The economist Jul 9th 文章:Does America need more unemployment? 美国需要更多的失业者吗?-八点一刻

The labour market remains too hot for comfort

American summers, known for baseball games, roasted marshmallows and county fairs, have acquired new traditions: pools missing lifeguards, camps in need of counsellors and restaurants desperate for waiters. These shortages matter for more than just the businesses concerned. Over a year into the Federal Reserve’s fight against inflation, the state of America’s labour market has taken on extraordinary importance. Its health is a crucial indicator of whether the battle is being won or lost.

• acquire:动词,意为“获得,习得”。例如:He acquired a reputation for honesty.(他获得了诚实的名声。)

• counsellor:名词,意为“顾问,辅导员”。例如:She is a marriage counsellor.(她是一位婚姻顾问。)

• desperate:形容词,意为“绝望的,极度渴望的”。例如:He was desperate for money.(他极度缺钱。)

• indicator:名词,意为“指示物,指标”。例如:The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the state of the economy.(失业率是衡量经济状况的一个关键指标。)

Initially the covid-19 pandemic was to blame for many of the workforce gaps, since people were less inclined to venture out for employment. Now, as recent data releases make clear, the economy itself is the source of the strains. Consider a wide range of measures. All point to a slight softening in the labour market over the past year. Yet all are still, to a remarkable degree, resilient by historical standards.

• venture:动词,意为“冒险,敢于”。例如:He ventured to ask her opinion.(他冒昧地问了她的意见。)

• strain:名词,意为“压力,紧张”。例如:He felt a great strain on his nerves.(他感到神经非常紧张。)

• softening:动词,意为“变软,变弱”。例如:The rain has softened the ground.(雨水使地面变软了。)

• resilient:形容词,意为“有弹性的,能恢复的”。例如:Rubber is a resilient material.(橡胶是一种有弹性的材料。)

For every unemployed person in America, there are 1.6 jobs available, a ratio that is down a tad since mid-2022, but well in excess of the pre-pandemic norm. Since February 2020—before covid hit America—the economy has added nearly 4m jobs, putting employment above its long-term trend line. There do not appear to be many workers left on the sidelines: some 84% of prime-age workers (aged between 25 and 54) now participate in the labour force, the most since 2002 and just a percentage point off an all-time high.

• tad:副词,意为“稍微,一点儿”。例如:She looks a tad tired today.(她今天看起来有点累。)

• sideline:名词,意为“副业,兼职”。例如:He runs a small farm as a sideline.(他兼营一个小农场。)

From the perspective of workers, such vigour is welcome. Wage growth has been especially fast for service-sector jobs that require less education, such as construction. That, in turn, has helped to narrow some of the income inequality which bedevils America. Less well-off parts of the population tend to benefit disproportionately from a tight labour market. The unemployment rate for black Americans hit 4.7% in April, a record low.

• vigour:名词,意为“活力,精力”。例如:He is full of vigour and enthusiasm.(他充满了活力和热情。)

• bedevil:动词,意为“困扰,使苦恼”。例如:The project was bedevilled by lack of funds.(这个项目因为缺乏资金而陷入困境。)

• disproportionately:副词,意为“不成比例地,不相称地”。例如:The poor are disproportionately affected by the tax increase.(穷人受到税收增加的影响更大。)

Will these gains survive when labour shortages feed through to prices? Hourly earnings in June rose at an annualised pace of 4.4%, consistent with an inflation rate roughly twice the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. Alternative measures suggest upward pressure may be even greater. A tracker by the Fed’s Atlanta branch points to annualised wage growth of around 6% this year.

• annualised:形容词,意为“按年计算的,年化的”。例如:The annualised inflation rate is 3%.(年化通货膨胀率是3%。)

• alternative:形容词,意为“可供选择的,替代的”。例如:We have no alternative but to accept.(我们别无选择,只能接受。)

• tracker:名词,意为“跟踪者,追踪器”。例如:He is a tracker of wild animals.(他是一位野生动物的追踪者。)

The continued labour-market strength all but guarantees the Fed will resume lifting interest rates at its meeting in late July, having refrained from doing so in June. Markets now assign a 92% probability to a quarter-point rate rise; just a month ago it was seen as a coin-flip. In March, when a handful of lenders including Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, many feared the financial turmoil would ripple through the economy. But in a speech on July 6th, Lorie Logan, head of the Fed’s Dallas branch, argued that a stronger-than-expected employment backdrop called for more restrictive policy. “Lay-offs remain low,” she said. “There is no indication of an abrupt deterioration in labour-market conditions.”

• resume:动词,意为“恢复,重新开始”。例如:They resumed their conversation after dinner.(他们晚饭后继续谈话。)

• refrain:动词,意为“克制,抑制”。例如:He refrained from smoking in her presence.(他在她面前忍住不抽烟。)

• assign:动词,意为“分配,指派”。例如:He was assigned to do the task.(他被指派做这项任务。)

• coin-flip:名词,意为“掷硬币,碰运气”。例如:They decided the winner by a coin-flip.(他们用掷硬币的方式决定胜者。)

• turmoil:名词,意为“混乱,骚动”。例如:The country is in political turmoil.(这个国家处于政治动荡中。)

• ripple:动词,意为“波及,扩散”。例如:The scandal rippled through the government.(丑闻波及了整个政府。)

• restrictive:形容词,意为“限制性的,约束性的”。例如:The new law is too restrictive for small businesses.(新法律对小企业太有限制性了。)

• deterioration:名词,意为“恶化,退化”。例如:There has been a deterioration in his health.(他的健康状况有所恶化。)

Optimists hope that the labour market can carry on much as it has, cooling down but avoiding a sharp rise in joblessness. They point to several indicators. There were, for example, about 9.8m open jobs in May, down by 1.6m compared with a year earlier. In an ideal scenario employers would cancel help-wanted ads but not push workers onto the dole. This kind of reduction in staffing demand could, in theory, lead to a gradual slowdown in wage rises without reversing the gains of the past few years. To some extent, that is what is happening. Although still rapid, the growth in hourly earnings is a percentage point lower than a year ago.

• indicator:名词,意为“指示物,指标”。例如:The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the state of the economy.(失业率是衡量经济状况的一个关键指标。)

• scenario:名词,意为“情景,方案”。例如:What is the worst-case scenario?(最坏的情况是什么?)

• dole:名词,意为“救济金,失业救济”。例如:He has been on the dole for six months.(他已经领了六个月的失业救济金了。)

• reduction:名词,意为“减少,降低”。例如:There has been a reduction in crime.(犯罪率有所下降。)

• slowdown:名词,意为“放缓,减速”。例如:The economy is experiencing a slowdown.(经济正在经历一次放缓。)

• extent:名词,意为“程度,范围”。例如:To what extent do you agree with him?(你在多大程度上同意他的观点?)

The pessimistic retort is that the cool-down has a way to go, and the economy does not move in tidy increments. The Fed has raised interest rates aggressively over the past year, and some of the impact is yet to be felt. At the same time, so long as the labour market remains tight and inflation stubbornly high, the central bank has little choice but to add to that tightening. Not much has broken so far. But the stresses are building.

• retort:动词,意为“反驳,回嘴”。例如:He retorted angrily that he had done nothing wrong.(他愤怒地反驳说他没有做错任何事。)

• increment:名词,意为“增量,增加”。例如:They get an annual pay increment.(他们每年都有工资增长。)

• aggressively:副词,意为“积极地,有进取心地”。例如:They are aggressively expanding their market share.(他们正在积极扩大市场份额。)

• stubbornly:副词,意为“固执地,顽固地”。例如:He stubbornly refused to admit his mistake.(他固执地拒绝承认自己的错误。)

• stress:名词,意为“压力,紧张”。例如:He felt a great stress on his nerves.(他感到神经非常紧张。)





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The economist Jul 9th 文章:Does America need more unemployment? 美国需要更多的失业者吗?-八点一刻

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