02/25/2018

News

Why Productivity Growth May Be Poised to Recover

Weak productivity growth has been a head-scratcher for economists in recent years, but a new study argues the tide is poised to turn, and the next wave will be driven by digitization. The diffusion of new technologies into everyday use holds promise for bringing back the kinds of annual 2% productivity growth seen in the […]

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How Does the Boss’s Pay Compare to the Rank and File?

America’s biggest companies are about to tell the world for the first time how compensation for their chief executives compares with what they pay their rank-and-file workers. The disclosure, a requirement of the postcrisis Dodd-Frank law, is causing trepidation among top executives and corporate boards, and for good reason: The pay ratio, which is calculated […]

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Gig Economy Grows Up as Lenders Allow Airbnb Income on Mortgage Applications

Homeowners soon will be able to count income they earn from Airbnb Inc. rentals on applications for refinance loans. A new program—expected to be announced on Thursday by Airbnb, mortgage giant Fannie Mae and three big lenders—will allow anyone who has rented out property on Airbnb for a year or longer to count some or […]

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Why Businesses Are Pushing for Better Child Care in America

Historically low unemployment is forcing headway on an issue that has been around since women entered the workforce: child care. Businesses increasingly see it as an issue vital to their operations and communities, and policy makers from New Hampshire to Michigan to Colorado have identified it as key to freeing up workers to fill stubborn […]

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The High Cost of ‘Affordable Housing’ Mandates

As housing prices recover from the Great Recession, municipalities across America are considering laws that will raise the cost of homeownership. The Wall Street Journal reports that cities like Philadelphia, Detroit and Atlanta are requiring developers to set aside some portion of their new units to sell or rent at below-market prices to low-income households. […]

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There’s a Global Race to Control Batteries—and China Is Winning

There is a world-wide race to lock up the supply chain for cobalt, which will likely be in even greater demand as electric-car production rises. So far, China is way ahead. Chinese imports of cobalt from Congo, the world’s biggest producer of cobalt, totaled $1.2 billion in the first nine months of 2017, compared with […]

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U.S. Producer Prices Returned to Upward Path in January

U.S. producer prices rose in January, the latest sign of building inflation pressure in the economy. The producer-price index, a measure of the prices businesses charge for their goods and services, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in January from a month earlier, the Labor Department said Thursday. From a year earlier, producer prices advanced 2.7% […]

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Consumer Prices Jump in Sign of Firming Inflation

The consumer-price index, which measures what Americans pay for everything from salad dressing to fares on public transportation, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in January, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, so-called core prices rose 0.3%. That was above economists’ expectations for a 0.4% rise in consumer prices, and […]

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Garbage In, Garbage Out in L.A.

When Los Angeles imposed a new trash-collection program last summer, supporters said the public would benefit from reduced landfill waste and greenhouse gas emissions and improved worker safety. Six months later, RecycLA has clearly benefitted the green and labor special interests that backed it, but for much of L.A. the experiment has been a dumpster […]

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Homeownership Rate Rose in 2017 for First Time Since 2004

The U.S. homeownership rate rose in 2017 for the first time in 13 years, driven by young buyers who overcame rising prices, tight supply and strict lending conditions to purchase their first homes. The annual increase marks a crucial turning point because it comes after the federal government reined in bubble-era policies that encouraged banks […]

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U.S. Worker Productivity Slipped in Final Months of 2017

U.S. worker productivity grew below its long-run average for the seventh straight year in 2017.

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U.S. Gained 200,000 Jobs in January as Wages Picked Up

A tightening labor market might finally be producing pay raises for American workers, delivering one of the key missing ingredients in the expansion.

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Why Are People in Red States Dropping Out of the Labor Force?

Though the labor market has grown robustly nationwide this year, progress has been uneven across blue states and red states. An increasing number of people in red states have stopped looking for work, while a larger share of people in blue states are actively in the workforce.

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Infrastructure Rebuilding Is Trump Administration’s Next Big Push

A senior White House official said Sunday that the Trump administration’s push for an infrastructure rebuilding plan will begin in earnest early next month, and that the president has invited GOP congressional leaders to Camp David to nail down their agenda for 2018. 

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California’s Political Fires

Wildfires continue to ravage California, and the bravery of firefighters trying to prevent damage to homes and property has been inspiring. But this being 2017 in America, the state’s progressive politicians are blaming the fires on humanity’s sins of carbon emission. To the contrary, the conflagrations should be a wake-up call to regulators and politicians who have emphasized acts of climate piety over fire prevention. 

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