Pay Increases in Other Forms

January 11, 2016 – A key measure many economists look to in determining the health of the labor market is wage growth.  As employment rises and the job market becomes more competitive, people look for higher paying jobs and an increase in wages.  What many people fail to recognize in terms of wage growth are the pay increases they receive …

Social Networking Use Among Adults

December 28, 2015 – As we look back on how rapidly our world has changed over the years we certainly have to look at social media usage. Social media is primarily a way of exchanging and communicating information and opinions. In the figure below we look at the percentage of social media users between certain age ranges. It should come …

Did Your Babysitter Make the Nice List?

December 21, 2015 – With the holiday season in full swing and sales poised to set another record, some might wonder how this money is being spent. Although not shown in the graph, family members benefit the most, with people devoting the majority of their holiday budget to gifts on family members. Money spent on items such as cards, flowers, …

Falling Behind

December 10, 2015 – It should come as no surprise that delinquencies on student loans have been on the rise given the dramatic increase in student loan debt outstanding.  As we can see from the graph below, the delinquency rate on student loan debt is now more than the rate on credit cards and mortgages and has been increasing since before …

Income Gaps: It’s About Who You Work For

November 23, 2015 – As the never-ending debate regarding income inequality remains at a gridlock, perhaps it’s time to shift our focus from an individual and consumer level, to a company level. As we can see from the first graph in the series of graphs below, the 90th percentile of the largest 500 companies have increased their market share dramatically. …

Investing in the Government for Big Returns

October 26, 2015 – Imagine having an investment portfolio in which you contribute $500 every month, like it is taken straight from your paycheck. Now, throughout the course of the year, this portfolio grows 450% to a total value of $33,400. That’s something to brag about! These are the numbers from the bottom 20% of tax filer’s net income tax …

The Middle Class is Growing

October 19, 2015 – As the political season has begun and the debates are heating up, we have heard more and more about the mystery of a vanishing ‘Middle Class’. Though we have yet to hear who or what is defined as the ‘Middle Class’, we have been sufficiently reassured that it is both incredibly important and that the state …

Are Businesses the New Banks?

September 28, 2015 – More than half of all cash on the books at corporations is invested in investment grade corporate bonds. The record high comes from the decreased investments in US Treasurys, commercial paper, and CDs. Money market funds are becoming less attractive due to new SEC rules and deposits are tougher on banks due to the banking rules …

Government Mandated Price Floors Are Making Immediate Impacts

September 14, 2015 – Here is a clear illustration of why price manipulation hurts the economy: The state of California has steadily increased employment in the hotel and accommodation industries since 2010. This rise in employment has been seen in LA pretty much on par with the rest of the state. Moving up together from 2010 to 2014. But since …

What CPI Tells Us About Prices

September 9, 2015 – The FED justified its aggressive monetary policy in 2010 as a way to “promote a stronger pace of economic recovery”. Have prices risen in the last 15 years because more dollars are chasing fewer goods? This chart shows a cumulative increase in price on a percentage basis indexed from 2000. For reference, a growth of 2% …