Archive for September, 2012

TED Talk: Are Droids Taking Our Jobs?

September 27, 2012

This fascinating TED talk explains the current trends in productivity and profitability with a comparative lack of growth in jobs per capita. In short, advances in technology are replacing people in all job sectors, but McAfee argues that this is a good thing and we are only in the initial stages. Guiding this change will be a distinctly 21st century issue and this talk explains, with extensive use of economic, population, and historical data, how computing advances will radically alter our futures.

US Housing Index Up in All Markets for Second Month

September 25, 2012

The Case-Shiller home price index increased in all markets in July for the second straight month. The 10-city index increased 2.36 to 157.3 and the 20-city index increased 2.27 to 144.61. Compared to last year, the 10-city is up .6% and the 20-city rose 1.2%. The largest point gains were in Minneapolis (up 4.38 to 123.17), Chicago (up 3.09 to 116.7), and Miami (up 3.08 to 148.7). The largest relative increases were Minneapolis (up 3.7%), Detroit (up 3.3%), and Atlanta (up 2.6%).

For more information, see our housing report.

–From Case-Shiller and The St. Louis Federal Reserve

US Industrial Production Costs Globally Low

September 24, 2012

Among major global industrial nations, the US is projected to have significantly lower production costs than its competitors. According to the Boston Consulting Group study, the US is expected to have a cost advantage over manufactured good exports of 5% to 25%. In addition, the cost gap of producing $1 worth of goods between China and the US is expected to shrink from twelve to 7 cents.

–from The Financial Times 

Life Expectancy for White Americans without a College Degree Decreasing

September 21, 2012


The average life expectancy for white Americans with only a high school education has fallen precipitously since 1990. It fell five years to 73.5 years for women and three years to 67.5. College educated women have a life expectancy of 80.9, a full decade past their less-educated counterparts. College educated men live 80.4 years, nearly thirteen years longer then high school educated white men.

–From The New York Times

Earnings of Young College Graduates Down 15% Since 2000

September 21, 2012

Earnings for college graduates between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen 15% since 2000 and have fallen continuously since 2005. This may help explain the recent trends of “boomerang” kids and other delayed signifiers of adulthood.

–from The Atlantic 

Nearly One Third of Americans Now Identify as Lower Class

September 14, 2012

32% of Americans now identify as lower class, an increase of 7% from 2008. For more information, see the Pew Report.

Unemployment Rate Drops .2% in August, So Does Labor Force Participation Rate

September 10, 2012

The unemployment dropped .2% in August to 8.1%, down 1% from last August and 1.5% from 2010. However, the employment-population ration dropped .1% to 58.3% and the labor force participation rate slipped .2% to 63.5%. Nonfarm payroll increased 96,000. Both the median and mean unemployment duration increased, by 1.3 weeks to 18 and .4 weeks to 39.2, respectively.

For more information, see our Employment Report.

–From the Bureau of Labor Statistics

ISM Manufacturing Index Shows Slightly Accelerating Contraction

September 4, 2012

The manufacturing composite index declined .2 to 49.6. This is the third consecutive month of a contracting manufacturing sector, but as any value above 50 indicates expansion, the decline is small. In a surprising shift, the price index shot up 14.5 points to 54. This rapid increase followed a three-month decline with values in the mid-30’s. In addition, the employment index fell .4 to 51.6, though it is still expanding.

From the ISM and the St. Louis Federal Reserve