The U.S. labor market seems to have finally healed. The unemployment rate has been below 5 percent for some time and job growth is steady. And more Americans are coming back to the labor market—in other words, labor participation is increasing. Yet, despite a bump-up in 2015, wage growth so far this year—compared to the 2000s—is still disappointingly low (see Chart 1). This is worrying because consumer spending, which makes up the majority of U.S. economic output, cannot continue at the current pace unless wages grow. Continue reading
As world leaders head to New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly, there is still no end to the heart-breaking images of war-torn cities in the Middle East and North Africa, and of a massive exodus of people looking for sanctuary and opportunities to sustain a livelihood.
Filed under: Economic research, Europe, International Monetary Fund, Middle East, Migration, poverty, refugees, unemployment | Tagged: Christine Lagarde, conflict-affected states, Europe, IMF, iMFdirect blog, International Monetary Fund, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Middle East, Middle East and North Africa, Migration, poverty, refugees, Syria, Tunisia, unemployment, Yemen | Leave a comment »
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At his swearing-in ceremony last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked why he had appointed a gender-balanced cabinet, a first for Canada (and for most countries around the world). He replied “Because it’s 2015.”
He was right, of course, and his response demonstrated his government’s clear commitment to gender equality. But there is another important reason for promoting greater female participation in the workforce: women in jobs are good for growth. IMF studies have shown significant macroeconomic gains when women are able to participate more fully in the labor market. Continue reading
A longstanding challenge for the global economy is the possibility that some countries compete for export markets through artificially low prices. Political leaders and pundits sometimes propose import tariffs to offset the supposed price advantages and exert pressure for policy changes abroad. What proponents often fail to realize is that such tariff policies, while certainly hurting their targets, can also be very costly at home. And surprisingly, the self-inflicted harm can be substantial even when trade partners do not retaliate with tariffs of their own. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Asia, Economic outlook, Employment, IMF, International Monetary Fund, trade, U.S. | Tagged: East Asia, employment, exports, GDP, IMF, iMFdirect, imports, International Monetary Fund, tariffs, trade, United States, World Economic Outlook, World Trade Organization, WTO | Leave a comment »
Are robots taking over the world economy? Life imitates art, and as robotic technology becomes more sophisticated, robots could soon become perfect substitutes for human labor.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic research, Employment, Globalization, growth, IMF, income, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, labor force, labor markets, technology | Tagged: Andrew Berg, capital, Edward F. Buffie, Finance & Development magazine, global economy, Luis-Felipe Zanna, robots | Leave a comment »
Version in 中文 (Chinese)
The word “rebalancing” is often used to describe China’s economic transition. But what does it mean? And how much is China rebalancing? A recent IMF paper attempts to answer these questions. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, aging, Asia, China, climate change, Financial markets, growth, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Reform | Tagged: aging, China, Chinese economy, Climate change, economic rebalancing, GDP, global financial crisis, IMF, iMFdirect, inequality, International Monetary Fund, investment, pollution, structural reforms | Leave a comment »
Low growth, high inequality, and slow progress on structural reforms are among the key issues that G20 leaders will discuss at their meeting in Hangzhou, China, this weekend. This meeting comes at an important moment for the global economy. The political pendulum threatens to swing against economic openness, and without forceful policy actions, the world could suffer from disappointing growth for a long time. Continue reading