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April 8, 2024

MainStreet Macro: Manufacturing: A Cinderella story

I grew up in Indiana, a big basketball state, so college ball has a special place in my heart. My favorite part of the NCAA college tournament has always been the Cinderella team, those players that surprise everyone with a winning streak. The economy’s winning streak isn’t a big surprise
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October 30, 2023

MainStreet Macro: The economy’s comeback story

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

Everyone loves a good comeback story. Well, most everyone. When the economy provided us with a comeback story last week, just in time for this week’s meeting of the Federal Reserve, only the stock market took the news as bad.
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October 9, 2023

MainStreet Macro: Unraveling clues to the job market

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

Occasionally, I like to leave the comfort of my Main Street and take a tour of the economy to see how other neighborhoods are faring. One place that got my attention last week was the bond market. Last week, bond market investors were scrutinizing the job market for clues to determine whether the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates this year.
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October 2, 2023

MainStreet Macro: Under lock and key

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

I vividly recall the first time I received my keys as a new homeowner. I was in a conference room with my new husband, our real estate agent, the seller, his new husband, and his real estate agent. I remember the seller passing the keys to me. In that moment, I became a homeowner. That was nearly 20 years ago. Today, mortgage rates are at a 20-year high, fewer homes are on the market, home prices continue to increase steadily, and moments like the one I had all those years ago are out of reach for more and more would-be homebuyers.
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September 25, 2023

MainStreet Macro: Chasing Growth

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

This week, in the absence of a video, I’d like to set a scene with words. Imagine you’re a hero, tracking a villain dead-set on mayhem. The fate of the economy hangs on your every move. Fraught with more tension than The Dark Knight, central banks around the world have been doing just that, turning their laser sights on interest rates as they try to chase down high inflation. Every decision carries high stakes, with the threat of a slowing economy menacing at every turn. It’s a fact that many economies don’t just fall into recession; they’re driven there by central banks that hike rates too aggressively.
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September 11, 2023

MainStreet Macro: The hidden truth about promotions

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

I really enjoy research that tells me something new, something I wasn’t expecting. And that’s exactly what my team delivered last week in Today at Work, our quarterly research publication.
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August 28, 2023

MainStreet Macro: Why we care about the care economy

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.Jeff Nezaj

Last week, I previewed the Federal Reserve’s meeting at Jackson Hole, an annual convocation of central bankers, academics, and business leaders. This year’s theme was structural shifts in the global economy, so when I was asked to give remarks, I wanted to reflect on a labor market component that's not often discussed – the care economy.
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August 21, 2023

MainStreet Macro: Some pain, more gain. Powell’s warning, a year later

by Nela Richardson, Ph.D.

The Federal Reserve holds its annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this week. The high-profile symposium draws some 120 central bankers, financial executives, politicians, and academics, who meet to discuss important long-term economic policy issues. The highlight of the event is a Friday morning speech given by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. Last year, Powell used his speech to deliver a warning for the economy: There will be pain.
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August 14, 2023

MainStreet Macro: HR secrets, revealed

by Ben Hanowell

Insight into how the labor market affects our lives on Main Street sometimes comes from surprising places. And what sometimes might seem like a surprising place is where we should have been looking all along. This week, we found labor market insight hidden in one such place: the HR department. Specifically, HR staffing ratios, the share of a company's employees who work in HR.
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