For those who need a dose of economics with their end-of-summer Labor Day family cookout (and really, don\’t we all need that?), here\’s a sampling of some previous posts.

1) Origins of Labor Day (September 7, 2015)

The first Labor Day march and celebration almost didn\’t happen, for lack of a band. Also, was Maguire or McGuire the one who had the idea for such a holiday?

2) Update on US Unions (October 8, 2015)

About 30% of the US workforce belonged to a union back in the early 1950s, compared to barely more than 10% today. Union workers do earn more, but at least in part, this is because their employers how to compete with a mixture of higher-priced labor, fewer jobs, and more capital investment . Are there alternative institutions that might help represent the modern needs of US workers?

3) The Gig Economy and Alternative Jobs

All of the job growth is in \”alternative\” jobs (April 11, 2016), which are in some sense temporary or on-call jobs without the expectation of a lasting attachment to a an employer. The US government is planning an updated survey of how many in the \”gig economy\” (February 16, 2016), because the current studies use different definitions and get different answers. There may be a need for new rules for workers in the gig economy (December 9, 2015).

4) Income Inequality

Here\’s an update on the income share being received by the top 1% in the US economy (July 6, 2016). Here\’s my argument as to why stock options are a primary reason for the growth of compensation and income inequality at the top of the income distribution (March 25, 2016).  One occasionally hears the argument that greater inequality may lead to slower economic growth, but I\’m skeptical  (May 29, 2015).

5) Unemployment is Bottoming Out, So What\’s Next? (January 26, 2016)

The US unemployment rate has been 5% or lower since October 2015. It\’s unlikely to fall a lot further. So are we beginning to see the next steps in a healthy labor market, like wage increases and a rise in labor market participation rates?

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