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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

More on Labor Slack

by Calculated Risk on 8/17/2005 03:07:00 PM

Responding to an earlier post, Ken Melvin directs us to some comments in an article in the SF Gate: Want a Wal-Mart job? Join the crowd 11,000 apply for 400 openings at retailer's new Oakland store.

"It's not about Wal-Mart -- it's about the rest of the labor market," [Stephen Levy, an economist for the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy] said. "If the rest of the labor market was strong, you wouldn't have 11, 000 people applying for 400 jobs."

During the dot-com boom, Levy said, businesses like Starbucks bumped up wages to recruit employees in the middle of a hot job market. But now the situation has reversed, and more people are willing to take whatever they can get.
That sure sounds like slack in the labor market.

On the same topic, MaxSpeak has another post today: Measured for Slack. This was a follow-up to the WSJ Econoblog yesterday with Dr. Altig of Macroblog discussing the labor market with MaxSpeak's Max Sawicky and Tom Walker. If you haven't already, check out the WSJ Econoblog: Debating Job-Market 'Slack'.