Numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
Wages are supposed to track worker productivity, and from the end of World War II until 1973 they did. Then, something happened: Productivity kept rising but wages did not. Many on the left argue the link is now broken and redistributing income from the wealthy downward would help workers more than faster economic growth. But a new study co-authored by Harvard University economist Lawrence Summers says that’s wrong. He and Anna Stansbury, a doctoral student at Harvard, found a strong and persistent link between hourly productivity and a variety of wage measures since 1973. The problem, they conclude, is that the positive influence of productivity on pay has been overwhelmed by other forces pushing the other way.
Job openings were little changed at 6.1 million on the last business day of September. Job openings have been at or near record high levels since June. Over the month, hires and separations were little changed at 5.3 million and 5.2 million, respectively.
The Census Bureau reports that home ownership in the United States rose to 63.9 percent in the third quarter of 2017. This continues a rising trend since the second quarter of 2016, when home ownership had dropped to 62.9. This equaled the previous low of 51 years before (1965), just a year after annual data reporting began. Home ownership peaked at 69.2 percent during the housing bubble and had been generally declining since late 2006 (Figure).
The California dream isn’t dead. It just upped and moved to South Dakota. Less than half of people born in California in 1980 are making more money than their parents did as young adults. That’s the lowest percentage of children out-earning their parents that California has seen since at least 1940. By contrast, 62 percent of people born in South Dakota in 1980 out-earn their parents. That’s the highest percentage for any state in the country.
California’s Unemployment Insurance Fund is projected to have a positive balance by the end of 2018, marking the first time since 2008 that the employer-funded account will end in the black, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) reported October 31. California in 2009 began borrowing from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits, and in 2012 the debt triggered a reduction in California employers’ Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) credit. The FUTA credit reduction has carried over every year since then, costing employers approximately $9.5 billion in additional tax from 2012 through 2018 (as projected by the EDD).