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The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is the center of the Eighth District of the Federal Reserve System. This District includes Arkansas, eastern Missouri, southern Illinois and Indiana, western Kentucky and Tennessee, and northern Mississippi.

FRED

Reflections on net migration : The (almost) mirror image behavior of net migration for the United States and Mexico

[embedded content] Some people move in, and some people move out. The difference, for each country, is its net migration. This FRED graph shows the 5-year estimates of net migration for the U.S. (solid line) and Mexico (dashed line), which include both citizens and noncitizens. Notice anything about the pattern? Net migration for the U.S. increased steadily from the mid-1960s to its peak in 1997: The largest increase was between 1992 and 1997, when it started to decrease. Net migration...

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The Great Recession’s regional effects : How have different industrial compositions affected unemployment for Census regions?

[embedded content] Every corner of the U.S. was hard-hit by the Great Recession, but the varying makeup of local economies resulted in different effects on individual cities, states, and regions. Areas that are reliant on economic necessity—say, healthcare and waste management—may fare better during economic downturns than areas that are reliant on economic prosperity—say, tourism and construction. In 2008, the recession particularly disrupted the construction industry. According to the...

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Cost of living and per capita incomes in U.S. cities

View on GeoFRED® A recent post introduced regional price parities (RPPs) and their applications at the state level. These RPP data are also available for metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), which include a principal city and its surrounding area. So we can conduct a similar analysis of price levels and adjusted incomes at the metro level. Data are indexed such that the population-weighted national average is equal to 100. Of the 349 MSAs in the data, 94 fall within 5% of the national...

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Healthy inflation? : Inflation in the healthcare industry vs. general CPI

[embedded content] Some components of the consumer price index have consistently, over several decades, risen faster than the rest. This blog recently discussed education as one such component. The components of the CPI devoted to medical care have also seen faster price increases than the rest of the basket. Going back as far as the series are available, since 1948, the price of medical care has grown at an average annual rate of 5.3% while the entire basket, headline CPI, has grown at...

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Women worldwide in the labor force : How does the participation of women relate to a nation’s overall employment ratio?

View on GeoFRED® A nation’s employment-to-population ratio can provide an indicator of the health of its labor markets—specifically, how much of the workforce participates in the formal economy. The map shows worldwide employment-to-population ratios in 2016, where lighter-colored countries have higher employment ratios. The data reflect the proportion of the working age population in various countries employed during the reference period. However, the World Bank advises that nations...

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A review of labor market conditions

[embedded content] The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 4.3 percent, a value slightly lower than at the peak of the expansion in 2007. This is a sign of a very healthy labor market. The question is to what extent do other indicators of labor market health paint a similar picture. FRED has recently added several data series that capture various measures of labor market tightness. A very tight labor market means that employers have a harder time filling open positions because most workers...

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Regional price parities : How the cost of living differs across states

View on GeoFRED® A well-known fact in the ordinary business of life is that the value of money doesn’t stay the same: The amount of goods and services you can buy with $100 today is far less than what you could buy 30 years ago. A somewhat similar comparison can be made about the purchasing power of $100 in different places. The amount of goods and services you can buy in a developed country, such as the United States, is far less than what you can buy in a developing country, such as...

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How much do Treasuries tell us about recessions? : Yield spreads and economic conditions

[embedded content] Can shifts in the Treasury yield spread predict economic downturns? A common belief is that widening spreads indicate stable economic conditions for the near future—as reflected by market expectations about future interest rates and inflation. On the other hand, narrowing spreads (including negative spreads) may signal worsening conditions. Data in FRED can shed some light on how well this concept has held up in the past two decades. The graph above shows that yield...

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The prices of caffeine and education : Which is more jittery?

As many students prepare to face the costs of education, they find themselves wondering what, if any, nonessential items they’ll be able to afford with the added burden of paying for their schooling. Whether hot beverages, especially coffee, are “nonessential” to students remains debatable, yet their price changes relative to price changes in education is a concept worth exploring. [embedded content] We use two data series found in FRED to construct the price ratio of caffeine to...

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The rise (and fall?) of the cost of education : Education inflation appears to be converging with general inflation, at least for now

[embedded content] For many years, the cost of education has risen steadily and significantly more than the general level of prices. This trend has led to numerous complaints that education is out of reach; it has also led to a boom in student loans. The graph clearly shows how education inflation (blue line) has been above general inflation (red line) every year since 1994. And, again, quite significantly so. The past few observations, however, exhibit a marked reversal, with one...

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