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Simon Says: Economic value of your holiday gifts

“Father Christmas, give us the money Don’t mess around with those silly toys” The Kinks, Father Christmas At this time of gift giving, it is worth considering whether the exchange of presents is efficient. Well at least to an economist it is! Famously, if only in economic circles, Joel Waldfogel in 1993 suggested gift giving was inefficient because it…

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Social Security cost of living adjustment is the biggest in over 40 years

Americans drawing money from Social Security received some good news for 2023 with a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) designed to keep up with inflation. The Social Security Administration (SAA) announced last month that it would implement an increase in benefits of 8.7 percent. The new rate will go into effect in January. For many recipients, this will…

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Simon Says: Local employment remains below pre-pandemic levels

Employment in the Augusta Metropolitan Statistical Area inched up by 200 jobs in September to stand at 244,400, but employment locally remains below pre-pandemic levels. With little change in total employment, it is not surprising that there was little change in employment in many industries. Industries seeing a decline in employment include leisure and hospitality with…

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