To Remind Labour – And Greens – Jobs In Renewables Are A Cost, Not A Benefit

To understand economics it is necessary only to grasp the two points – incentives matter, there are always opportunity costs. Grasp just those and you’ll be doing better than most people who actually work as economists.

An implication – a result really – of that second is that jobs are a cost, not a benefit. Human labour is a scarce resource – that’s why we’ve got to pay for it. There’s not enough of it to go around to do everything that we’d like to do with human labour.…

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Jay Inslee To Create 8 Million Climate Jobs – But Where Are The Workers?

Jay Inslee is basing his run for the Presidency on a display of naked economic ignorance. He says that he wants to create 8 million well paid and lovely jobs in climate action. Forgetting two rather important things, firstly, that jobs are a cost of doing something, not a benefit, the second being that America doesn’t actually have 8 million people without jobs but who want one.

Which is, when you think about it, a bit of a problem:

Eight million jobs, $9tn in spending: Jay Inslee’s radical plan to tackle climate change
The Washington governor and Democratic 2020 hopeful wants to decarbonize the economy while boosting employment

The first error here is to think that “boosting employment” is a good thing.…

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Minimum Wage Rise Causes A Recession In New York City’s Restaurant Trade

Or at least, coinciding with a rise in the minimum wage in New York City we see an effect upon jobs in the restaurant trade there indistinguishable from a recession. This is not consistent with the idea that minimum wage rises have no effect upon jobs.

There’s a reason we look at restaurants. Some 50% – or so – of those who work in the restaurant trade earn minimum wage. And some 50% of those who earn minimum wage are in the restaurant trade.…

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Amazon Uncovers Karl Marx’s Truth – Competition Produces Higher Wages

Amazon has just proven a contention of Karl Marx’s, that it is competition which produces higher wages for the workers. This isn’t actually just from Marx which is why he got it right – the bits he did get right generally being lifted from elsewhere. It’s also one of those bits of economics which is obvious even if all too few do manage to grasp it.

When Amazon raised the wage it was willing to pay it got more people applying for jobs.…

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Amazon Kills Retail Jobs – Yes, And Ain’t It Great?

We have a strange complaint about Jeff Bezos and Amazon here – that the company kills retail jobs by being more efficient. Well, yes, it does, that’s the very thing which makes us all richer over time, killing jobs. This is actually the great and grand economic task, to kill jobs, to reduce the amount of human labour that is required to meet any particular one of our wants or desires. The why it makes us richer is that this frees up labor to then go off and sate some other of our desires or wants.…

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The US Economy Did Not Add 312,000 Jobs In December – It Was Far, Far More

The standard report is that the US economy added 312,000 jobs this past December. This is untrue even though it’s the official number – the true number of jobs added was far, far, larger. The trick to this, the secret, is seasonal adjustments. We know, for example, that Amazon hires tens of thousands to work in those warehouses to get the presents out for the holidays. The US Post Office does much the same, hires armies of temporary workers.…

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Of Course Only Half Amazon’s HQ Jobs Will Be Tech – How Do You Think A Modern Company Works?

We’ve a report that only some half of the new jobs in Amazon’s HQ2 – scheduled to land in Queens and Crystal City real soon now – will be tech jobs, the rest will be administrative, clerical, that sort of thing. Which is one of those ideas so damn obvious you rather wonder what people have been smoking? How does anyone think a modern corporation does work? There have to be people who count the money the code brings in, after all.…

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The EPI Gets The Trade Deficit With China Entirely Wrong – Again

The Economic Policy Institute wants to tell us all that the trade deficit with China is a very bad thing, very bad indeed. Because it has meant that the US economy is smaller than it would have been without the deficit, that it has killed manufacturing employment in the US and, well, you know, it’s a very bad thing. Sadly, near everything the EPI says about manufacturing, employment, China and the trade deficit is wrong. Including, quite possibly, the use of the word and.…

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Helping People Find Jobs Doesn’t Keep Them Employed

It appears that government helping people find jobs doesn’t actually keep them employed. The reason being that government ends up finding them not very good jobs, ones they don’t stay in. Tht is, government is about as good at fining jobs for people as it is at everything else, not very.

An interesting insight for those government job guarantee programs, no?

Job search assistance does not boost employment: New evidence
Lionel Cottier, Yves Flückiger, Pierre Kempeneers, Rafael Lalive 27 October 2018

In contrast to other labour market interventions, job search assistance appears to be effective in helping job seekers to find jobs.…

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Horrors – Brexit To Shrink The City By 1%, Maybe As Much As 0.3%

As we so enjoy doing around here we’re going to put a number into some sort of context. It’s said that Brexit will cause as many as 5,000 jobs to move over to the Continent. This is perhaps 1% or so of the jobs in The City. Or if we think of the wider financial services market, perhaps 0.3%. Whether or not you think this is a problem will depend upon your sense of proportion. Actually, whether you’ve got one or not.…

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