The unemployment rate in September fell by 0.2 percentage points to 5.9 percent. This is the first time it has been below 6.0 percent since July of 2008. It has fallen by 1.3 percentage points over the last year. While employment is up by 2,330,000 over the last year, much of the decline in the unemployment rate is due to people leaving the labor force. More in the latest Jobs Byte.
A new CEPR paper the Brazilian Economy in Transition, describes how poverty, inequality and unemployment have been significantly reduced over the past 10 years. This was achieved through increased social spending, a high minimum wage and supportive macroeconomic policies. Mark Weisbrot highlights the paper's key findings in an op-ed in The Guardian.
A new CEPR paper describes how, contrary to claims by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy that “there is no other alternative” to austerity, there are feasible policy changes that would allow Spain to increase growth and restore full employment by 2018 or even sooner, without increasing debt levels.
Inflation has eroded the purchasing power of the minimum wage since it was last raised in 2009. As long as it remains stuck at $7.25 per hour, minimum-wage workers will face a continual and ongoing pay cut. CEPR's Minimum-Wage Pay-Cut Clock tracks the billions of dollars lost by workers every second the minimum wage remains frozen at the 2009 rate.
A new report by economists David Rosnick and Mark Weisbrot debunks the oft-cited 'commodities boom' explanation for Latin America's faster economic growth in recent years. Higher export prices allowed countries to avoid current account imbalances, but faster growth was achieved through other factors, such as successful macro-economic policy choices.