Weekend reading: “economics of the middle class” edition


This is a weekly post we publish on Fridays with links to articles that touch on economic inequality and growth. The first section is a round-up of what Equitable Growth published this week and the second is the work we’re highlighting from elsewhere. We won’t be the first to share these articles, but we hope by taking a look back at the whole week, we can put them in context.


Equitable Growth round-up

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics earlier this week released its monthly JOLTS report, which provides the data on hiring, firing, and labor market flows from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Equitable Growth staff highlighted some of the key takeaways from the data provided in these four graphs.

For the first time in two decades, the number of individuals in the United States looking for jobs matches the number of job openings available. Equitable Growth’s Nick Bunker is quoted in the Associated Press with his explanation for why this may be.

Links from around the web

Should millennials receive a type of universal basic income in order to catch up to older generations? Resolution Foundation argues that young people would need $13,500 a year in order to help close the generation income gap. (cnnmoney)

Brishen Rogers lays out the argument by economists who have recently pointed out how declining U.S. antitrust enforcement is harming not just consumers but also workers. How can policymakers balance equality while simultaneously preserving individual liberty and potential threats to innovation? (bostonreview)

Is economic inequality in the United States exacerbating differences within race and ethnic groups? Randall Akee lays out the argument that income gains among the top 1 percent not only are disproportionately harming the bottom 99 percent but also leaving minorities disproportionately behind. (econofact)

Corporations such as Amazon.com Inc.  could be responsible for helping cover the costs of combatting homelessness in the city of Seattle as it’s City Council proposes to tax employee hours to raise revenue for affordable housing and homelessness services. Phoung Le points out that construction workers are worried that the policy decision could put their jobs at risk as businesses halt efforts to expand in the city. (washingtonpost)

Have economists become reluctant to offer new critiques to a once creative world in academia? Eric Posner and Glen Weyl argue whether or not the world of economics is the same visionary field it once was, or whether the radical ideologies of Jeremey Bentham and John Stuart Mill are a thing of the past. (chronicle)

Friday figure

Figure is from Equitable Growth’s “JOLTS Day Graphs: March 2018 Report Edition

May 11, 2018

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