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October 18, 2021

MainStreet Macro: Scarcity

The concept of scarcity drives economic theory because we don’t live in a world where resources are free-flowing and abundant. Scarcity requires people and businesses to make constant tradeoffs to get what they want. The role of scarcity in economic activity has been highlighted by the pandemic. Supply shortages are everywhere. From new cars to chicken wings, inventories are running low. In this week’s MSM, we dive deep into the idea of scarcity in the context of our current supply shortages by answering three big questions just in time for the holiday shopping season.
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October 11, 2021

MainStreet Macro: A short-term fix

Every now and again something distracts me from Main Street businesses, consumers and employees. Today, my attention is directed toward Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. There, until last week, the Treasury Department was facing dire consequences as Congress fought over raising the debt ceiling. The urgency of the moment has passed after lawmakers in Congress approved a short-term fix to raise the debt ceiling enough to fund government spending through Dec. 3. What happens next? Glad you asked. This week, we tell you three things every Main Streeter should know about the debt ceiling.
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October 4, 2021

MainStreet Macro: Where do jobs numbers come from?

Monthly jobs reports are among the most closely watched estimates of U.S. economic health. Even in normal times, they have the power to move stock prices, influence Fed interest rate policy, and shape spending priorities at the local, state and national level. There are two important monthly measures of employment. The official government non-farm payroll report is produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, rain or shine, on the first or second Friday of every month. In today's blog, we provide a peek under the hood of these two critical indicators and discuss their similarities and differences.
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September 27, 2021

MainStreet Macro: Is there an urban exodus of high-income earners in tech and finance?

As disruptive as the past 18 months have been, one place where workers have sought solitude is at home. The housing market has boomed since the pandemic as remote and hybrid work options led to a big uptick in demand for home offices and outdoor space to walk all the puppies that were adopted early days of the lockdown. Much has been said about the pandemic-driven migration to the suburbs. But so far, we’ve had only limited data available to understand it. This week, ADP dove into its payroll data, where we uncovered three worker migration trends that could have long-run implications for the workplace.
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September 20, 2021

MainStreet Macro: No Free Lunch

There’s a saying in economics – there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The idea is that things that look free often have hidden cost. The cost of borrowing, for both Main Street and Wall Street, isn’t exactly free, but it is really, really cheap right now thanks to the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policy, which has kept interest rates at rock-bottom levels. But all that cheap money can come at a high cost to all of us down the road. When Fed governors meet this week to take their regular measure of the economy, they’ll be weighing three of the biggest tradeoffs of cheap money.
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September 13, 2021

MainStreet Macro: Wages, Three Ways

Wages have been on a tear lately. In August, they grew 4.3% from a year earlier. To put that number in perspective, in the decade leading up to the pandemic, wages never grew more than 3.5% from the previous year. There are three possible reasons wages are accelerating, each with a different implication for the broader economic recovery. On this weeks blog we discuss wages three ways.
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September 7, 2021

MainStreet Macro: Creative Destruction

On today's blog we discuss a new economic concept into our discussion of jobs recovery. It’s called creative destruction. Although it sounds mysterious, maybe even a bit ominous, it has deep roots in economic research on the labor market, new business formation, and economic growth. Creative destruction tends to track the economy and the ebb and flow of the business cycle. However, the unprecedented global pandemic has both shifted and accelerated the process of creative destruction in three unique ways.
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August 30, 2021

MainStreet Macro: Jackson Hole

Every year at this time, some 120 prominent central bankers, finance leaders and academics gather in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to discuss pressing global issues. The highlight of the conference is a Friday-morning speech given by the head of the Federal Reserve – this year Chair Jay Powell. Traders, economists and other finance geeks hang on the speech’s every word for signs of a shift in monetary policy -- essentially whether the Fed will nudge interest rates up or down
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