May 2, 2022
MainStreet Macro: The pandemic’s labor legacy
This week, all eyes will be on new labor market data. On Tuesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shares its latest on the great resignation and job openings. On Wednesday, the ADP Research Institute offers the first read on April employment numbers, and official government jobs data is due Friday. Hirings, job openings and quits provide a snapshot of the labor market. But like other snapshots of life, like holiday photos, vacations or the kids’ sporting events, they don’t tell the whole story. The pandemic has affected more than just monthly hiring – the changes we’re living through now are likely to persist well into the future. Here are three enduring changes wrought by the pandemic.
April 25, 2022
MainStreet Macro: People at Work-A Global Workforce View
For the third year in a row, the ADP Research Institute surveyed 30,000 workers in 17 countries to understand their views on the workplace. The negative effects of the pandemic still linger, and the workforce is evolving as it adopts new priorities
April 18, 2022
MainStreet Macro: Reaction to Inflation
Inflation rose to 8.5 percent in March, reaching a fresh 40-year high. Not only that, a measure of what wholesalers pay for goods, before they get to store shelves, rose by 11.2 percent. That’s the biggest jump on record, and it means there could be more pain in store for consumers. The breakneck pace of inflation didn’t rankle markets – stock prices were flat after last week’s reports, with analysts positing that the March data could be the peak for price increases. But Main Street is likely to react differently. Here are three ways Main Street is reacting to high inflation.
April 11, 2022
MainStreet Macro: Trade’s Big Week
We get a flood of new data on the state of the economy this week, including the latest imprint on an important but oft-ignored driver of the economy – global trade.
Here are three reasons why global trade matters for Main Street.
April 4, 2022
MainStreet Macro: Health Check
Last week, the government released data showing that the economy created 431,000 jobs in March. It was hard to find something not to like about this report – job gains were strong and broad-based. But if you’re looking for areas still in need of improvement (and let’s face it, as an economist that’s kind of my job), turn to the labor force participation rate. Today, we give the jobs market a check-up to see if it's really as healthy as it seems.
March 28, 2022
MainStreet Macro: Next Up-The Great Realignment
It's been a jobs recovery like no other. As the nation emerges from the darkness of the pandemic and moves closer to closing the coronavirus-induced employment gap, many of us are wondering what happens next. This week, we come to you by video to explain the workforce and economic influences that will define the great alignment.
March 21, 2022
MainStreet Macro: The Global Footprint of U.S. Debt
I began my career as a PhD economist in the housing market, or to be more precise the mortgage market. Back then, I thought the two most local things you could buy were a haircut and a house.
Well, I got it half right. While haircuts will always be local, how homes are financed in America is definitely not. People look to the Federal Reserve for a read on interest rates, but it’s not the only entity that determines the cost of U.S. mortgages and other borrowing. Buyers and sellers of U.S. debt both here and around the world also play important roles.
Today, we look at the global footprint of the U.S. bond market and how it lands squarely on Main Street.
March 14, 2022
MainStreet Macro: Why the Fed is Not a Bread Maker
One of my favorite things to do on weekends is make bread. It’s like magic. Measure the ingredients, toss them into the bread maker, close the lid, and press start. Three hours later, there you have it – a perfect loaf of warm bread. In life, alas, things aren’t as easy or predictable. That’s especially true when it comes to monetary policy. As Fed governors prepare to meet Tuesday to figure out a recipe for fighting inflation, they know that their own policies can behave very differently depending on market conditions.
Here are three things the Fed will be watching.