Patrick Lester

Patrick William Lester is a policy analyst at OMB Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based public
policy research and advocacy organization. He previously served on the staff of the Domestic Policy Council in the Clinton White House.

Recent Articles

Behind the Numbers: The End of Unemployment?

A higher percentage of Americans are working than at any time since World War II. But policy-makers could wreck a dawning era of high employment.

Whether our current, relatively low unemployment rates
can be sustained without increasing inflation has been a point
of contention among economists, financial market analysts, and
policymakers. Arguments over trade-offs between unemployment
and inflation, however, too quickly gloss over the causes of our
falling unemployment. The cause seems relatively straightforward:
a sustained upturn in the business cycle. But this simple explanation
overlooks another potent factor: the rising rate of labor force
participation.