Author Archives: Menzie Chinn

Be Not Complicit

Senator Flake’s prepared comments announcing his resignation from the Senate (from CNN):

Mr. President, I rise today to address a matter that has been much on my mind, at a moment when it seems that our democracy is more defined by our discord and our dysfunction than it is by our values and our principles. Let me begin by noting a somewhat obvious point that these offices that we hold are not ours to hold indefinitely. We are not here simply to mark time. Sustained incumbency is certainly not the point of seeking office. And there are times when we must risk our careers in favor of our principles.

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Prospects for Economic Activity in Wisconsin

My last two posts [1] [2] on the Wisconsin economy refer to employment. A broader measure of economic activity, meant to track state Gross Domestic Product, is provided by the Philadelphia Fed’s coincident indices. That indicator for Wisconsin is currently decreasing; the October 2 release (for the index through August) indicate the most recent peak was June, and has been declining since. This is shown in Figure 1. Moreover, the leading index points to continued contraction over the next six months.
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One for the Annals of Selective Data Reporting: Wisconsin Edition

Around midmonth I often check the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to see their reporting of state employment statistics in advance of the BLS release (tomorrow, for the September figures). Oddly, today, the DWD released statistics for September, without any detailed tables, in an abbreviated press release (compare with last month’s release to see what I’m saying). In order to figure out the revised August numbers (and actual level of September preliminary numbers) one had to go back to earlier releases and add and subtract.

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