Why Inflation Stays Low Even Though Unemployment Is Down

January 3, 2018

To long-time baseball fans, the Phillips Curve sounds like a tribute to A.W. Phillips, a New Zealand-born economist who in 1958 noticed that wage growth is strong when the jobless rate is low. (Yes, kind of obvious to the layman.) American economist Paul Samuelson later made a bolder restatement of the Phillips Curve, saying that overall inflation—not just wage growth—is higher when labor markets are tight. Except the Phillips Curve hasn’t…

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Outrage Over Proposal to Let Employers Pool or Pocket Workers Tips

December 17, 2017

I scanned the latest 1,000 comments about the Labor Dept.’s proposed rule on tip-sharing, and the imbalance was startling. Nine hundred ninety-six of them did not like the idea. Here are some unedited excerpts, with names and hometowns of commenters where available. There were more than 5,300 comments in all as of Dec. 13. Forgive me for not looking at all of them. — Ronald Putman, Spring Hill, Fla. — Donna…

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Demanding a Bachelors Degree for a Middle-Skill Job Is Just Plain Dumb

October 29, 2017

Ever wonder why employers demand advanced credentials for jobs that don’t seem to require them? So did Joseph Fuller, a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. He co-led a study that found it’s “a substantive and widespread phenomenon that is making the U.S. labor market more inefficient.” To take one egregious example, two-thirds of job postings for production supervisors require a four-year college degree—even though only 1 in 6 people already…

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