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Jared Bernstein
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Jared Bernstein is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, former economist for the Obama administration, and a CNBC and MSNBC contributor.

Entries by Jared Bernstein

Solid Jobs Report Will Likely Lead the Fed to Raise Next Month... But What About After That?

(62) Comments | Posted November 6, 2015 | 9:48 AM

The nation's employers added 271,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate ticked down slightly to 5 percent in a solid report on labor market conditions. Wages grew 2.5 percent over the past year, their strongest yearly performance since the recession officially ended in June 2009.

Today's report portrayed a...

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If You're Not Saving for Retirement or a Rainy Day, Then myRA Should Be yourRA

(25) Comments | Posted November 5, 2015 | 8:42 AM

Some aspects of the economy get a lot of attention. You get a daily earful from the financial press about some random wiggle in the stock market. News organizations devote endless columns to the musings of the Federal Reserve.

Then there are other economic problems that you don't hear...

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"Free Stuff:" The Hypocrisy of a Growing Campaign Theme

(2) Comments | Posted November 2, 2015 | 2:47 PM

So, we were hanging around the water cooler the other day reflecting on this "free stuff" meme. That conversation led to this guest post written by Ben Spielberg, Cecile Murray, and Bryann DaSilva. Add up their ages and you'd probably get pretty close to mine -- in other words, these...

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We Must Not Allow Scare Tactics to Derail the Conflict-of-Interest Rule

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2015 | 2:54 PM

[This post was written jointly with Lily Batchelder.]

In objecting to our op-ed on the importance of ensuring that financial advisors place their clients' best interest ahead of their personal profits, Dirk Kempthorne, the President and CEO of the American Council for Life Insurers, offers a misleading argument, built...

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Fair Hiring Practices: Big Bang for Buck and Bipartisan Support

(4) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 10:33 AM

Try to think of a policy idea that has the following characteristics:

  • it costs almost nothing to implement;
  • it has the potential to help millions of highly disadvantaged people raise their living standards;
  • it is supported by both President Obama and the Koch brothers;
  • the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental...
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A Quick Reflection on the Current Upheaval in DC Politics: What Are Its Larger Costs?

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2015 | 4:41 PM

The House speakership debate is like the implosion of a dysfunction neutrino. It's like a Russian stacking doll with ever deeper levels of dysfunction. It's House Republicans basically showing the world that they can't even figure out exactly how they're going to remain dysfunctional. They'll figure it out, but it's...

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Making Sense of the TPP: Don't Confuse Trade With Trade Deals

(60) Comments | Posted October 6, 2015 | 10:46 AM

After years of negotiating, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 30-chapter, 12-country trade agreement that's been in the works for years, was signed yesterday by participating countries.

Trade negotiators from the U.S., Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam resolved long-standing differences on tariffs, dispute procedures,...

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September Jobs: A Weak Report, But Does It Reveal a True Downshift?

(30) Comments | Posted October 2, 2015 | 10:43 AM

The nation's payrolls rose by only 142,000 last month, and job gains for July and August were revised down by 59,000, suggesting the pace of job growth has slowed in recent months. The labor force contracted and weekly hours work also declined slightly. Hourly pay was unchanged over the month...

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Jobs Report: Yes, the Unemployment Rate Is 5.1%. No, We Are Not At Full Employment

(84) Comments | Posted September 4, 2015 | 2:08 PM


Source: BLS, my calculations

Job growth came in below expectations, as August's payrolls grew 173,000, according to this morning's jobs report from BLS. Private sector job growth was particularly weak, at 140,000, its weakest month since March. Wage growth remains tame --...

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'Smell Something, Say Something!' Teachers' Unions Do Not Hurt Student Outcomes.

(204) Comments | Posted August 21, 2015 | 10:50 AM

Welcome to the first edition of a new On The Economy feature, dedicated to the parting admonition of the great Jon Stewart: when it comes to BS, "smell something, say something!"

To be clear, I'm not trying to emulate the fact checkers out there. Nor am I going to peruse...

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The Non-Madness of the Minimum Wage

(68) Comments | Posted August 3, 2015 | 6:33 PM

The "Fight for $15" -- a nationwide movement to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour --has taken a lot of "incoming" from critics. Today, it's Bob Samuelson's turn, who under a column titled "minimum wage madness" argues that a substantial minimum wage increase would cause "job...

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People On Third Base Claiming They Hit a Triple, or Marginal Product Theory at Work... Not!

(0) Comments | Posted July 3, 2015 | 1:18 PM

One of the less defensible assumptions of microeconomics is that people get paid their "marginal product," i.e., their wage equals the value of the output they produce. Thus, according to the theory, if the last worker hired is being paid an hourly wage less than the value of the firm's...

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June Jobs Report: Continued, Solid Gains, But That 5.3 Percent Unemployment Rate Makes the Job Market Look Better Than It Is

(53) Comments | Posted July 2, 2015 | 10:35 AM

Today's jobs report was a bit weaker than expected, and a bit weaker than it looked at first blush. While payrolls were up 223,000 in June, in line with expectations, and the unemployment rate fell to a record low in this recovery of 5.3 percent, mitigating factors include:

-- downward...

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The Supreme Court and Obamacare: Somehow, Common Sense Prevailed

(25) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 3:12 PM

At one level, today's Supreme Court decision to preserve the tax subsidies that allow low- and middle-income people to afford health insurance is a marvelous, miraculous win. I'm sure that the millions who depend on those subsidies (in states where the federal government runs the exchange) are hugely relieved that...

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Optimal Fiscal Policy

(63) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 3:48 PM

I testified in the House Budget Committee this AM and have many excellent war stories to share. But no time to do so now. Until then, please read my testimony, to which I devoted some thought.

Roughly speaking, the position of the majority Republicans is that you should...

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May Jobs Report, First Impressions: Another Solid Report, Outside of Manufacturing

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2015 | 10:38 AM

Payrolls were up 280,000 last month in a better-than-expected jobs report, with employers adding jobs across almost all of the service industries and government. Positive revisions for April and May added another 32,000 to the payroll count. Analysts had been expecting around 225K jobs, so put May's initial print in...

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April Jobs Report: First Impressions

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 11:40 AM

Payrolls rose 223,000 last month, in line with expectations, and the jobless rate ticked down to 5.4%, a seven-year low. March's already low payroll gain was revised down to only 85,000; combining that with February's revision takes payrolls down 39,000 over those months. As shown below, the March outlier takes...

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Opportunity, Inequality, Public Opinion, and Power

(50) Comments | Posted May 5, 2015 | 6:22 PM

Here's a timely result from a new NBC/WSJ poll out today:

Which concerns you more: the income gap between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of the country or middle and working class Americans not being able to get ahead financially?

Income gap between the wealthy and...

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Me and the TPP

(10) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 12:13 PM

I somewhat embarrassingly change my mind about three times in this (excellent and carefully balanced) piece by Danny Vinik in The New Republic on the economics, politics, and legal issues invoked by the prospect of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

FWIW, I write this not because I think my...

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March Jobs Report: First Impressions

(11) Comments | Posted April 3, 2015 | 10:30 AM

Payrolls rose only 126,000 last month in a surprisingly downbeat reading on the state of the labor market. Unemployment remained unchanged at 5.5%, but the closely watched labor force rate fell a tenth in another sign of weakness.

Contributing to the disappointing report, job gains for the prior two months...

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