Thursday, May 31, 2012

Demand, Demand, Demand.

Charts of the day:

Here's one charting the unemployment rate versus percentage of businesses citing lack of demand (poor sales) as their number one problem.

Along similar lines, here's a chart based on surveys from businesses citing their biggest concerns:

Note that taxes, government regulations, and quality of labor are all either roughly the same as they've been for awhile or not a huge issue right now. Interestingly enough, government regulations look like they were a larger concern during the boom in the 90s than they are today. The major issue looks to be poor sales, that is, a lack of demand for firms' goods and services.

I wish I had time to elaborate more on this, but I've been reading too many things about how this is largely a structural problem (that is, one from workers not being trained for the jobs available, too much regulation, high taxes, etc), not a demand (recessionary) problem. It doesn't seem that way, though, based on what the firms themselves are saying. Sure, they've got concerns about regulations and taxes, but they don't seem to be any worse than they used to be. More on this later.