“We’ve seen three months of strong economic growth in the labor market and we are adding jobs. I’d also just add we are two weeks away of getting the state level numbers and I think that will be informative both with respect to the weather effects and quite frankly some of the political aspects. We will have a better insight as to where these jobs are being created.”
In the ‘Something More with Chris Boyd’ interview, Brill discusses the state of the economy.
“…. There are specific issues with regards to our trade relationship with China. But not only with China, with other of our major trading partners around the world. We are better off with good intellectual property laws. We are better off with lower tariff and non-tariff barriers. We need a process that takes us from where we are forward and not backwards, of course.”
Brill said, “If we take a market-based approach, which we think is a conservative strategy to addressing climate change, we want to use price signals, and a carbon tax is a price signal. It negates the need for…the regulatory toolbox that’s currently being deployed…and allows the market to find…the most efficient way to get emissions down.”
On CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell,’ Alex Brill discusses the US Supreme Court’s ruling in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. to require out-of-state sellers to collect the same sales tax that in-state resellers must collect.
“The trade news is a negative at the moment. Going forward I don’t think this is the way to grow the economy by slapping tariffs on the way that we’ve seen. Whether this is strategic or not is yet to be determined. Whether there will be some grand deal that’s going to be worked. But this is clearly something that should be concerning to employers. Not just those guys who are directly on the list today, but really who is safe? Some industries might be. Maybe it’s the hospitals, some really domestic type industries that don’t care so much about what is happening in our trade patterns. But I think a lot of folks are rightfully concerned about a new uncertainty in public policy.”
“There is a real wide variation when we think about how this epidemic has affected different parts of the country…. What we tried to do is allocate these costs by state and even by county. And what we find in that result is in a per capita basis, places like District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Connecticut, these are really leading states in these non-mortality related costs. When we think about total costs, meaning adding in the cost of lost life, West Virginia just shoots to the top of the list.”
While discussing the recent job report and unemployment rate, Alex Brill said “it’s a phenomenal number in terms in job creation. Unemployment rate another phenomenal number. Our unemployment rate is basically stuck at 4.1. Last time it was five months in a row was back to 2012 when it was double the rate it is today. So we are seeing an economy near full employment with numbers that are really surprising this late in the cycle.”
“Those with a college degree or more have been enjoying a relatively tight labor market for a long time with unemployment rates near 2%. But it’s those with high school or less than high school degrees that had very high unemployment rates that now have the lowest unemployment rates they have ever seen around 5%. So things are pretty good across the spectrum both geographically and by the education dynamic.”
“Tax returns aren’t due for about 15 months until April 2019 and in that time IRS is going to put out guidance that is necessary. Particularly for this pass through provision which undoubtedly will involve some complications. But generally speaking, I think [with this tax reform] we are not aware of any loopholes or true drafting errors yet. We will see in the next weeks and months if anything opens up.”