Real Time Economics: Are Tariffs Working?


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

It’s jobs day! U.S. employers are expected to increase payrolls for a record 98th consecutive month. We’ll publish a special edition of this newsletter after the latest numbers are released.

Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through key developments in the global economy. We look at the growing U.S. trade deficit and rocky relations with China, what to watch in the November employment report, and a potential Fed pause on interest rates. Let us know what you think by replying to this email.

THE TARIFF MAN COMETH

American companies that import products are paying record amounts in customs duties as more and more of President Trump’s tariffs take effect. Tariff collections have doubled since May, including an increase of over 30% in the last two months, Josh Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Are Tariffs Working?”

5 Things to Watch in the November Jobs Report


This post is by Eric Morath from Real Time Economics


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The Labor Department releases its broadest gauge of the jobs market on Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the November jobs report to show employers added 198,000 jobs during the month and unemployment held at 3.7%. Here are five things to watch in the report.

1. Hot Hiring

U.S. employers have added better than 200,000 jobs to payrolls in four of the past six months, data that point to businesses remaining optimistic about the economy. A similar gain in November would cause this year to surpass 2017 in terms of job growth, and nearly match 2016 with a month still to go. That would be notable because economists expected hiring to slow as the labor market tightened and fewer workers were available.

2. Falling Further?

The unemployment rate held at a 49-year low the past two months. If the rate were to fall further, that Continue reading “5 Things to Watch in the November Jobs Report”

Real Time Economics: U.S.-China Tensions Flare


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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U.S.-China trade tensions are heating up again with the arrest of a top Huawei executive.

Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through key developments in the global economy. We’ll look at the flood of foreign steel still entering the U.S., how government has become a bit player in the U.S. labor market, and India overtaking China as a top target for investors. Let us know what you think by replying to this email.

Programming note: Real Time Economics will publish a special edition following Friday’s jobs report. Look for us in your inbox.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Canadian authorities arrested Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer at the request of the U.S. for alleged violations of Iran sanctions. The move is the latest in Continue reading “Real Time Economics: U.S.-China Tensions Flare”

Real Time Economics: Taxes, Trade and a Troubled Brexit


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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Inflation indexing is a mighty boring topic of conversation. But here’s something interesting: Congress and the IRS are using it to get you to pay more taxes. 

Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through the day’s top economic news. We also look at who’s winning the U.S.-China trade fight, how to phone in a job interview, Theresa May’s Brexit mess, and the link between marijuana and more babies. Let us know what you think by replying to this email.

‘CAUSE I’M THE TAXMAN

Last year’s big tax cut is about to start shrinking. The Internal Revenue Service is implementing a new method for making inflation adjustments that will cost Americans $133.5 billion over a decade. The tax law enacted last year lowered tax rates and Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Taxes, Trade and a Troubled Brexit”

Real Time Economics: Big Tech vs. Flyover Country


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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The divide between urban and rural America may only be getting worse. Amazon’s and Google’s plans to bulk up on the East Coast underscore the country’s diverging fortunes as some of the biggest companies look for a critical mass of workers with tech and other key skills. 

Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through the day’s top economic news. U.S. retail sales data, a key barometer of consumer spending, are out this morning. We’re also monitoring signs of a global slowdown, the cost of “free” social media, and the fate of Prime Minister Theresa May’s government after two senior members quit over Brexit. Let us know what you think by replying to this email.

TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT

Amazon.com and Google’s decisions to add tens of Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Big Tech vs. Flyover Country”

Real Time Economics: U.S. and China Resume Trade Talks


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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Here we go again. The U.S. and China resumed trade talks last week, though divisions within the Trump administration make it hard to figure out whether we’re heading for a truce or more tariffs.

Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through the day’s top economic news. We’ll also look at Amazon’s new headquarters, tech’s battle for talent, oil prices, and why foreigners are shunning U.S. colleges and British jobs. 

LET’S TALK

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with his Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier Liu He, about a deal to ease trade tension. Friday’s phone call didn’t lead to a breakthrough but the renewed discussions indicate the two sides are trying to make progress ahead of a meeting between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the end Continue reading “Real Time Economics: U.S. and China Resume Trade Talks”

Real Time Economics: The Midterm Results Are In | Gridlock Likely To Limit Policy Shifts | Remember the Debt Ceiling?


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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Democrats retook the House, Republicans added a seat in the Senate—and the short-term economic outlook is pretty much the same as before the midterms. Political gridlock is likely to temper major shifts in American economic and tax policy for the next couple years but could also leave Washington looking over the next fiscal cliff.

Good morning. Jeff Sparshott here to take you through the latest developments affecting the global economy.

HELP WANTED. SERIOUSLY.

Before we dive into the election, here’s some bright news for workers: Unfilled jobs in the U.S. exceeded the number of unemployed Americans by more than one million as the summer came to a close. Before March, job openings had never exceeded unemployed workers in more than 17 years of monthly records, Eric Morath reports. It’s a Continue reading “Real Time Economics: The Midterm Results Are In | Gridlock Likely To Limit Policy Shifts | Remember the Debt Ceiling?”

Who Gets Credit for Economy, Obama or Trump? The Answer Is Both


This post is by Paul Kiernan from Real Time Economics


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President Trump and former President Obama sparred on the campaign trail about who deserves credit for the strong economy, but the record is more complex than either describes.

While economic growth has been faster during Mr. Trump’s first 21 months in office than it was during Mr. Obama’s eight years, federal debt is growing faster now than it was during Mr. Obama’s second term. Mr. Obama, meantime, presided over faster overall growth in payroll jobs during his second term, but growth in manufacturing payrolls under Mr. Trump is faster than during Mr. Obama’s two terms. And while the stock market has rallied under Mr. Trump, it hasn’t measured up to the rebound during Mr. Obama’s first term from lows in the financial crisis.

No comparison is perfect. Mr. Obama came to office during a deep recession and financial crisis. Mr. Trump came into office during a long run of steady Continue reading “Who Gets Credit for Economy, Obama or Trump? The Answer Is Both”

Real Time Economics: Amazon Does the Splits | U.S. Midterms Are Here | Why Iran Sanctions Aren’t Raising Oil Prices


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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It’s Election Day! Today we look at Amazon’s decision to split its second headquarters between two cities, U.S. midterms, the “real” unemployment rate, and Iran sanctions.

AMAZON SPLITS HQ2

Amazon.com plans to split its second headquarters evenly between two locations rather than picking one city. The WSJ’s Laura Stevens and Shayndi Raice report that the surprise decision is to allow the company to recruit more of the best tech talent, and ease potential issues with housing, transit and other areas where adding tens of thousands of workers could cause problems. Under the new plan, Amazon would divide the workforce with about 25,000 employees in each place.

Amazon is in advanced talks with multiple cities but hasn’t made a final decision on which two locations it will pick. An announcement Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Amazon Does the Splits | U.S. Midterms Are Here | Why Iran Sanctions Aren’t Raising Oil Prices”

Real Time Economics: U.S. Companies Feel Tariff Pinch | Strongest Wage Growth In a Decade | Election Day Nears


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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Good morning. Today we look at fallout from U.S. trade policy, another milestone for workers, how opioid addiction is affecting the labor market, and where midterm elections could affect economic policy.

THE LONG ARM OF HIGHER TARIFFS

U.S. companies said they are tempering the effects of escalating tariffs with China through price increases or changes to their supply chains, but they warn investors that the picture could worsen next year. Tariffs have slowed U.S. timber and grain exports, raised the cost of imported clothes hangers and heavy-equipment materials, and compressed profit margins for computer chip and tool makers, among other effects, according to an analysis of results and comments from third-quarter earnings. While the negative impact is widespread, it’s so far mostly modest, Theo Francis reports.

The tariff Continue reading “Real Time Economics: U.S. Companies Feel Tariff Pinch | Strongest Wage Growth In a Decade | Election Day Nears”

Just How Good Is the October Job Market? Here’s How It Compares


This post is by Josh Zumbrun and Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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U.S. employers added 250,000 jobs, the unemployment rate held steady at 3.7% and hourly wages posted their strongest growth since 2009 in October.

Wage growth climbed 3.1% from a year ago, on an hourly basis, topping 3% for the first time since the recession. On a weekly basis, wages jumped an even stronger 3.4%.

The number of jobs grew by 1.7% over the past year. That pace of gains is a slight acceleration from a year ago but below the postrecession highs seen in 2015.

Broader measures of unemployment, such as those that include discouraged workers, and part-time workers who can’t find full-time work, have also continued to trend downward.

The share of Americans participating in the labor force has been little changed for the past five years, as job gains have been partially offset by the ongoing retirement of the baby boomer generation.

Among Continue reading “Just How Good Is the October Job Market? Here’s How It Compares”

Real Time Economics: U.S. Jobs Numbers On Tap, Trump Signals Progress With China


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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It’s jobs day! The U.S. employment report for October is out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Today we also look at progress and prospects for resolving the U.S.-China trade fight, slower growth at U.S. factories, so-so worker productivity, labor disruptions, and the company that’s following you by tracking your smartphone.

GOOD COP

President Trump said he had a “very good conversation” with President Xi Jinping of China, signaling progress in the nations’ trade dispute. The president’s upbeat assessment came as an impasse over trade has threatened to undermine a planned meeting between the two leaders at the Group of 20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires later this month, Vivian Salama, Aruna Viswanatha and Kate O’Keeffe report.

Mr. Trump said the two discussed many issues by telephone on Thursday, Continue reading “Real Time Economics: U.S. Jobs Numbers On Tap, Trump Signals Progress With China”

5 Things to Watch in the October Jobs Report


This post is by Eric Morath from Real Time Economics


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The U.S. government releases its broad measure of the October labor market on Friday. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the Labor Department to report employers added 188,000 jobs during the month and unemployment held at 3.7%. Here are five things to watch in the report.

1. Wage Breakthrough

Workers’ wages are poised to break through a 3% annual growth ceiling that’s held firm for nearly a decade. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal project that average hourly earnings advanced 0.2%, or about 5 cents an hour, in October from September. Such an increase would result in wages advancing 3.1% from a year earlier. Wages haven’t exceed 3% year-over-year growth since April 2009. The strong annual gain in October in part reflects that wages declined, on a monthly basis, in October 2017. Still, the broader trend is one of improving pay for workers. Continue reading “5 Things to Watch in the October Jobs Report”

Real Time Economics: Americans Are Finally Getting Fatter Paychecks


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

Good morning. Today we look at rising wages, signs the labor market has further to run, a hiring frenzy for $300,000-a-year jobs, where foreign students work, and how the U.S. Treasury is adding to its growing pile of debt. 

PAY DAY!

Americans paychecks rose at the fastest rate in more than a decade over the past year, showing a tight labor market is paying dividends for more workers, Eric Morath reports. The latest wage data comes from the slightly obscure employment-cost index, which accounts for both wages and benefits paid to civilian workers. A more closely watched pay gauge—average hourly earnings for private-sector employees—is out with the October jobs report on Friday. It’s expected to rise just more than 3% from a year earlier, which would be the strongest Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Americans Are Finally Getting Fatter Paychecks”

Real Time Economics: U.S. Wages Poised for a Breakout | China’s Factories Slow | Millennials Drive Homeownership


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

Good morning. Today we look at the U.S. labor market, inflation, homeownership in America, a two-year low for China manufacturing activity, and warnings on tariffs. 

BREAK ON THROUGH

U.S. workers’ wages are poised to break through a 3% annual growth ceiling that’s held firm for nearly a decade when the Labor Department releases the October jobs report on Friday. Economists project that average hourly earnings advanced 0.2% on the month in October. That roughly 5-cent-an-hour gain would result in wages advancing 3.1% from a year earlier.

Wages haven’t exceed 3% year-over-year growth since April 2009. (At that time, wages were growing because employers we’re letting go of less-experienced, lower-paid workers, leaving higher-earning workers on payrolls.) The strong annual gain in October in part reflects that Continue reading “Real Time Economics: U.S. Wages Poised for a Breakout | China’s Factories Slow | Millennials Drive Homeownership”

What Puerto Rico’s Job Market Looks Like a Year After Hurricane Maria


This post is by Sarah Chaney from Real Time Economics


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Puerto Rico lost 35,000 jobs in the month after Hurricane Maria struck. One year later, employment in the storm-battered island still hasn’t recovered.

Maria—the worst storm to hit Puerto Rico in nearly a century—knocked out electricity across the island and ravaged roads and infrastructure. Thousands of small businesses closed, a huge blow to the island’s already suffering economy.

“Most of the jobs are generated by small businesses, and small businesses were hit the hardest by the hurricane,” said Edwin Meléndez, director of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York.

Employment in the U.S. territory had been on a steady descent since 2006. The storm brought on a far starker fall.

In September 2017, when Hurricane Maria made landfall, there were 871,000 jobs. While Puerto Rico was able to recover some of the lost jobs in subsequent months, payrolls clocked in at Continue reading “What Puerto Rico’s Job Market Looks Like a Year After Hurricane Maria”

Real Time Economics: Waiting for a Middle Class Tax Cut? Don’t Hold Your Breath


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

Good morning. Today we look at presidential pledges, the unintended consequences of a higher minimum wage, the world’s longest sea bridge and the state of American infrastructure spending, Hurricane Maria, how shipowners could affect airfares, and Germany’s concession to U.S. gas exporters.

MORE TAX CUTS?

“We’re giving a middle-income tax reduction of about 10%. We’re doing it now for middle-income people.”—President Trump, speaking to reporters Monday

Well, don’t hold your breath. Congress is out of Washington until after the Nov. 6 election. It isn’t even clear whether the administration will put out any plan by then. There likely aren’t enough votes or time in the post-election Congress for a major tax cut, and a switch in control of the House or Senate would reshape the tax agenda for Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Waiting for a Middle Class Tax Cut? Don’t Hold Your Breath”

What a Recession Could Mean for Women’s Unemployment


This post is by Sarah Chaney from Real Time Economics


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How would female job hunters fare in the next recession? Likely better than men, if history is any indication.

While the unemployment rate for women has moved in tandem with that of men since the 1980s, there is one notable exception—during recessions. When the economy contracts, joblessness spikes higher among men than women.

The recent downturn offered the latest glimpse of this phenomenon. The male rate hit a high of 11.1% in 2009, well above the female peak of 9.0% in 2010.

This gap reflects the gender concentrations in different industries and occupations, economists say.

“Women are more likely to be in education and health…you don’t fire all teachers…and doctors during a recession,” said Heidi Shierholz, senior economist at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute.

Male workers, meantime, hold disproportionate shares of the jobs in sectors such as manufacturing and construction, which are typically hard-hit by recessions.

As employment in Continue reading “What a Recession Could Mean for Women’s Unemployment”

Winternships


This post is by Fred Wilson from AVC


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I heard about a cool program that helps NYC tech companies build more diverse teams. It is called Winternships.

The program is run by a group called WiTNY (Women in Tech and Entrepreneurship in NY) which is a three year-old collaboration between Cornell Tech and CUNY to drive more female students into tech majors or minors, and into the NYC tech ecosystem.

It works like this:

A Winternship is a paid, three-week internship experience during the January academic recess for freshman and sophomore women in tech. Participating companies design an ‘immersion’ experience in their business – students sit in on meetings, meet executives, go on site visits — and they work together on a challenge project that they pitch on the last day. WiTNY identifies students based on a match between your needs and their skills. Their team will even help you craft the Wintern experience if you want.

Here

Continue reading “Winternships”

Real Time Economics: Trump’s Fed Criticism Intensifies | Brexit’s Toll On the U.K. | The U.S. Economy Is Booming


This post is by Jeffrey Sparshott from Real Time Economics


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This is the web version of the WSJ’s newsletter on the economy. You can sign up for daily delivery here.

Good morning. Today we look at how the Fed might react to President Trump’s criticism, the steep cost of unwinding globalization, more evidence the U.S. economy is firing on all cylinders, and the most competitive economy in the world. 

TRUMP ATTACKS THE FED (AGAIN)

President Trump again said the Federal Reserve is raising short-term interest rates too fast, calling the U.S. central bank “my biggest threat.” The president acknowledged Jerome Powell was his pick to lead the Fed but demurred when asked directly if the chairman would be out of a job if his decisions prove misguided, Kate Davidson reports. “I put him there, and maybe it’s right, maybe it’s wrong,” he said in an interview with the Fox Business Network. “I put a couple of other people Continue reading “Real Time Economics: Trump’s Fed Criticism Intensifies | Brexit’s Toll On the U.K. | The U.S. Economy Is Booming”