Trends of Hours Worked and Employment of G7

This week, I wanted to examine data to see if there was a trend with average hours worked and employment, as well as unemployment. We would expect that as employment increases, so would hours worked. I took data from the OECD from the G7 members, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US. seven of the major advanced economies in the world, Here are the results. So far, France follows the trend we would expect; employment and hours worked are mostly parallel. Canada also mostly follows this, but we can see a slight trend where employment has been Continue reading Trends of Hours Worked and Employment of G7

The Benefits in the Long Run of Investing in On-Site Child Care Outweigh the Costs

As of 2015, America’s workforce was made up of 53.2% men and 46.8% women, and over the past 20 years, this 7-10% gap in genders represented in the workforce has remained fairly consistent. There has been a lot of research done as to why this gap between involvement exists, part of it is due to there being less women in the manual labor, science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, while another aspect is the ever so present gender pay gap. The causation of the gap in gender in the workforce is multi-dimensional though, often the focus of the conversation is set on identifying the Continue reading The Benefits in the Long Run of Investing in On-Site Child Care Outweigh the Costs

Abolish the minimum wage? A debate.

Quick share on Monday am, on our semester theme of the minimum wage: Here’s a link to a public debate on the minimum wage hosted a couple of years ago by NPR’s Intelligence^2 Debates. The audio recording of the 50-minute Oxford-style debate addresses the motion “Abolish the minimum wage.” and a winner is determined by polling audience members before and after the debate. James Dorn (Cato Institute) and Russ Roberts (Hoover Institution at Stanford University) argue in favor of the motion, while Jared Bernstein (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) and Karen Kornbluh (former U.S. ambassador to the OECD) side Continue reading Abolish the minimum wage? A debate.

Should Tacoma increase its minimum wage to $15/hour? A live debate!

On October 8th at 7pm, colleagues at Pacific Lutheran University will hold their latest installment of the Ruth Anderson Public Debate, where two teams (one expert and one student debater each) will engage in a debate on the subject of increasing the minimum wage in Tacoma to $15 an hour. Sound Economics will be there covering the debate live, and we encourage those economically-minded readers to attend if you can! If you cannot attend, follow the debate on Twitter; a small handful of questions for the debaters will be selected from Twitter submissions. In the weeks leading up to the debate, Continue reading Should Tacoma increase its minimum wage to $15/hour? A live debate!

Training and Wages

The Economic Report of the President was released recently, and in it was a sizable section on a trend of declining on-the-job training that identified a downward trend in it over the twelve years between 1996 and 2008. The last observation in the data was in 2008, but given the trends in the prior periods, there seems to be a distinct movement towards jobs with less on-site training.This is a concerning trend, however, when viewed from an efficiency standpoint. In economics, economists identify two basic types of training. The first type is general training, and can be applied across a number Continue reading Training and Wages

Amazon and Monopsony

On Sunday of this week, Paul Krugman posted a now-much debated op-ed entitled: Amazon’s Monopsony is Not Okay. For those unfamiliar with the article or the debate that surrounds it: it is about Amazon’s enormous market power, and the impact that power is having on the publishing market as a whole. Specifically, publisher Hachette is currently in a dispute with Amazon, who are pressuring Hachette to change their rates for e-book prices by cutting off the supply of Hachette’s authors’ books to the public: making them either delayed or completely unavailable. Most of the experts, regardless of their political leanings Continue reading Amazon and Monopsony

The Real Job Creators

Job Creators. It’s a term that’s been thrown around a lot in the media in recent years. It’s most commonly used as a term of endearment for wealthy business owners, usually in an attempt to defend them from new taxes or regulations that would hurt their bottom line, and by the media’s logic, hurt the labor market. In this view, the wealthy are like benevolent dictators, creating jobs only when taxes and regulations are to their liking. But this simply isn’t the case. As venture capitalist Nick Hanauer points out, businesses do not just generate jobs out of the goodness Continue reading The Real Job Creators

Fast Food Wages Part II

This post is a follow up to Tom’s contribution on November 5th about “Why Fast Food Wages Really Matter,” where he pointed out that “over 50% of fast food workers are enrolled in at least one public assistance program.” A few months ago, McDonald’s—the prototypical fast food industry player—posted some advice to employees on their website: “If you’re hungry, break your food into pieces. You’ll eat less and still feel full.” In the same vein, McDonald’s has also encouraged employees to consider food stamps to supplement their pay. These observations raise Tom’s question all over again: “Is that really worth Continue reading Fast Food Wages Part II

Why Low Fast Food Wages Really Matter

According to an article in Business Week, over 50% of fast food workers are enrolled in at least one public assistance program, a substantially higher proportion than any other industry. The low wages paid to these workers cost American taxpayers an average of $7 Billion a year. Is that really worth a Big Mac that’s a buck cheaper?