Tag: Employment

Employer-Based Health Insurance: “Job Lock” Is Not the Problem, “Insurance Lock” Is »

Over at The Incidental Economist, Austin Frakt is publishing an interesting series on “job lock”. This is the idea that, because most of us get our health benefits from our employers, we are “locked” into jobs we don’t like because they offer benefits which we do like (or need). We get our health benefits...
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A Snapshot of the Health Care Workforce »

How is the health care workforce changing under Obamacare? This month’s jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics gives us a snapshot of employment in health care versus the rest of the economy. The table below shows the details. Despite the widely touted notion that Obamacare is putting hospitals out of business, hospital...
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The Double Faustian Minimum Wage Bargain of 2007 »

In an ordinary Faustian bargain, a mortal sells his (or her) soul to an incarnation of the Devil in exchange for worldly power. However, in 2007 an extraordinary double Faustian bargain took place, in which, in effect, Lucifer and Mephistopheles both gave up their own souls, in exchange for the other’s. In 2006, Democrats...
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Krugman: “Why aren’t wages going up?” »

In his New York Times column yesterday, Princeton economist Paul Krugman argues that unprecedented extended unemployment benefits can’t have been the cause of the unprecedented average duration of unemployment during the “Great Recession.” He reasons, “If unemployment is high because people are unwilling to work, reducing the supply of labor, why aren’t wages going...
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The Failure of the “War on Poverty” in One Picture »

Source of chart: Jonathan Hoenig (@JonathanHoenig), Chicago, IL, based on U.S. Census data The poverty rate in the United States fell by half from 1950 to the start of the “War on Poverty.” And it was on track to continue falling. But after the “War on Poverty” programs kicked in, the poverty rate has...
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Retiring Teacher Seniority in California? »

California is legendary for its protection of unionized teachers. But if a new measure makes it onto the November ballot, voters would decide whether California teachers would have to bank on more than seniority to keep their jobs. Matt David of StudentsFirst submitted the measure to the Secretary of State last month, where it’s awaiting...
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New Year’s Revolution »

Millennials, already disproportionately suffering under the enduring Great Recession, likely have a bleak 2014 in store. Millennials suffer unemployment rates 50% higher than their elders. When you add in those working part-time while looking for full-time work, that already-high figure doubles. And half of last year’s college graduates work in jobs that don’t require...
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Eliminate Long-Term Unemployment Compensation »

Unless Congress decides to extend it, long-term unemployment compensation will expire on December 28. Unemployment compensation has typically been available for up to 26 weeks of unemployment, but has been extended during the past recession to up to 99 weeks. When you pay people to be unemployed, then not surprisingly, you get more unemployed...
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“Job Lock” from Employer-Based Health Benefits: What Should Government Do? »

Back in 1993, the economists Jonathan Gruber and Brigitte C. Madrian highlighted the problem of “job lock,” a consequence of employer-based health benefits. Job lock referred to the fact that the U.S. Internal Revenue Code does not tax employees’ health benefits if they are provided through employers’ group plans. However, if employers gave the...
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A Chance to End the Great Recession »

It is elementary economics that subsidizing an activity encourages it to expand, while taxing an activity encourages it to shrink. Unemployment benefits subsidize unemployment and are paid for, sooner or later, by taxes on employment. The natural result is more unemployment and less employment. The current “Great Recession” has only been the second worst...
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