Payroll numbers expected to show US economic recovery gathering strength

Economists forecast that nonfarm payrolls increased by 223,000 last month, matching June’s job gains

The number of US jobs probably rose at a healthy pace in July and wages likely rebounded in data due on Friday, providing further signs of an improving economy that could allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in September.

A Reuters survey of economists forecast that nonfarm payrolls increased by 223,000 last month, matching June’s job gains, a number which would be slightly above the monthly average for the first half of the year.

Continue reading…

The Hitchhiker’s Guide taught me about satire, Vogons and even economics | Ha-Joon Chang

Science fiction was serious stuff when I was a child, Douglas Adams showed it could be funny – plus he included something for us economists, too

There are books that you know before reading them will change you. There are books you read precisely because you want to change yourself. But The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy belonged to neither category. In fact, H2G2 (as a tribe of Douglas Adams fandom calls it) is special because I didn’t expect it to have any effect on me, let alone one so enduring. I don’t even remember exactly when I read it, except that it was in the first few years of my arrival in Britain as a graduate student in 1986. The only thing I remember is being intrigued by the description of it as a piece of comedy science fiction (SF).

I had been a fan of SF since I was 10 or 11, when I started devouring what I could from the rather meagre selection (often in simplified children’s editions) available in Korea in the 1970s and 80s. SF was serious stuff then: intergalactic wars and imperialism (Skylark), technological dystopia (Brave New World), post-apocalyptic worlds (On the Beach, The Day of the Triffids). It wasn’t supposed to be comical.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide wasn’t just hilarious, it was beyond my then mental universe

Related: The Picture of Dorian Gray made me forever suspicious of the self-righteous | Deborah Orr

Continue reading…