You should never get too worked up about one months' worth of anomalous economic statistics since there are always sample errors and other statistical noise to worry about, but the divergence between new housing starts and residential construction employment looks to have been going on for months now. In the chart above, the blue line is new starts of housing projects—an index that's clearly ticked well up over the past six months. The red line is employment in residential construction, which has been flat or even falling.
So what's going on? Is something being mis-measured? Is the construction industry experiencing a productivity boom? Are hours per worker surging but firms aren't adding staff for some reason?
TODAY IN SLATE
Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case
The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race
How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster
The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented
Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada
You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney
Or at least trade it for something.
- Texas Lab Worker on Cruise Tests Negative for Ebola as Dallas Hospital Apologizes
- Police Use Tear Gas to Break Up College Pumpkin Festival Turned Violent
- Racist Rancher Cliven Bundy Challenges Eric Holder in Bizarre Campaign Ad
- Supreme Court Allows Texas Law That Accepts Handgun Permits but not College IDs to Vote
An All-Female Mission to Mars
As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.