Assignment 4 (Economics)


Assignment 4 (Economics)

Paper details:

Recommend responding in a 275-word response. Check it for spelling/punctuation and develop the draft in a word document. You can use your own experience to reflect.

Review the following articles and describe how they relate to unemployment, GDP, and inflation. Use a search engine such as Google to find out what is the unemployment, GDP, or inflation in another country.

Unemployed Californians to get an extra $300 weekly from COVID stimulus. What you need to know

Read more here:

Millions of Californians are due to get $300 a week added to their weekly unemployment payments — but some will get the extra benefit sooner than others.

There’s good news for almost everyone out of work. The extra payments, part of COVID economic relief legislation signed into law by President Donald Trump last month, will continue for most people through the week ending March 13.

Even when those benefits end, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, created last year to help people who usually cannot qualify for jobless aid, will keep going through early April for those who are still receiving payment as of the week ending March 13 and who continue to be eligible for PUA benefits.

Some new rules and benefits won’t kick in right away. The U.S. Labor Department is still issuing guidelines, and California’s Employment Development Department needs to make programming adjustments so it can implement the new benefits.
With the help of EDD, the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration and the National Employment Law Project, here’s a guide to what to expect:

I’ve been getting unemployment for months. When will I see the additional $300?
It depends. If you’re getting regular unemployment insurance — the traditional benefit for people who worked for employers that paid into the system — or the extra weeks added to those benefits under the FED-ED extension program, you may already see the money added to your account. You have to have submitted your bi-weekly certification for the week that ended Saturday. About 1.3 million people in California fall into that category.
And if that’s not me?
People getting PUA or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation will now begin to get payments. About 1.4 million people are in this category.
The EDD says it will let claimants know via email, text, or mailed notices when they can certify for benefit payments under these programs.
A second phase for the expansion of PUA and PEUC will include those who exhausted their claims for these benefits prior to the end of the federal CARES Act but now could become eligible for the new additional 11 weeks of benefits starting with the week of December 27.
The agency said claimants should look for messages from EDD and monitor the Federal Provisions for Unemployment webpage for details on these benefits and updates on when that programming will be complete along with other developments.

Do I need to contact EDD or fill out any new forms?
Not if you now get the PUA or PEUC benefits. “EDD will automatically recalculate PUA and PEUC claims,” the agency says on its website, and will notify you through your online account, mail or text message when you can certify for more benefits.
If the payment is delayed, will I still get everything I qualify for?
Absolutely. The new law provides for up to 11 additional weeks of PUA, and people can qualify now for up to 57 weeks of benefits. Money will be paid retroactively if necessary. For eligible claimants, the first week of unemployment these additional benefits are payable is the week beginning December 27.
Are the rules for qualifying for PUA the same?
Anyone working as a small business owner, independent contractor, self-employed worker and so on, who does not qualify for regular unemployment benefits and is unemployed due one of the specific federal COVID-19 reasons potentially qualifies.
There is a new federal requirement that PUA claimants and applicants applying on or after January 31 will need to submit proof of former employment or self-employment. States are awaiting further guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor on how to implement this provision.
My PUA claim eligibility ran out a while ago. Can I now get the additional 11 weeks authorized in the new law?
Yes, you can qualify again as of the week beginning December 27. You do not need to contact the EDD at this time. The department will automatically recalculate PUA claims, and will notify you through your online account, mail or text message when you can certify for more benefits.
I’ve never received PUA. How do I apply?
The best way for new PUA applicants to apply is online through the EDD website ( Applicants applying on or after January 31 will need to submit proof of employment or self-employment within 21 days after the EDD has requested the proof. Further information will be made available as more federal guidance is received.
I received regular benefits, not PUA. They ran out after 26 weeks, and I then got 13 more weeks under the PEUC program. Am I eligible for more benefits?
Yes. The new law provides for another 11 weeks, beginning the week of December 27. EDD will automatically recalculate PEUC claims, and will notify you through your online account, mail or text message when you can certify for more benefits.
How do I know which, if anym of these programs I qualify for?
Start by looking at the EDD’s chart: If that doesn’t help, call or email the agency for help at 1-800-300-5616 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., or hit the “help” button on the lower left of the EDD’s COVID page:
If none of that works, contact your state senator or Assembly member. You can find them on this site:

Buffett sees “long, deep” U.S. recession (Chapter 4)
May 24, 2008

BERLIN (Reuters) – The United States is already in a recession and it will be longer as well as deeper than many people expect, U.S. investor Warren Buffett said in an interview published in German magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday.

He said the United States was “already in recession” and added: “Perhaps not in the sense that economists would define it” with two consecutive quarters of negative growth. “But the people are already feeling the effects,” said Buffett, the world’s richest man. “It will be deeper and last longer than many think. “But he said that won’t stop him from investing in selected companies and said he remained interested in well-managed German family-owned companies. “If the world were falling apart I’d still invest in companies,” he said.

Buffett also renewed his criticism of derivatives trading. “It’s not right that hundreds of thousands of jobs are being eliminated, that entire industrial sectors in the real economy are being wiped out by financial bets even though the sectors are actually in good health.” Buffett complained about the lack of effective controls. “That’s the problem,” he said. “You can’t steer it, you can’t regulate it anymore. You can’t get the genie back in the bottle.”

India’s GDP in Q4 grows 6.1%, loses fastest growing economy tag
Ramarko Sengupta |May 31, 2017

India’s GDP (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) or gross domestic product grew 6.1 per cent year-on-year during the January-March period, government data showed on Wednesday. With this, India loses its status of the world’s fastest growing economy. China’s GDP grew 6.9 per cent during the same quarter. The GDP growth rate for the full year (2016-17 ) came in at 7.1 per cent in line with official estimate compared to a revised growth figure of 8 per cent in FY16.

A Reuters poll of 35 economists, had predicted India’s fourth quarter GDP growth at 7.1 per cent. During the previous quarter (October-December) India’s GDP grew at 7 per cent. Wednesday’s GDP data, that missed Street expectations will be a disappointment for the Narendra Modi government that completed three years at the Centre last week. PM Modi’s demonetisation drive that outlawed high-value currency notes last year in November in a bid to curb black money likely had an impact on the GDP numbers, analysts said. “Q4 data is definitely disappointing and clearly reflects some amount of extreme impact from demonetisation. Based on the quarterly numbers, we can expect a strong commentary from the central bank (RBI) in their next policy meet,” Tirthankar Patnaik, India strategist, Mizuho Bank said. The Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) monetary policy review is due early next month.

Yes, Bank’s chief economist Shubada Rao also felt that demonetisation had a role to play in the lower than expected numbers. “The lower-than-anticipated fourth quarter GDP number reflects the lingering impact of demonetisation,” she said. During the reporting quarter, the agriculture, forestry and fishing sectors grew at 5.2 per cent; mining and quarrying at 6.4 per cent; manufacturing at 5.3 per cent; electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services at 6.1 per cent; trade, hotels, transport and communication at 6.5 per cent; financial, real estate and professional services at 2.2 per cent; and public administration, defence and other services at 17 per cent. However, the construction sector shrank 3.7 per cent.

The fourth quarter GDP data was expected to get a boost from the revision in the IIP or Index of Industrial Production and WPI or Wholesale Price Index series to the 2011-12 base. Brokerage firm Nirmal Bang predicted a boost of about 20-30 basis points during the reporting quarter. The Central Statistical Office (CSO) earlier this month revised IIP and WPI series, changing the base year to 2011-12 from 2004-05. However, global ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service on Wednesday said it expects India’s GDP to gradually accelerate to around 8 per cent over the next three to four years. The Indian economy will grow by 7.5 per cent during financial year ending March 31, 2017 (FY17) and 7.7 per cent in the fiscal year 2018, it said. India’s biggest tax reform since independence in 1947, the GST or Goods and Services Tax is also expected to contribute 2 per cent to the country’s GDP. GST that aims to subsume all central and state taxes will be rolled out across the country on July 1, bringing India under a single tax regime. The contribution to GDP will happen eventually and the impact will be weighable by FY18, say economists.

Most economists, however, don’t take India’s GDP figures at face value after a change in methodology two years back that transformed a sluggish economy into a world-beater overnight. What is encouraging though is this year monsoon rains have hit the Kerala coast early raising prospects of a good harvest that will boost farm incomes. And with government pay hikes also in the works, the outlook for a sustained recovery looks good. However, analysts still worry over India’s uneven growth and ground realities. While private sector investment continues to be subdued, the country’s state banking sector is laden with bad debts.

Bank Of America Lowers U.S. GDP OutlookJun. 23, 2017
(RTTNews) – Bank of America Merrill Lynch has downgraded its outlook on U.S. gross domestic product in 2018 to 2.1 percent from an earlier forecast of 2.5 percent.

“Hopes for a big fiscal stimulus have faded, prompting us to remove most of the fiscal impulse from our forecast for growth next year,” Michelle Meyer, the firm’s head of U.S. economics, wrote in a research note. “We do not believe that fiscal easing is a necessary condition for the recovery to persist.”

On a more global view, other analysts from Bank of America see low interest rates for the foreseeable time.

“While we think the recent weak inflation readings in the U.S. will only delay the move higher in underlying inflation, for the rest of the world we now see core inflation inching lower rather than higher,” economists wrote. “In other words, there is no end in sight for the low-inflation-low-rate environment the global economy has been stuck in since the financial crisis.” (Links to an external site.)

US recession ‘began last year’

The US entered a recession in December 2007, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Its business cycle dating committee, which is considered the arbiter of whether the US is in recession, met on Friday to make the decision. The NBER says that the US economic expansion lasted 73 months, from November 2001, before contracting. It used a broad range of economic indicators, such as employment and production, to make this judgement.

In a statement, the committee said that the “decline in economic activity in 2008 met the standard for a recession”. It said that employment peaked in December 2007 and has been falling every since. And it said that personal income began falling in the first quarter of 2008, while industrial production peaked in January 2008.

The NBER uses key monthly indicators of economic output, including employment, industrial production, real personal income, and wholesale and retail sales – to determine when economic growth has turned negative, rather than relying solely on two quarterly declines in GDP. It defines a recession as a “significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in production, employment, real income and other indicators.”

The seven members of the committee who made the decision include economists Robert Hall (Stanford), Martin Feldstein (Harvard), Jeffrey Frankel (Harvard) and James Poterba (MIT). Another member of the committee, Christiana Romer (Berkeley) who was appointed last week to head president-elect Obama’s council of economic advisors, did not participate in the decision.

Although a private sector body, the NBER has been dating the business cycle since 1929. It does not forecast the length of the recession. However, other figures published on Monday suggested that the slowdown is gathering pace.

US manufacturing output is falling at the fastest rate since 1982. And revised figures for US GDP show that it fell by 0.5% in the third quarter of 2008. The US central bank, the Federal Reserve, has already cut interest rates to 1%, but may cut further at its next meeting on 16 December.

The Pros and Cons of Raising the Minimum Wage Chad Halvorson Mar. 6, 2014
The debate over raising the minimum wage has been a hot topic after President Obama explained in his 2014 State of the Union Address that he intends to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, an increase of over 40 percent. While the President and his supporters claim that this increase would greatly benefit the economy and result in no loss of jobs, the opposition claims that this would be detrimental to minimum wage employees, resulting in 500,000 fewer jobs. In the following article, we’re outlining the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage.

Economic Stimulus: Raising the minimum wage means minimum wage workers have more money to expend which means more money ripples throughout the economy as minimum wage employees are able to spend more.

More opportunity for jobs: If these minimum wage employees are spending more, then businesses are earning more and need to hire more employees to keep up with the increased sales from the minimum wage employees who are buying more.

Reduced Expense for Social Programs: Employees surviving at minimum wage are also often the same people who must rely on additional support of government run social programs to support themselves and their families on such a small amount of income. Raising minimum wage means some of these people would be able to better support themselves without leaning as heavily on social programs and this would ultimately mean lower taxes or a reallocation of those funds to support other needs.
Decreased Turnover Rate: Employees who are making a higher minimum wage feel more comfortable and satisfied in their minimum wage jobs meaning they are less likely to quit. This means there would be a lower turnover rate, which results in fewer expenses to hire and train new employees.
Inflation: The federal minimum wage needs to be raised in order to account for inflation, which raises every year and the minimum wage has only been risen three times in the past three decades.

Layoffs: If an employer has a tight compensation budget and the minimum wage is raised, it means they can no longer compensate the same number of employees at a higher rate and must make layoffs to remain within budget. So, while some employees may be making slightly more money, others will be left unemployed.

Price increase: Employers might raise prices of their product in order to generate enough income to support their more highly paid minimum wage employees, which could ultimately create a ripple effect for other shops and industries, resulting in a slightly higher cost of living, resulting in another push to raise minimum wage again.

Fewer Hirings: If business must pay their minimum wage employees more, they cannot afford to hire as many employees. According to a Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago study, “10 percent increase in the minimum wage lowers low skill employment by 2 to 4 percent and total restaurant employment by 1 to 3 percent.” Or instead of hiring fewer employees, the company may start outsourcing jobs to employees in countries that are willing to work for much less than $10.10 per hour, resulting in fewer jobs for Americans.
Competition Will Intensify: If minimum wage increases, overly qualified individuals will be vying for minimum wage positions, pushing younger, inexperienced workers out of the running and robbing them of their opportunity to gain experience and knowledge to build a resume for themselves and enter the workforce.

Applied Inconsistently: Many states have their own set minimum wages, which are currently above $7.25 per hour already. As of January 1, 2014, 21 states (and D.C.) have minimum wages above $7.15 per hour (Washington being the highest at $9.32 per hour), so the amount the national minimum wage is set at varies in significance from state to state.

Studies from both sides of the debate make it relatively clear that increasing minimum wage will not make a significant impact on the poverty level. According to the Congressional Budget Office report on The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour will only reduce the number of people in poverty by 900,000, a relatively few portion of the 16.5 million people that would supposedly benefit from the raise. This is because of the number of minimum wage workers, relatively few are actually in poverty, and of families who live in poverty, only about 7 percent have a full-time worker in the family meaning poverty is not because people are not being paid enough, it is because they are not working or not working enough.
Some suggest that creating more jobs for people who need them rather than raising earnings for people who already have them is a better solution for reducing the national poverty rate. Of course, this does not mean that raising the minimum wage wouldn’t be greatly beneficial to those earning it, but ultimately it does not help those who do not already have jobs to begin with. What is your opinion about the national minimum wage? Should we raise it or not? How would that affect you?

Seattle’s Painful Lesson on the Road to a $15 Minimum Wage:
The experiment has hurt low-wage workers, cutting their earnings by $125 a month. By Megan McArdle, June 26, 2017

In the summer of 2014, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a bill increasing the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. “No city or state has gone this far. We go into uncharted territory said council member Sally Clark. The City of Seattle, to its credit, actually made some effort to chart the waters as they went, funding an ideologically diverse research team at the University of Washington whose members range from Jacob Vigdor, who is a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, to Hillary Wething, a graduate student who used to be a fellow at the left-wing Economic Policy Institute.

Since the law raised the wage in stages, they studied it in stages. The results of the first jump, from $9.47 to $11 an hour, were released last year, and seemed to show that the effects on earnings were pretty small — an increase of about $72 every three months — and that low-wage employment declined slightly. In the long-running battle over the effects of the minimum wage, this paper didn’t offer much ammunition for either side, and thus occasioned relatively little excitement in the wonkosphere.

Now the question has acquired a little sizzle. UW is not the only school studying Seattle’s experiment, and last week a report came out from UC Berkeley, focused specifically on food services. Last week, that study reported: “Our results show that wages in food services did increase — indicating the policy achieved its goal. … Employment in food service, however, was not affected, even among the limited-service restaurants, many of them franchisees, for whom the policy was most binding.”

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray seemed ecstatic at the news; as Michael Saltsman noted at the time, he “conveniently had an infographic designed and ready to go for the study’s release. His office excitedly tweeted that the policy had ‘raised food workers’ pay, without negative impact on employment,’ linking to an uploaded study version on the Mayor’s personal .gov website rather than a University domain.”

This morning’s data gives ammunition to the mayor’s opposition. The University of Washington released its second study, this one covering the increase from $11 an hour to $13. And this study found huge effects: For every 1 percent increase in their hourly wage, low-wage workers saw a 3 percent reduction in the number of hours worked. As a result, they lost about $125 in earnings a month, clawing back the entire gain from the earlier hike and more.

Mayor Murray did not have an infographic ready to go for this study. Instead, he simply retweeted the infographic from the old one. This is hardly the first time we’ve had dueling studies on the minimum wage; indeed, by this point, the dueling is so common that the minimum wage practically has its own rules of engagement. But it’s pretty rare for a city to fund one study and then try to rebut it with another. Worse still for the citizens of Seattle, a read of the new paper suggests that this rebuttal won’t work.

To understand why not, you first need to understand a little bit of the history of minimum wage research. Such research has often focused on restaurants, because they employ a lot of low-wage workers, which would seem to make them a good proxy for a variety of low-wage industries. The most famous study in the field is probably David Card and Alan Krueger’s study of fast food restaurants from 1994. When you hear someone on the left claim that “research shows” minimum wage increases don’t hurt employment, then you can almost certainly trace that statement back to Card and Krueger.

Reality was always more complicated (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.). We are not working with a model in a textbook where undifferentiated widget manufacturers hire indistinguishable workers from a giant pile of bodies marked “labor.” Different industries, different firms within those industries, and different workers within those firms may all have very different experiences under a minimum wage: some unaffected, some better off, some driven into insolvency. So while Card and Krueger was important, it was by no means the final word that some took it for.

The new paper, unlike Card and Krueger, has broad data covering all of Washington’s workers, not just those employed by fast food franchises that happened to be operating at the beginning of the study. This is no slur on Card and Krueger, mind you; Washington State just happens to have unusually rich data available compared to most other states.

Leading labor economist David Autor told the Washington Post that “This strikes me as a study that is likely to influence people,” saying the study is “very credible” and “sufficiently compelling in its design and statistical power that it can change minds.” In other words: if you thought it was settled science that raising the minimum wage is good for workers, be prepared to think again.

And particularly be prepared to rethink very high minimum wages, like those supported by the “Fight for $15” folks. For as the authors note, the first round of hikes had relatively small impacts, while the second round had huge ones, suggesting that the effects may be nonlinear. And that makes sense. Relatively few people in this country make the minimum wage, so a small increase doesn’t make that much difference to most workers, or most employers. But a large jump affects more people, and the wage increases are much bigger for the lowest-paid staffers. If you make $9 an hour, but generate $10.50 in revenue for your boss, a law that raises the wage to $10.45 may cause her to shrug and decide it’s easier to keep you on as long as she’s making something. But a wage that forces her to pay you far more than you bring in…. Continuing to employ you would just be bad business.

It’s worth noting that Card and Krueger’s famous study involved an increase in the minimum wage from $4.25 an hour to $5.05. That was a significant increase — about 18 percent. But Seattle’s minimum wage has already increased by 37 percent, and it still has roughly another 20 percent to go.

At some level, we all intuitively understood that this was true. If the minimum wage increases by a penny an hour, probably even most rock-ribbed conservatives would not predict mass firings. On the other hand, if the wage was arbitrarily set to $100 an hour, even ardent labor activists would presumably expect widespread unemployment to follow. You can’t flat-out say “minimum wages don’t increase unemployment,” because the size of the increase, and the level of the resulting wage, obviously matter at some margin.

Seattle may have discovered that margin. And unfortunately, it may yet discover even further, uglier margins when the data is in on the full increase to $15. That’s the danger of striking out for uncharted territory; sometimes, you end up where there be dragons.

The Real Jobs Report
By Team Wall Street Survivor (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) March 7, 2016

The U.S. added an enormous 242,000 jobs in February, smashing the forecasts of many economists. It’s seen as wonderful news by many – indicating that the U.S. economy is in great health and everything is rosy and beautiful. The unemployment rate – another measure tracked by all those interested in the state of the economy –remained low at 4.9%. This would seem to add further fuel to the fire that the U.S. economy is roaring. But if the economy is in such good health…why is there still so much anxiety and fear in the markets? Is there more to the latest jobs report than assumed at first glance?

When news outlets talk about the 242,000 new jobs, they’re referring to a statistic provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS reports on the total number of paid workers of any business and this statistic is called total non-farm payroll employment. It’s called non-farm because…well these guys aren’t working on a farm. All-together, non-farm payrolls account for 80% of the total workforce. When this statistic increases, the interpretation is that businesses are hiring and the economy is growing. If it is decreasing, then obviously it would suggest the opposite is true. 242,000 is, no doubt, a lot of jobs. However…we need to put numbers into context. In January 2016 there were 143,318,000 people on non-farm payrolls. 143.3 million people were employed. The corresponding number for February was 143,560,000. That represents an increase of 242,000 jobs, or put another way – an increase of 0.17% month over month. Somehow 0.17% doesn’t have the same ring to it as 242,000 but that’s the game the media plays. We just have to be aware of it.

The interest rate in question is the rate at which banks are allowed to borrow money – which in turn gets passed on to the consumers. So, if it suddenly costs more for banks to borrow, they’ll have to find a way to compensate for that increased cost. The way they compensate is by passing on the cost to their customers.

If the economy is like a car engine, then credit (the ability to borrow money) acts as the lubricant. Being able to lend money to those who need it keeps the engine going. The worry is that if money isn’t as freely available, it’ll act as a stranglehold on the economy…choking out economic growth faster than Nate Diaz submitted Connor McGregor at UFC 196 last weekend. When borrowing money becomes more expensive for consumers, then less of them tend to borrow money. If that happens, the economy could suffer.

Cause for concern? Luckily for us, U.S. non-farm payrolls employment has been pretty steady and climbing slowly since 2008. We’re out of the woods, right? Yeah, maybe. Except there are a few worrying trends to take into account. The first is that the labor force participation rate is at its lowest since the late 70s. So even though there are tons of people employed right now – what’s strange is that the amount of people who are working (of those who can work) is at an all-time low. The percentage of adult Americans working or actively looking for a job is about 63%.

There are many reasons for this. Younger people, maybe finding themselves shut out of the job market or for other reasons, are electing to go to school rather than work. Older people, part of the baby boomer generation, are retiring en masse and not being replaced in the same numbers.

The truth is that the labor participation rate has been declining since 2000 – a trend that’s sped up since 2008 and the Great Recession. The second is that average wages are declining. People’s salaries are shrinking – that’s not a good thing. Since 2000, for the highest and lowest wage earners, household income has declined by an average of about 8%. While the top 40% has seen their wages increase slightly since 2008…the bottom 60% has not been so lucky.

These trends paint a different picture to the all-guns firing American economy that the mainstream media would like to portray. While the unemployment rate remains low, the fact is that the unemployment rate is artificially inflated in the way it’s calculated – not taking into account the people who are discouraged from working and have essentially stopped looking. If there are 100 people, 50 of whom are working and 50 who are not then the unemployment rate is 50% (50/100); however if we were to exclude 45 of the 50 people who are not working on the basis that they are “discouraged workers,” then we could conclude that the unemployment rate is actually 9% (5/55).

That’s what the official statistics are doing. By shrinking the pool of unemployed people that we use to calculate the metric, we are inflating our measure. Combine that with the reality that people are making less money than before and we see the true picture. There are lot of people who have dropped out of the work force, unable to find a job, a lot of people biding their time and the people who are working, well they are making less money for their trouble.

That’s why investors are so anxious about the economy and why every increase in employment and decrease in the unemployment rate is bandied about as the next big thing since sliced bread. One side is worried about the underlying trends and the other is trying to hype up the market. Don’t get caught up!

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