Eating Fresh Fruits and Veggies Is Easy When They’re Relatively Cheap

In the fresh versus processed food wars, fresh fruits and vegetables are winning, thanks in part to their relatively cheap price tags. Since November 2008, the consumption of fresh fruits has grown 16.2%, while consumption of fresh vegetables is up 20.6%. Consumption of processed fruits and vegetables increased only 9.9% during the same time period, notes Eugenio J. Alemán, Wells Fargo senior economist, in a new report. “Consumers have rationally reacted to much higher prices on the processed side in relation to the fresh side,” Mr. Alemán said in an interview. “In relative terms, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables are cheaper today than processed fruits and vegetables are.” Processed fruits and veggies are in the “freezer aisle,” while fresh are not frozen, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Prices of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables were on an upward trajectory leading up to the 2008 Continue reading "Eating Fresh Fruits and Veggies Is Easy When They’re Relatively Cheap"

Job Openings Dropped in May as Hiring Rate Increased

The pace of hiring rose in May while the number of job openings dropped but remained near a record level, the latest sign that the labor market has continued to exhibit signs of strength in the second quarter of the year. The hiring rate climbed to 3.7%  in May from 3.5% the prior month, according to the Labor Department’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, known as Jolts. May’s figure remains below the hiring rates that were reached in late 2015 and early 2016.  There were about 5.7 million job openings at the end of May, down from about 6 million at the end of April. About 5.3 million people left a job, and 5.5 million people were hired in May. Both numbers were up from April. The Jolts report was once a widely-watched labor market indicator, but has generated less interest in Continue reading "Job Openings Dropped in May as Hiring Rate Increased"

What Does the New Seattle Minimum Wage Study Tell Us?

The Overhyped Seattle Minimum-Wage Disaster There are glaring weakness in a new study claiming that increased pay floors hurt low-wage workers. Bloomberg, July 10, 2017       A study released last month by the University of Washington on Seattle’s effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour has gotten a lot of attention. So… Read More The post What Does the New Seattle Minimum Wage Study Tell Us? appeared first on The Big Picture.

Jobless Rates for Hispanic and Black Workers Fall to Historic Lows

A long, if unspectacular, economic recovery appears to be paying dividends for two groups that disproportionately suffered in the wake of the Great Recession. The unemployment rate for Hispanic or Latino workers fell to 4.8% last month, the lowest level on records back to the 1970s. The rate for black Americans was 7.1%, the second-lowest monthly rate, bested only by April 2000’s 7% reading, according to the Labor Department. The decline in unemployment for blacks and Hispanics comes with a significant caveat: Both June lows are higher than the 3.8% rate for whites, and the 4.4% overall rate. Still, low joblessness is a sign that the recovery, featuring 81 straight months of job gains, is reaching groups that experienced a harsher recession than white and Asian workers. Overall unemployment touched a recent peak of 10% in October 2009. Black unemployment reached 16.8% in March 2010. Hispanic unemployment Continue reading "Jobless Rates for Hispanic and Black Workers Fall to Historic Lows"

Economists React to the June Jobs Report: ‘Doing Well Enough’

U.S. nonfarm employers added a seasonally adjusted 222,000 jobs in June. The unemployment rate ticked up to 4.4% from 4.3% the prior month as more people joined the workforce. Here are early reactions from economists and analysts to Friday’s report: “June employment data and the attendant upward revisions confirm what a lot of recent ‘soft’ data have been indicating—the economy is doing well enough.” —Steven Blitz, TS Lombard “The 222,000 gain in nonfarm payrolls in June, which was well above the consensus forecast at 179,000 and even our own more upbeat 200,000 estimate, is another illustration that the real economy is in good health.—Paul Ashworth, Capital Economics “Typically when low unemployment is paired with a low participation rate, workers should see wages increase. But in our slow-growth market we are seeing them stagnate, which is not good news.” —Michael Stull, Manpower North America Continue reading "Economists React to the June Jobs Report: ‘Doing Well Enough’"