Ash comments on the Valley’s bleak jobless numbers

Michael Ash

Michael Ash, associate professor of economics and public policy, is quoted in a Daily Hampshire Gazette story about unemployment in the Valley.  According to Ash, the unemployment rate in Hampshire County was actually higher in the first quarter of this year than at almost any point in 2009.  With so many people still out of work, it is not yet safe to say that the recession is over.  Ash believes that the state needs to see a consistent reduction in the unemployment rate before concluding that the labor market has recovered.  “We are looking at a period of fairly high, sustained unemployment.”  (Daily Hampshire Gazette, 05/03/2010)

UMass Economics

Folbre: Transparency necessary, but not sufficient, when regulating toxics

Nancy Folbre

Nancy Folbre, UMass Amherst economics professor, writes a column about how regulating toxic financial assets is similar to regulating toxic chemicals, and notes that in the case of the latter, current laws aren’t doing a very good job of protecting the public. She cites work done at the Political Economy Research Institute at UMass Amherst that publishes a list of top polluters each year as a way to make the critical information available and understandable. Overall, she concludes that transparency is a good thing, but isn’t always the best way to control toxic substances or assets. (New York Times, 5/3/10)