The Geography of U.S. Productivity

From 2007 to 2016, productivity in the U.S. grew at about 1 percent—a historically low rate. In other recent periods, it’s been much higher: 2.6 percent from 2000 to 2007 and 2.2 percent in the 1990s. The divergence has left economist looking for answers about slumping productivity and how to fix it.

A host of reasons have been suggested for why productivity has been declining: slowing innovation, inefficiency in sectors that have become huge, inability to adequately measure innovations on the internet, and a lack of spending and investment, to name a few. To get a better understanding of how productivity varies across the county, Joseph Parilla and Mark Muro, both fellows at the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, looked into productivity growth at the local level and how the geographical variation of productivity relates to the declining national figures.

It’s natural that productivity varies across regions. Across the U.S., there are varying resources, industries, workers, technology, government policies, and incentives that play into how businesses and workers develops. But Muro and Parilla believe that productivity is often overlooked when studying local economies. That, they say, is a mistake, since productivity is key for long-term wage growth and improving living standards.

The difficulty in studying localities and comparing them with the national picture is largely because of the lack of comparable data. At the Labor Department, productivity is measured by comparing labor input (hours worked) to a sector’s output (in dollars). At the regional scale, Parilla and Muro use metro-level output from Moody’s Analytics and employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to estimate local productivity. In doing so, they observe massive variations across the U.S. economy, from an average …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Business

Is Utah good for millennials?

Utah placed within the top 20 in a recent report on the best states for young people.

The report, which comes from, positioned Utah as the 19th best state for young people, right behind Delaware, Minnesota, Arkansas and the District of Columbia. It placed ahead of Missouri, Michigan, Alabama and Maryland.

The report based its findings on a number of rankings, including how the job market affects young people, how many young people there are in the state, rental availability, access to the internet and fitness facilities, and college tuition costs.

North Dakota topped the list, followed closely by South Dakota. Nebraska, Louisiana and Wyoming rounded out the top five.

Arizona was ranked as the worst state for young people because it is a hot retirement spot with poor internet connections, which are a must-have for money millennials, according to the report.

New Hampshire, Virginia, Washington state and Tennessee placed within the top five worst states, too, the report said.

California was also ranked one of the worst states for young people, mostly because of the lack of apartment availability, the report said.

Salt Lake City earned high remarks from Forbes in 2012, as it was named the fourth-best city in the nation for young people. According to Forbes, the job growth and median salary made it a hotspot for young people.

Millennials in Utah tend to buck national trends, though. According to a 2015 Utah Foundation report, millennials are more likely to own homes than those from other states. In 2015, Utah had the second-highest homeownership rate among 18-to-34-year-olds. In total, 41 percent of Utah millennials own homes, which is 11 percent higher than the national average.

“A lot of it just comes out of the fact that we get married younger and we have children younger, and …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News

Back to burgers: Carl’s Jr. ditches bikini-clad ads

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are ditching the bikinis and getting back to the burgers.

The chains are famous for advertisements featuring models and celebrities like Paris Hilton, Kate Upton and Emily Ratajkowski munching on burgers while scantily clad.

A new commercial for the chains shows the imagined Carl Hardee Sr. taking back control of the operation from immature son Carl Hardee Jr. Carl Sr. rips down photos of swimsuit models and puts up framed pictures of hamburgers. The chains are now calling themselves “pioneers of the great American burger.”

The company’s racy advertising campaign had a defender in Andrew Puzder, who is stepping down as CEO of the chains’ parent company, Carpinteria, California-based CKE Restaurant Holdings. Puzder withdrew as President Donald Trump’s nominee for Labor Department secretary last month.

…read more

Source:: Deseret News – Business News