In US economics right now, there is one debate that’s bigger than all others. That is: How tight is the job market, and what kind of pressure will rising wages put on the Fed to tighten?
The market has been steadily bringing forward its expectations for the first rate hike. Market participants believe the first hike will be in 2015.
Goldman’s top economist Jan Hatzius has a contrarian call on this matter, predicting that the first rate hike won’t come until 2016.
Part of this call is a belief that the job market is not as tight as others are saying it is.
This is Jan Hatzius’ contribution to our chartbook of the most important charts in the world. He argues that contra some recent studies, short-term unemployment (which has gotten low) is not a good measure for wage growth, and that if you go back a while, short-term unemployment has predicted higher wage growth than what has actually materialised. Instead, long-term unemployment is what matters. And since long-term unemployment is still high, wage growth will remain muted, and pressure on the Fed will remain minimal.