Friday, June 3, 2022

Can the Fed engineer a soft landing?

Via the New York Times, thoughts about the current state of the economy: 
When it comes to the economy, more is usually better.

Bigger job gains, faster wage growth and more consumer spending are all, in normal times, signs of a healthy economy. Growth might not be sufficient to ensure widespread prosperity, but it is necessary — making any loss of momentum a worrying sign that the economy could be losing steam or, worse, headed into a recession.

But these are not normal times. With nearly twice as many open jobs as available workers and companies struggling to meet record demand, many economists and policymakers argue that what the economy needs right now is not more, but less — less hiring, less wage growth and above all less inflation, which is running at its fastest pace in four decades...
And some thoughts within from progressive economist Mike Konczal: 
...The Fed’s efforts to cool off the economy are already bearing fruit, Mr. Konczal said. Mortgage rates have risen sharply, and there are signs that the housing market is slowing as a result. The stock market has lost almost 15 percent of its value since the beginning of the year. That loss of wealth is likely to lead at least some consumers to pull back on their spending, which will lead to a pullback in hiring. Job openings fell in April, though they remained high, and wage growth has eased.

“There’s a lot of evidence to suggest the economy has already slowed down,” Mr. Konczal said. He said he was optimistic that the United States was on a path toward “normalizing to a regular good economy” instead of the boomlike one it has experienced over the past year.

My broad prediction continues to be that the job market for entry-level chemists in fall of 2022 will be less good than the fall of 2021, but how much less is the question that is truly difficult to answer. I suspect that it will be "somewhat less good" (0-10% fewer job openings?), but not "significantly less good" (10-25+%), but I genuinely have no good way to measure this, other than the Faculty Jobs List (?). Perhaps Organic Chemistry Jobs is the place to monitor. 

Anyway, this is something that I am continuing to watch, so if you would like to enter a prediction with falsifiability in the comments, I would welcome that. 

1 comment:

looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20