010 (Citizens for Tax Justice); Secrecy for Sale: Inside the Global Offshore Money Maze (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists); Islands’ tax haven uncovered (BBC); What Makes a Good Tax Haven? (RAND); Tax Havens (Brookings); and Tax Havens: International Tax Avoidance and Evasion (CRS).
Private Pensions – Timely Action Needed to Address Impending Multiemployer Plan Insolvencies (GAO); Economic Recovery: Sustaining U.S. Economic Growth in a Post-Crisis Economy (CRS); and Job Sprawl Stalls: The Great Recession and Metropolitan Employment Location (Brookings).
The OECD has issued a vast array of employment statistics for its member countries as well as including the BRICS, EU, and G7 nations. Data can be customized by year, sex and age range. Extensive “source” information for the statistics is readily available and there are dozens of comparative, interactive measurements. Key employment statistics contain pre-packaged basic figures while country snapshots allow comparisons of up to four countries simultaneously. Two previous blog entries provide additional relevant links: International Unemployment Rates and Updated International Labor Statistics.
This brief study highlights how unions, even as they decline in membership over the years, still provide their people with higher benefit and wage packages. Graphs and charts augment this presentation. The data are also arranged by broad occupational groupings and are further broken down into civilian, private industry, and state and local government categories.
The County Business Patterns 2011 has just been released by the Census Bureau. However, the title really is a misnomer since you can drill down information to the zip code level or expand up to national figures. What is does give is “…number of establishments, employment during the week of March 12, first quarter payroll, and annual payroll…” at all the previously mentioned levels. For example, you can get data on United States, New Jersey, NY Metropolitan Area, Hudson County, and zip code 07305 (which includes NJCU). And all these figures are arranged by NAICS codes; not surprisingly, Hudson County has no agricultural businesses! Here is the informative news release.
Some notable reports include: Microsoft Security Intelligence Report (with threat assessments; all volumes available); 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report (Verizon); State of the Internet, 4th Quarter, 2012 (Akamai, free registration required, has a separate section on security); Cybersecurity: Selected Legal Issues (CRS); The 2013 Cybersecurity Executive Order: Overview and Considerations for Congress, (CRS); 2013 Internet Security Threat Report (Symantec); FireEye Advanced Threat Report – 2H 2012; Cybersecurity – A Better Defined and Implemented National Strategy Is Needed to Address Persistent Challenges (GAO); and Cybersecurity Privacy Practical Implications (EPIC).