Updates / The Knowledge Economy

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By / 5.21.2018

Students, policymakers, and members of the American public have increasingly acknowledged the crippling impact of student loans for many college graduates. In response, a growing number of schools are offering an alternative financing option to students: so-called “income share agreements.” Instead of taking out a loan and paying it back over time with interest, students […]

By / 5.8.2018

In 2017 the tech/telecom sector continued to outperform the rest of the economy, on all relevant measures: Output, productivity, hours, and prices. I analyzed the BEA’s initial release of  industry GDP data for 2017, and combined it with BLS hours data.  For the tech/telecom sector, I used computer and electronic products manufacturing; warehousing and storage (ecommerce fulfillment […]

By / 4.23.2018

Summary: The new “median employee pay” statistics tell us very little about pay. However, they do illuminate the future of economic statistics. The median center of the United States population, as calculated by the Census Bureau, is Pike County, Indiana, in the rural southwest corner of the state. A visit with a resident of Pike […]

By / 4.3.2018

Ecommerce has been a major job creator for less-educated workers, at a time when many of their traditional positions have been disappearing. Between 2007 and 2017, overall US employment of workers with at least a high school diploma and less than a bachelor’s degree dropped by almost 1 million jobs. That’s according to our tabulation […]

By / 3.12.2018

I’ve been arguing that the shift to ecommerce has improved the position of workers, by increasing the number of jobs and boosting wage payments. In a nice twitter discussion last week, Jose Azar pointed out that I had not specified a counterfactual, and he was right. So here I will make up for that omission, […]

By / 3.9.2018

There’s a lot of talk about labor monopsony these days.  But at least in ecommerce, the labor market seems to be working the old-fashioned way—booming demand for fulfillment center workers and package delivery workers is leading to sharply rising real wages. Over the past year, employment of production and nonsupervisory workers in the warehousing industry […]

By / 3.5.2018

PPI has repeatedly made the economic case that accelerating the deployment of 5G  is essential for boosting growth.   For example, in a 2016 report, we estimated that next generation wireless could add 0.7 percentage points annually to economic growth.* Moreover, as we noted in a January 2018 report, 5G networks can play a key role […]

By / 2.16.2018

Overall, 2017 was still a weak year for wage growth. In the private sector, real hourly wages for production and nonsupervisory workers rose only 0.2% in 2017, the slowest rate since 2012. However, production and nonsupervisory workers did do significantly better in some industries. The table below lists the top 2017 increases in real hourly […]

By / 2.13.2018

In light of the FTC confirmation hearings tomorrow, we’ve been thinking about competition policy. We would like to propose a different approach to competition policy, one that goes far beyond Chicago-style antitrust analysis. There’s little doubt that recent research has conclusively demonstrated increased concentration across almost every sector of the US economy over the past […]

By / 2.2.2018

In this note we summarize the growth in ecommerce jobs in 2017, based on the methodology described in our September 2017 report,  “How Ecommerce Creates Jobs and Reduces Income Inequality.” We find that the number of ecommerce jobs rose by 133K in 2017, with half of that amount coming from the growth of ecommerce fulfillment […]