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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

October 23, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Early learning and the economy

Beyond the virtues of social justice and doing the right thing for the public interest, Proposition 1-B carries big potential gains for the Seattle economy. In the book From Preschool to Prosperity, W.E. Upjohn Institute senior economist Timothy J. Bartik makes a persuasive case that based on rigorous research, “We know enough to move forward…


Comments | More in | Topics: Early-childhood education, Education, Prop. 1-B

October 22, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Contractors worry about qualified worker shortage

The Associated General Contractors released a report today where 83 percent of respondents said they were having at least some trouble finding qualified craft workers as the industry recovers. The trade association’s chief economist, Ken Simonson, said this was a consequence of the nation’s educational system shifting away from teaching career and technical skills. The situation…


Comments | More in Jobs/Unemployment | Topics: construction

October 21, 2014 at 10:35 AM

Young, talented, coming to Seattle

If you read the news reports on a new study by the think tank City Observatory, you might think Seattle is missing out on the coveted demographic of young people with college degrees. For example, the New York Times’ Upshot wrote: When young college graduates decide where to move, they are not just looking at the…


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October 17, 2014 at 10:19 AM

Vote: Are you anxious about the economy

The laugh line in the otherwise somber play The Shadow Box is delivered by the saucy (and dying) grandmother to her repressed and puritanical daughter: “Does that make you anxious?” So here we are with the Dow up 300 points a few days after dropping 400 points. The stock market indices, as the great economist Paul…


Comments | Topics: deflation, eurozone, Federal Reserve

October 14, 2014 at 10:43 AM

And the economic leader is…America

As the Great Recession was easing, the consensus held that China, not the United States, would lead the world out. This would be a tectonic shift from a century of American economic power. But things didn’t turn out that way. China was badly mauled by a drop in demand during the downturn and more recently has…


Comments | More in International economy | Topics: deflation, Great Recession, infrastructure

October 10, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Vote: Nadella on women asking for raises

Am I the only one who has noticed that the “mainstream” Internet media and social media must be fed on a constant diet of high-profile events involving victimization? It has replaced the reliable staple of “missing blonde teens” on cable television from a few years ago. I don’t mean to sound cynical. But indignation about such things…


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: Satya Nadella, Women in tech, Women's pay equity

October 9, 2014 at 10:19 AM

What’s spooking the market?

Regular readers know that I adhere to the axiom that nobody really knows what causes sudden, big moves in the stock market, short of war or another obvious shock. If one sticks to “greed” and “fear,” that’s about as accurate as it gets. Still, as I write, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down more…


Comments | More in Stock market

October 6, 2014 at 10:21 AM

A different look at housing affordability, in two charts

Yes, most West Coast cities have crazy high housing costs and long has been the case. Seattle and Portland once were considered relatively affordable, but no more. Indeed,  housing affordability is a sore spot all over the country. Places with “cheap” rents and mortgages also pay poorly. It’s a real issue and calls for some creative…


Comments | More in Housing, Income/wages | Topics: Housing affordability, Wages

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