Wyoming Liberty Group
The latest employment statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) confirms two solid trends that I have previously reported on:
- The national recovery continues; but
- Wyoming is still doing poorly by national comparison.
Let us look at the good national news first. The BLS numbers for February 2015 (which are still preliminary) present an encouraging picture of private-sector job creation around the country. In every state except West Virginia, the private sector either exceeds its number of employees from before the recession, or is within a few percent of recovering all jobs lost.
Next month the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) will present yet another quarterly report on the state government's finances. It is not exactly a wild guess that the report will reinforce the gloomy lookout for the state budget. Little if anything has changed for the better since the January report.
As I explained last week, one of the effects of the comparatively strong U.S. economy is that the dollar grows stronger vs. other major currencies. The appreciation of the dollar has been particularly noticeable vs. the euro: in May last year a euro cost almost $1.39; last week the exchange rate was down to $1.06 per euro.
The big news in the global economy right now is that the U.S. dollar and the euro are very close to parity, in other words one dollar for one euro. Since its launch a decade and a half ago the euro has been the higher valued of the two currencies, with an exchange rate in the $1.20-$1.30 bracket for most of the time.
Bills to hate and bills to love—this session had it all. With a large and growing budget deficit, the supplemental budget bill turned out better than expected. After the legislature bailed out Governor Mead’s deficit budget, it left a small budget surplus. However a large part of cash used to bail out the state’s deficit came from one-time funds. With dark clouds on the horizon for 2017-18, what might we expect for the next budget session?
By Bradley Harrington
Published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on January 23, 2015.
“A mouse will always find free cheese in a mousetrap, but I never saw one that was very happy about it.” - H.C. Diefenbach, “Everyman’s Almanac,” 1936 -
On certain occasions, two pieces of information combine with one another in a very illuminating way, but it remains to be seen whether or not the implications of this particular commingling will be grasped by our State Legislature:
In the first three installments of this series we looked at the aggregate-demand side of the U.S. economy. The overall message is that the economy is in pretty good shape, given the circumstances: the private-sector share of the economy has grown over the past 15 years, consumers buy more durables (such as cars) while maintaing a steady overall level of indebtedness; business investments are increasingly stable at a high rate - and government consumption and investment spending has been declining for a couple of years.