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The Atlanta Fed's macroblog provides commentary and analysis on economic topics including monetary policy, macroeconomic developments, inflation, labor economics, and financial issues.

Authors for macroblog are Dave Altig, John Robertson, and other Atlanta Fed economists and researchers.


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August 19, 2005


(Not Much) Help Wanted

Reader knzn leaves a comment in a post below, and a link to this interesting chart of "job vacancies" based on his own help-wanted index that combines both newspaper and Internet advertising.

Help_wanted

That's a pretty compelling picture, but I'll repeat my response to his comment here: Just to clarify, my position is not that the labor market has been robust, or that it has been inaccurate to characterize it as weak for good chunks of time subsequent to the end of the recession. My point is that I am skeptical about the position that sluggish job creation has been the result of old-fashioned deficient demand, amenable to being fixed by stimulative fiscal and monetary policies.

August 19, 2005 in Labor Markets | Permalink

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Listed below are links to blogs that reference (Not Much) Help Wanted :

» SLACKATHON from MaxSpeak, You Listen!
I offered some kinky time series analysis from my colleague Jared Bernstein that supports the view of slack in the labor market. David Altig kindly responded with some contrary propeller-head results. Calculated Risk comments and PGL at Angry Bear puts... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 19, 2005 3:59:05 PM

» A brief guide to the labour market slack debate - round 2* from New Economist
For those who have been on vacation for the past few weeks, you may have missed part two of the great blog debate over US 'labor market slack'. What Max Sawicky calls a 'Slackathon' has been revived thanks to the WSJ econblogger debate, Debating Job-Ma... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 25, 2005 5:40:45 PM

Comments

I might suggest, though, if you are taking the position that the labor market knows what it’s doing and doesn’t need interference from policy, then one might also take the position that the bond market knows what it’s doing, which would seem to argue for keeping short-term rates low in the face of an already relatively flat yield curve. Also, if you want to argue that today is a “rainy day”, you have to explain why the sun seems to be shining on corporate profits. (Of course that raises another conundrum for either side of the debate: with such good returns on capital apparently available, why is capital still so cheap for prospective bond issuers?)

Posted by: knzn | August 19, 2005 at 10:21 AM

I think he is arguing policy would be ineffective, at least of the conventional variety. That doesn't rule out more targeted programs though, such as R&D, educational investments, and the like.

Posted by: Lord | August 19, 2005 at 03:52 PM

Lord -- Exactly!

Posted by: Dave Altig | August 22, 2005 at 02:23 PM

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