Topic: Employment
Sept. 6, 2017

Teachers’ union leaders hoping to discount the runaway academic success of charter schools have claimed charters lure the best-performing kids, leaving traditional, union-run public schools to handle poor-performing and struggling students. In its statement launching the anti-charter “Kids Not Profits” campaign, for instance, the California Teachers’ Association claimed that charters “cherry-pick the students … weeding out and turning down students with special needs.”

Now a series of reports in California and elsewhere show the opposite is true. In one case, educators in the San Diego Unified School District have been counseling their students with low grade-point averages to transfer into charter schools, especially online charters, according to a Voice of San Diego report last month.

Sept. 5, 2017

The brick-and-mortar retail swoon has been accompanied by a less headline-grabbing e-commerce boom that has created more jobs in the U.S. than traditional stores have cut. Those jobs, in turn, pay better, because its workers are so much more productive. This demonstrates something routinely overlooked in the anxiety about the job-destroying potential of robots, artificial intelligence and other forms of automation. Throughout history, automation commonly creates more, and better-paying, jobs than it destroys. The reason: Companies don’t use automation simply to produce the same thing more cheaply. Instead, they find ways to offer entirely new, improved products. As customers flock to these new offerings, companies have to hire more people.

Sept. 1, 2017

The pace of hiring slowed in August, while the U.S. unemployment rate edged up.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by a seasonally adjusted 156,000 in August from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate rose to 4.4% from 4.3%, though the level remains historically low. Wages maintained a modest growth rate.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 179,000 new jobs and a 4.3% unemployment rate last month.

Aug. 25, 2017

Workers who lose their job face a variety of hardships while unemployed. But beyond the direct cost of job loss, its associated income loss, workers will tend to make less in their next job as well. This is perhaps not surprising intuitively and is certainly expected by economic theory. Coming from unemployment, a worker is not in a good position to select their optimal job nor to bargain for high wages once they find a job. In addition, unemployment may signal—rightfully or not—that a worker was separated for a reason and is less productive than their prior wage required. By either of these stories, unemployment duration should exacerbate the earnings losses. A worker unemployed longer will be more desperate to take a bad job that comes along and have an even worse bargaining position in it. Long unemployment durations also may signal failed attempts to find employment and be an even worse signal than a relatively short unemployment spell. A longer search time, however, may help the worker find a better match and a higher wage in re-employment. This article will explore empirically earnings losses across unemployment spells and show that, in general, the longer the unemployment duration, the larger the loss. 

Aug. 22, 2017

To anyone who believes environmental regulation is poison for profits, California must be infuriating. The state’s pollution policies rarely wilt its perennially blooming economy. For the past nine years, a Golden State-centric think tank Next 10 has been releasing its California Green Innovation Index. The results this year show a continuing trend: For two and a half decades, California’s GDP and population have continued to rise, while per capita carbon dioxide emissions have stayed flat. But California isn't done yet. It has two major upcoming goals: reducing emission to to 1990 levels by 2020, and 40 percent below that a decade later. So while California has continued to grow during phase one of its environmental overhaul, it's still a question whether its long-term green ambitions will turn its economy as chilly as a San Francisco summer.

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Nov. 17, 2017 / Andrew Khouri

Nov. 17, 2017 / The Editorial Board