Authors

Headshot of Luke Pardue

Luke Pardue

Policy Director

Aspen Economic Strategy Group

Luke Pardue is Policy Director at the Aspen Institute’s Economic Strategy Group (AESG). He obtained his PhD in economics from the University of Maryland and, before joining AESG, worked as an economist at Gusto, a small business payroll platform. Before Gusto, Luke held research positions at the US Census Bureau and Federal Reserve Board. His research focuses on finding policies and practices that help businesses, workers, and families thrive. His work and commentary have been featured in outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. Luke currently lives in Washington, DC.

Publications

June 2024 CPI Report: The Summer Cooldown Continues

The Consumer Price Index rose at a 3.0% annual pace in June 2024, and 3.2% for all items excluding food and energy. Three things stood out from this report. 1. Core CPI Hits Lowest Level in Three Years While markets expected a small increase in prices from May to June, the Consumer Price Index declined ...

June 2024 Jobs Report: Entering a New Phase of the Job Market

The BLS estimated that the US economy added 206,000 jobs in June, with the unemployment rate ticking up from 4.0% to 4.1%. Three things stood out beneath the headlines of this report. 1. Revisions to April and May Show a Softer Job Market While the topline number of 206,000 jobs added in June was about ...

May 2024 CPI Report: Can the US Economy Have it All?

The Consumer Price Index rose at a 3.3% annual pace in May 2024, and 3.4% for all items excluding food and energy. Three things stood out from this report. 1. Inflation Softens More Than Expected Overall, consumer prices were unchanged from April to May and rose by 3.3% over the past year. Core CPI, excluding ...

May 2024 Jobs Report: Mixed Messages in the Job Market

The BLS estimated that the US economy added 272,000 jobs in February, with the unemployment rate ticking up from 3.9% to 4.0%. Three things stood out beneath the headlines of this report. 1. Job Growth Accelerates Today’s estimate of 272,000 jobs added substantially beat the consensus market forecasts of 180,000, and by all measures is ...

In Brief: Building Security in the Semiconductor Supply Chain

BRIEFLY Semiconductors are the building blocks of almost every modern technology, from dishwashers to smartphones to javelin missiles. Shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with rising geopolitical tensions in the region where most chips are produced, have highlighted the fragile supply chains of this critical technology. In response, US policymakers have invested billions in the ...

Chronicle of Higher Education Op-Ed: Yes, College is ‘Worth It’

It’s time to retire skepticism around the value of a degree. Questions regarding the value of a college education have spiked recently, highlighted by high-profile media coverage. Beyond the hype, three substantive attacks have been levied: (1) the college wage premium is illusory, (2) the lifetime wealth premium that college graduates receive is disappearing, and (3) the risk ...

April 2024 CPI Report: A Step in the Right Direction

The Consumer Price Index rose at a 3.4% annual pace in April 2024, and 3.6% for all items excluding food and energy. Three things stood out from this report. 1. Inflation softens, after stickiness to start off the year Annual inflation, as measured in the CPI, started the year near a post-COVID low of 3.1% ...

April 2024 Jobs Report: Steady-As-She-Goes Labor Market

The BLS estimated that the US economy added 175,000 jobs in February, with the unemployment rate ticking up from 3.7% to 3.9%. Three things stood out from this report. 1. Job Growth Ticks Down After Recent Strength After a string of stronger-than-expected employment gains, job growth cooled down this month. The 175,000 jobs added fell ...

In Brief: The Recent Rise in US Labor Productivity

BRIEFLY US labor productivity has enjoyed a period of renewed growth over the past year, interrupting a nearly twenty-year decline: the 2.7 percent productivity growth in 2023 outpaces the 1.5 percent annual average since 2004, and it nearly matches the 2.9 percent pace seen during the country’s last productivity surge in the 1990s. While the ...