The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4% to a year-over-year increase of 1.9%, due in part to a spike in gas prices–which are up 6.3% from January 2017.  Compared to a few years back, of course, it’s still a bargain at the pump.  I think that I’m paying about half of what I was to sink 20 gallons of premium into my SUV back in 2013.  So you won’t hear any complaints from me right now.

In broader terms though, higher oil and gas prices lead to higher costs to produce and distribute goods, and that means inflation.  Moderated inflation is what the Fed is looking for before raising rates again, but I believe that it will take more several months (and many more signs of increasing costs) before the Fed has sufficient argument to make a move of any kind.

[Cheap] Help Wanted

There are currently 4.972 million job openings in the United States; that’s the most since late 2000.  But the available positions aren’t as well paying or as glamorous as they once were, especially for those that require a large amount of post secondary education.

Attorney salaries are down 13% over the last six years, while at the same time, enrollment in law school has plummeted to a 27 year low.  Those who do complete law school to compete for that median $62,000 starting salary will have an average of $141,000 in student loan debt.

Your next family doctor will likely have borrowed $180,000 to go to school and will be the lowest paid MD you know.  You want to send your kids to medical school?  Steer them toward orthopedic surgery, who enjoy average salaries of $435,000 according to salary.com.

More prone to academia?  Tenured professors now only comprise 9.9% of our higher educational system’s teachers, that’s less than half of those who historically have comprised the marbled halls’ workforce.  Just over 50% college professors are now only teaching part-time–and that’s not by choice.

So unemployment remains low, gas prices are down, and interest rates are still unbelievably cheap.  Yet the President just tripled the cost of my health insurance, and now I know that my doctor isn’t the beneficiary.  I wonder how much education the average government official has?