By way of CalculatedRisk I found a new blog called the Big Picture that I think I'll start reading. Here's a small excerpt of its latest, discussing the NFP (non-farm payroll) increase for this month:
Today's NFP number stunk the joint up: 75,000. That's half of the monthly population growth, meaning the percentage of people working (relative to pop) actually went down, if we are to believe this data.It's also interesting to note that growth in real wages has been flat or negative, while consumer prices have not increased at inflationary rates except when tied to gas/oil prices. As a commentor in another blog described, unlike past periods of high inflation this time corporations are handling inflationary pressure by pushing the burden onto the workers instead of consumers in the form of below-inflation pay raises and reductions in benefits. If we didn't have such a grossly negative trade deficit, increasing the price of consumer goods could have the effect of making other countries share the burden of our inflation. Instead, we've got to shoulder it alone.