Michael Luis

Michael Luis is a public policy consultant who has been wrestling with housing, growth and economic development issues around Washington State for over 30 years. He is author of several books on local history and served as mayor of Medina.

Unemployment shot up but Savings… have Soared?

At the risk of being repetitive, it was a pretty strange month. Nationally, employment fell by about 15 percent. But total disposable personal income in the country rose by 13 percent

Quantifying Our California Connection

The Seattle-California connection established in 1852 continues as strong as ever. In some ways Seattle is fated to be the eternal little sibling to the Bay Area and the Los Angeles area: smaller, less glamorous, frequently ignored, sometimes disdainful, sometimes envious.

We’re Number 29!

Seattle had the fastest growth for a central city from 2010 to 2020. But at the same time, the balance of the Seattle metro area ranked only ninth for growth.

Risk Versus Benefit: The Threat To Urbanism

Urbanism is about choices, not inevitability, and the context of those choices has changed radically. Re-engineering cities to make them vibrant, productive and safe, in the face of a dominant atmosphere of fear, will not be easy.

You’re Unemployed and You’re Unemployed and You’re Employed… Here’s how it Breaks Down

Quietly, tens of thousands of office workers, salespeople and their managers have been let go. A restaurant or construction supply company can't do much business with all the restaurants and sites shut down. We look at unemployment claims by occupation.

It Won’t Be Your Grandfather’s Boeing Bust

The inevitable Boeing reductions will hurt the regional economy, but not nearly as much as past Boeing job cuts. Boeing is still the region’s biggest employer, but accounts for a gradually diminishing share of all jobs.

Data On Local Unemployment: Dip Before Deluge?

Even with this new, detailed data on unemployment claims, we really do not know how many people are unemployed in the traditional sense. Epidemiologists are not the only ones laboring under a lack of good data.

From A to B: Data Show the Pain in Store for Commuters from West Seattle Bridge Failure

Census data show us where West Seattle commuters go to work and begin to give an idea of the scale of the traffic mess that awaits.

The Calculus Of Optimism/Pessimism

It seems we are hard wired to focus on the negative. Pessimists avoid humiliation and, at the same time, enjoy the possibility of the ultimate reward: being the lone voice for sanity amidst the irrational exuberance of the masses. Stay pessimistic long enough and you may have your “Big Short” moment.

Coronavirus Chronicles: Unexpected Shortages of Sudden Needs

Just try to buy a solid looking buzz clipper. Sold-out, sold-out, sold-out. Now I did find one for way too much money, and it won’t arrive for a while. I will be cautious about Zoom meetings.