Saturday, July 6, 2013

Nice chart showing where the jobs were lost during the recession and where they have been regained. Thank God for Fast Food, Bars and an aging population...

This chart is from the terrific blog EMSI. It shows the change in the number of jobs during the official time span of the recession (light blue bar) and the change in the number of jobs after the official end of the recession (dark blue bar).

If a bar swings to the left of the center line it shows the number of jobs lost in that time period. If it swings right the number of jobs gained.

"Information" and "Government" are the only two sectors that lost jobs during the recession AND continued to do so AFTER the recession.

Interestingly enough, "Healthcare and Social Services", "Educational Services (Private)" and "Utilities" are sectors that added jobs during AND after the recession.

The glaring sore spots are Manufacturing and Construction (mostly residential construction).  In nominal terms, those sectors lost the most jobs and have not come close to making them up.

Those sectors are not likely to regain there lofty status anytime soon.  Construction is more likely to recover to at least parity, but manufacturing will continue to transition from a labor intensive industry to a capital/technology intensive one.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Interesting data point from the Unemployment Report put today--Multiple Job Holders I salute you. However, I think you might be distorting the economic picture. Maybe you should back off. :)

I am always on the look out for new twists on the employment report that comes out monthly.  Here is one I have never looked at and thought interesting. This data comes from the latest Employment Report from the BLS.

The highlighted portions show the number of Multiple Job Holders and the change from June 2012 to June 2013. There are 283,000 more people doing this today than 1 year ago.  That works out to a monthly average of 23,538.

In the last year the average number of jobs created each month was approx 170,000 (data here).

This means that people with jobs ALREADY account for taking 14% of the additional jobs created each month. Perhaps not the full 14% because some of the those jobs may have already existed.

Seems like a lot. What do you think...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Buying a "Foreign" Car or Truck likely means you are "Buying American". My economics lesson for the Fourth of July!!

Here are the top selling vehicles for the month of May (2013).  As has been for quite some time the sale of pick-up trucks has outpaced the sale of other vehicles. But that is not what I find fascinating about this list.

Notice the presence of so many "foreign" producers of vehicles in this Top 15 (7 out of the 15).  I put foreign in quotes because a cursory Google search of assembly plants of those foreign name plates I found all of them have plants in the US dedicated to producing these particular vehicles.

So, many/most of these manufacturers use US labor and/or US sourced parts to produce their vehicles to sell to Americans.

For the most part, buying "foreign" means buying American.  Below this list is another list compiled by that shows vehicle content, US and Foreign, by the percentage of US sourced labor and parts.

Happy Fourth of July!!!


Sunday, June 30, 2013

How much will it cost you going forward to take out a SUBSIDIZED Stafford Loan to pay for college? I do the numbers for you here.

Here is a side by side comparison of the difference in the monthly payment a SUBSIDIZED Federal Stafford Loan will be on July 1st, 2013 when the current law regulating the rates expires. The interest rate on this type of loan is schedule to double from 3.4% to 6.8%.This is on loans going forward NOT retroactive on previous loans you may have taken out. I chose a 10 year payback----could be longer BUT DON'T!!  Lots of consternation about this change.  Thought I would bring a little perspective to the discussion.

The maximum a student can borrow in subsidized Stafford loans is $23,000 (for an undergraduate).  This will represent only a portion of total college costs.  My understanding is the average college student does not borrow up to the limit on this type of loan, so the amount is likely to be less.  The rest will be in grants, scholarships, own money AND NON-subsidized Stafford/"other" loans.  The rate on non-subsidized Stafford loans is already 6.4% and is NOT scheduled to change.

How you will be affected in the future depends on how deep into the subsidized loans you are in.  However, the financial impact will not be devastating, as reported in the media, and will be a negligible blow to your future standard of living.

You may feel different. I am open to be convinced otherwise.

(Calculator I used HERE)

What do Volkswagen Beetles and how much earth has to be moved to mine the gold and diamond for a 1 carat engagement ring have in common? You may never buy a ring again after seeing this...

I clipped this from a larger info-graphic on the economics of Gold Mining.

The amount of earth that had to be moved to mine a gram of gold kinda startled me.  Got me to thinking, How much earth, in terms of Volkswagen Beetles, has to be moved to produce a 1 carat diamond engagement ring?

To mine a 1 carat diamond requires the moving of 250 tons of earth (best estimate I could find Googling--could be more...or less). Using the numbers in the infographic, that is the equivalent of 218 Beetles (500,000lbs/2,295lbs per Beetle)

The gold portion of ring will only set you back a fraction of the Beetle (a fender?).

Next time you drive by a Volkswagen dealership think about this---all the cars in the lot represent the amount of earth that had to be displaced to produce the diamond ring on your finger.  Is it worth it?

Source: Business Insid
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