Sunday, November 20, 2011

Labor force participation rate

A particularly striking graph showing the change in our country in the past fifty years is the percentage of males and females who are employed: There really is room to grow the economy a lot if we can just find work for that twenty percent of men who stopped working.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Unemployment by major.

I found an interesting page giving unemployment rate by major. Some are surprising, but for the most part it is what you would expect.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rental Market

I have been looking for a new apartment. It really is striking how different things are than they were two years ago when I got my last one. At that time the apartments clearly were having to try hard to stay afloat. Now they all seem nearly filled up. Many large buildings we stopped at were in fact completely full.

This should drive construction soon. While few people want to buy a home these days they clearly still have interest in apartments. The slow climb out of our recession is underway.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stray Voltage

While this isn't exactly what I work on, this article is about one of the problems which can develop when substation grounding goes wrong. Rarely do I find it makes the news.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Prison costs

I have known for quite some time that the war on drugs has been killing education. It is just too expensive to lock people in cages. In California prison guards make similar salaries to professors. I doubt prisons cost less than colleges to construct and unlike college time in prison makes it almost impossible for people to find jobs. So the long term economic damage is greater than the cost of locking prisoners away.

This article has some great statistics on this subject. For example, California spends seven times as much per year locking up someone than it would spend putting that same person through college.