Author: Industry News

There’s a strange debate at the Fed over whether the US can create too many jobs

There’s a strange debate at the Fed over whether the US can create too many jobs

“If we were not to withdraw accommodation, the risk would be that the economy would crash to a very, very low unemployment rate and generate inflation,” Dudley said.
They point to the falling jobless rate and monthly employment gains as a sign that inflation will surely come about soon enough.
But this assumption is based on economic models that many worry are outdated.
John Williams at the San Francisco Fed has expressed similar sentiments. “If we delay too long, the economy will eventually overheat, causing inflation or some other problem.”
The June employment report showed the economy adding a solid 222,000 new jobs, but wage growth remained tepid and below market expectations, a sign the labor market is still operating below its full potential.
Not everyone shares Dudley and Williams’ views.
Minutes from the Fed’s June meeting showed that the Minneapolis Fed president, Neel Kashkari, who dissented against the two most recent US interest-rate increases, is not alone in thinking the Fed should continue to do more to spur employment.
Importantly, this key passage from the minutes appeared to open the way for a more aggressive approach to improving the remaining pockets of the labor market that continue to suffer despite a low jobless rate, including underemployment, long-term unemployment and a lack of wage growth (emphasis added): “Several participants endorsed a policy approach, such as that embedded in many participants’ projections, in which the unemployment rate would undershoot their current estimates of the longer-term normal rate for a sustained period.
That’s not quite jumping toward a more explicitly pro-jobs policy, such as a higher inflation target advocated by a numerous high-profile economists.

Andy Slavitt Wants to Unite America on Health Care

Andy Slavitt Wants to Unite America on Health Care

Andy Slavitt Wants to Unite America on Health Care.
Are you surprised that health care isn’t more of a uniting issue?
Have you ever actually changed someone’s mind about health care?
You can’t beat someone up with a baseball bat and tell them they’re wrong.
Why don’t you think it’s uniting people on Capitol Hill?
Forty-nine senators still voted for it.
started out as a conservative solution to health care.
It’s hard for Republicans to figure out how to dramatically change this solution, since it’s something that’s fairly right of center.
Republicans need to understand: The things they did not only to not support the law but also to take actions that caused several million people not to get Medicaid — whether it was because those people lived in states where the government chose not to expand the program or because politicians took money out of the rate-stabilization funds, which were intended to keep rates low — are things that could’ve played out very, very differently.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, President Trump alluded to young Americans having to pay $12 a year for insurance.

US job openings surged in June to record high

US job openings surged in June to record high

WASHINGTON – U.S. employers posted a record number of open jobs in June, a sign that the solid hiring of recent months will likely continue.
But the government’s jobs report for July, released Friday, showed that pay gains haven’t picked up yet.
Job openings in construction and manufacturing rose sharply.
They also increased in financial services, health care, and in state and local government.
The report comes after the government said Friday that employers added 209,000 jobs in July and revised its June figure higher to 231,000.
Tuesday’s data come from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, or JOLTS.
They are more detailed and provide a fuller view of the job market than the monthly jobs figures.
The JOLTS suggests that the economy is at or near “full employment,” when nearly everyone who wants a job has one and the unemployment rate mostly reflects the temporary churn of job losses and gains.
That could spur inflation.
That is a sign that more Americans are willing to work than the unemployment rate suggests, and indicates the economy isn’t at full employment yet.

U.S. job openings at record high; labor market tightening

U.S. job openings at record high; labor market tightening

U.S. job openings at record high; labor market tightening.
The monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS, released by the Labor Department on Tuesday also underscored labor market strength that will likely encourage the Federal Reserve to continue tightening monetary policy despite benign inflation and concerns about consumer spending. “Today’s JOLTS data bring a September meeting balance sheet unwind announcement a little closer to reality.”
Job openings, a measure of labor demand, increased by 461,000 to a seasonally adjusted 6.2 million.
The monthly increase in job openings was the largest since July 2015.
There were 179,000 additional vacancies in the professional and business services industries.
Hiring was little changed at 5.4 million in June, leaving the hiring rate steady at 3.7 percent. “The JOLTS report continues what has been a reasonably strong run for the labor market data, and we expect continued improvement in the job market to keep upward pressure on wages,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York.
As a result, the quits rate, which the Fed looks at as a measure of job market confidence, dipped to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent in May.
Layoffs rose 28,000 to 1.7 million in June, lifting the layoffs rate one-tenth of a percentage point to 1.2 percent.

The Faroe Islands may get their own constitution

The Faroe Islands may get their own constitution

The Faroe Islands may get their own constitution.
Republicans want islanders to adopt their own constitution, rather than relying on Denmark’s.
Last month, the government—a coalition of traditionally unionist Social Democrats and pro-independence Republican and Progressive parties—issued a new draft.
Social Democrats support it as a democratic good in its own right, but both secessionists and unionists see its adoption as a first step towards independence.
The economy is surging, thanks to rising fish prices.
The government is less reliant than ever on subsidies from Denmark, which last year totalled 642m Danish kroner ($102m).
When catches dwindled in the 1990s, government debt soared and GDP shrank by 40%.
Yet in another poll, published this year, most islanders said they want independence by 2035.
A constitutional referendum would test support for independence, but it is possible the ballot will be shelved.
Unionists are grumbling about the draft, demanding big changes before backing it.

States target effective treatment protocols for back injuries

States target effective treatment protocols for back injuries

States target effective treatment protocols for back injuries.
As back injuries continue to be a top concern in workers compensation, states such as Ohio look to implement best practices that address long-term outcomes for injured workers.
A new rule from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation aims to discourage lumbar fusion surgery and the use of opioids for workers with lower back injuries.
Most clinicians would recommend a course of nonsurgical therapy for most patients with back pain prior to considering surgery, he said.
“The rule change, speaking and working with the bureau … their take is that this is best practices.” While Ohio’s specific waiting period for spinal fusion surgery may be unique, other states have taken other steps to discourage a rush to surgery and to promote conservative treatments prior to allowing fusion surgery for lower back injuries.
Washington, which like Ohio is a monopoly workers comp state where employers must buy workers comp insurance from a state-operated insurance fund rather than private insurers, encourages conservative care for back pain and injuries prior to authorizing lumbar fusion surgery except in cases of spinal fractures or dislocation, infection or deformities, according to guidelines published by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries.
Only after conservative care fails to improve symptoms does the agency allow lumbar fusion surgery.
The agency’s spinal fusion guidelines note that more than half of Washington workers who received lumbar fusion surgery through the state’s comp program reported that their pain and functional recovery were no better afterward, and that about two in three workers who received it remained disabled two years after surgery.
The protocol is taken from evidence-based medical guidelines that show most back strains and sprains resolve within six weeks with conservative treatment.
Some of these mandatory guidelines effectively create a waiting period for surgery even where not explicitly stated, Mr. Lipton said.

Database tools battle opioid crisis

Database tools battle opioid crisis

Reprints The opioid epidemic in workers compensation has placed a spotlight on prescription drug monitoring programs, which aim to track the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances and prevent abusive tactics such as doctor hopping and pharmacy shopping.
They are very comprehensive databases that allow us to track and allow prescribers to see what their patients have been prescribed over the last few months and this is important because prescribers often don’t know what other prescribers have been giving their patients,” said Thomas Clark, Waltham, Massachusetts-based clearinghouse manager and senior research associate at The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and Technical Assistance Center at Brandeis University.
Prior to the executive order, Missouri was the only state that did not have a PDMP.
AF Group’s pharmacy team relies on access to PDMPs in helping injured workers — access that is available to them due to Michigan offering access to third-party carriers, he said.
A 2016 study published by health policy journal Health Affairs that looked at data on the year of legislative enactment and year of implementation found that a state’s implementation of a PDMP was associated with an average reduction of 1.12 opioid-related overdose deaths per 100,000 population in the year after implementation.
“I think PDMPs are one of a number of factors driving opioid utilization down.” Despite most states having PDMPs in place, participation by prescribers is low.
According to a 2016 report by New Yorkbased nonprofit organization Shatterproof, which is focused on addiction issues, only 14% of prescribers request patient information from their state PDMP prior to considering issuing a prescription for an opioid.
There is also a disconnect between states when it comes to information sharing.
It has changed prescribing behavior in Florida, Tennessee, New York, Kentucky and all these states that have mandated the use of respective prescription drug monitoring programs.
They have shown when they have mandated use, prescribing behavior changed.” States that have a robust program along with PDMPs will see the most improvement, experts say.

These charts show how the Trump economy is really doing

These charts show how the Trump economy is really doing

Three months ago, CNNMoney examined six barometers of the economy to gauge how America was doing under President Trump.
Trump is taking credit particularly for strong job growth and record high stock prices.
The housing market is another bright spot.
Here’s a more detailed look at the economy, 200 days into the Trump presidency.
The economy has added more than 1 million jobs since Trump took office.
The average price for an existing home in June was a record $263,800, or 6.5% higher than a year ago.
And borrowing money to buy a house remains relatively affordable, despite recent interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.
And overall consumer spending was up just 0.1% in June.
The trade deficit fell slightly in June from three months ago, to $43.6 billion.
The U.S. trade deficit with China is up more than 6% this year.

ObamaCare is a success—at sucking vast sums of money from the private sector
Social Security Disability

ObamaCare is a success—at sucking vast sums of money from the private sector

Federal policies that decrease coverage mean more money for private households.
Unlike traditional fee-for-service Medicaid which generates payments only if someone seeks medical care, Medicaid managed care providers get paid for every person enrolled whether he gets medical care or not.
Fueled by the ObamaCare expansion to able-bodied people with small medical care needs, 2016 Medicaid managed care spending was over $236 billion.
The Oregon Health Experiment showed that Medicaid coverage for able-bodied people increases health spending by 35 percent without improving common clinical measures of health.
Coverage is the most expensive way to pay for medical care.
In 2013, an estimated 40 percent of the uninsured had family incomes of more than $50,000 a year.
A 2013 Health Affairs study estimated that 42 million uninsured Americans generated $85 billion in uncompensated care.
This means ObamaCare is spending 75 percent of the amount spent on all uncompensated care to subsidize coverage for about eight million people who already had coverage.
State programs for the medically indigent help low income people pay for acute care.
Free clinics and federally qualified health centers provide free primary care.

American workers are missing out on a big payday, and here’s the main reason why

American workers are missing out on a big payday, and here’s the main reason why

Low unemployment, near-record job openings and a flush of new hiring haven’t delivered bigger paychecks for American workers.
But there’s one thing that could.
Higher productivity.
Rising sales, in turn, lead to greater profits.
Low productivity is one of the chief reasons the paychecks of Americans aren’t increasing very much each year.
Hourly pay is rising at a 2.5% annual rate, slightly faster than inflation and far less than is usually the case when the unemployment rate (4.3%) is so low.
Few companies are going to boost pay if workers aren’t more productive, especially if firms can’t pass on price increases to customers.
“Firms will simply not increase wages that are not aligned with productivity and prices.” Also Read: Companies to workers: We’re hiring, but don’t expect a big raise The slow rate of pay increases is almost certain to continue even with job openings nationwide at or near a record level.
A pair of reports this week on wholesale and consumer prices are expected to show only a mild increase in the cost of living in July.
Americans are now living in an age of diminished expectations in which modest gains are the rule and not the exception.