The happenings "inside" the Wisconsin State Treasury and across the street at the State Capitol

The Economy & You #52: Food for Thought


As I read various articles about education, the economy, manufacturing and the like, I come across interesting facts, opinions, and perspectives. While by themselves, they do not provide enough for one specific article, I do believe the information should be brought forward. The information should provide the reader some food for thought and possibly a starting point for further in-depth discussion.

Here are a few things that caught my eye.

Green Jobs and Job Creation

In 2011, according to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, there were almost 200,000 people who has jobs specifically in electric power generation. Of those, less than 4,000 of those were in wind and solar electric power generation. In fact solar had less than 600 jobs.  For all of the investment and talk about green energy as a job creator, it can be argued that they produce few jobs. The bulk of jobs is in fossil fuel electric power generation (nearly 120,000) as would be expected. One important note, these jobs are just the people who work in the actual industries and not in sectors like manufacturing, construction and transportation. The question to be discussed is how important is the green energy sector to job creation?

Family Status and Future Income

Delinquent fatherhood has a significant negative impact on our economy. According to research by EMSI, children of delinquent fathers are less likely to graduate high school than children from two parent families, and this results in lower lifetime earnings. The lower lifetime earnings is estimated to be nearly $83,000 per child. With children of delinquent fathers being estimated at 19.7 million, the annual average loss in productivity is $34.8 billion to the economy each year.

Jobs Calculator

The Federal Reserve of Atlanta produced an interesting tool, the Jobs Calculator.  According to its website, the Jobs Calculator calculates the net employment change needed to achieve a target unemployment rate after a specified number of months. The calculator allows the user to adjust the target unemployment rate, the number of months, and the assumed growth in the labor force. Go take a look at www.fbratlanta.org/chcs/calculator/behind_jobs_calc.cfm.

Will the U. S. Postal Service Close Up or Just Retire

There are numerous stories talking about the impending demise of the U.S. Postal Service. Members of Congress have forwarded the idea that to trim staff, postal workers should be offered buyouts up to $25,000 for retire early. They may want to rethink that idea. Over 80% of postal workers are between the ages of 45 and 64. Less than 5% of postal employees are under the age of 35. This means that if no new (i.e. younger) employees are brought on, a large portion of the postal service could retire within the next ten years.

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