Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.

Unemployment Chills Global Warming Concerns

Print comment Post Comments
It's a question that economists Matthew Kahn and Matthew Kotchen investigated in a working paper wherein they investigated the association between the business cycle - measured with unemployment rates - and environmental concern. (HT: Marginal Revolution)

Here is what they found:

 - We find that an increase in a state’s unemployment rate decreases Google searches for “global warming” and increases searches for “unemployment,” and that the effect differs according to a state’s political ideology.

 - From national surveys, we find that an increase in a state’s unemployment rate is associated with a decrease in the probability that residents think global warming is happening and reduced support for the U.S to target policies intended to mitigate global warming.

 - Finally, in California, we find that an increase in a county’s unemployment rate is associated with a significant decrease in county residents choosing the environment as the most important policy issue.

Frankly, it isn't too surprising that, during recessions, people care more about putting food on the table than whether a glacier is melting somewhere. Unfortunately, there was more disappointing news about our labor market this morning.

Initial jobless claims totaled 479,000, which was 24,000 above forecasts and up from a revised 460,000 last week. The level of claims is now the highest since early April but the entire month of July has been influenced by the auto plant shutdowns or lack thereof with respect to GM, says Miller Tabak's Peter Boockvar.

He notes that the 4 week average, valuable to smooth out the weekly lumpiness, totaled 459,000 versus 453,000 last week, a 4 week high.

Bottom line, says Boockvar: notwithstanding the seasonal noise in July, the level of claims remains stubbornly high and still point to a sluggish labor market.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.