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Labor Market Policy Research Reports, March 19 to 26 Print
Written by CEPR   
Friday, 27 March 2015 12:00

The following reports on labor market policy were recently released:

Economic Policy Institute

Projected Decline In Unemployment In 2015 Won’t Lift Blacks Out of the Recession-carved Crater
Valerie Wilson

Center for Economic and Policy Research

From Recession to Collapse: The Bush Administration and the Over-Valued Dollar
Dean Baker

Urban Institute

Reducing Poverty in the United States: Results of a Microsimulation Analysis of the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute Policy Package
Kye Lippold

 
The Real Rate of Recovery, Part 5: Long-Term Unemployment Print
Written by Nicholas Buffie and Kevin Cashman   
Thursday, 26 March 2015 10:00

Many media outlets cite the official unemployment rate – the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ U-3 unemployment rate – when reporting on the recovery in the jobs market. This rate stood at 5.0 percent in December 2007 (the first month of the recession) and rose to a high of 10.0 percent in October 2009; it has since fallen to 5.5 percent. Relative to its peak, the unemployment rate has made up 90 percent of the ground lost between December 2007 and October 2009. However, there are good reasons to think that the unemployment rate overstates the degree of recovery in the job market. We are presenting a series of five measures that provide insights on employment and unemployment that aren’t captured by the official unemployment rate. One such measure is discussed here.

Long-Term Unemployment as a Percentage of Total Unemployment

Long-term unemployment as a percentage of total unemployment shows us the share of unemployed Americans who have been out-of-work for 27 weeks or more.

Read more...

 

 
The Rise of Discouraged Workers Print
Written by Nicholas Buffie   
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 10:00

My colleague Kevin Cashman and I recently released a new measure of unemployment called the "Jobless Rate". The "Jobless Rate" takes account of all Americans who say they want a job but are unable to find one. While the official unemployment rate for February was just 5.5 percent, the jobless rate stood at 9.3 percent.

Read more...

 

 
The Real Rate of Recovery, Part 4: Involuntary Part-Time Employment Print
Written by Nicholas Buffie and Kevin Cashman   
Monday, 23 March 2015 10:00

Many media outlets cite the official unemployment rate – the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ U-3 unemployment rate – when reporting on the recovery in the jobs market. This rate stood at 5.0 percent in December 2007 (the first month of the recession) and rose to a high of 10.0 percent in October 2009; it has since fallen to 5.5 percent. Relative to its peak, the unemployment rate has made up 90 percent of the ground lost between December 2007 and October 2009. However, there are good reasons to think that the unemployment rate overstates the degree of recovery in the job market. We are presenting a series of five measures that provide insights on employment and unemployment that aren’t captured by the official unemployment rate. One such measure is discussed here.

Involuntary Part-Time Employment as a Percentage of Total Employment

Involuntary part-time employment, as a percentage of total employment, shows the percentage of Americans who work part-time for economic reasons but who would like to work full-time.

Read more...

 

 
Labor Market Policy Research Reports, March 13 to- 19 Print
Written by CEPR   
Thursday, 19 March 2015 15:47

The following reports on labor market policy were recently released:

Economic Policy Institute

How to Raise Wages: Policies That Work and Policies That Don’t
Lawrence Mishel and Ross Eisenbrey

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

No Mystery Why SNAP Enrollment Remains High: It’s Still the Economy
Chad Stone, Arloc Sherman, and Brynne Keith-Jennings

Center for Law and Social Policy

The Effect of the Great Recession on Child Well-Being
Elias Blinkoff, Kate Sell, Laura Repcheck, Narissa Williams, and Rachel Meadows

National Employment Law Project

Building Robust Labor Standards Enforcement Regimes in Our Cities and Counties
Haeyoung Yoon and Tsedeye Gebreselassie

 
Latest Update at ceprDATA.org Print
Written by Cherrie Bucknor   
Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:00

Ever wonder where you can get access to the data we use for our papers? Look no further than ceprDATA.org, a website where we provide consistent, (relatively!) user-friendly versions of the Current Population Survey (CPS), American Community Survey (ACS), and other datasets used at CEPR.

Version 2.0 of our CPS Outgoing Rotation Group extract for 1979-2014 was posted last week. You can download the data or view the program files we used to create the extracts we use in-house. CEPR CPS Basic Monthly program files for 1994-2014 have also been updated and are available for download.

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The #PeoplesBudget: A Progressive Vision of the U.S. Economy Print
Written by Nicole Woo   
Thursday, 19 March 2015 08:00

At a lively press conference yesterday on Capitol Hill, the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), one of the largest caucuses in Congress, released The People's Budget: A Raise for America. The topline numbers are impressive: 8.4 million good-paying jobs by 2018 as well as $820 billion in infrastructure and transportation improvements and $4.6 trillion in deficit reduction over the next 10 years.

The EPI Policy Center has analyzed the People's Budget closely and finds that it would, among many outcomes, accelerate the economic recovery, promote full employment, strengthen social insurance, smartly cut spending, fairly tax the wealthy and corporations, and reduce the debt ratio to a sustainable 66 percent of GDP by 2025.

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The Real Rate of Recovery, Part 3: The Age-Adjusted EPOP Ratio Print
Written by Nicholas Buffie and Kevin Cashman   
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 13:00

Many media outlets cite the official unemployment rate – the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ U-3 unemployment rate – when reporting on the recovery in the jobs market. This rate stood at 5.0 percent in December 2007 (the first month of the recession) and rose to a high of 10.0 percent in October 2009; it has since fallen to 5.5 percent. Relative to its peak, the unemployment rate has made up 90 percent of the ground lost between December 2007 and October 2009. However, there are good reasons to think that the unemployment rate overstates the degree of recovery in the job market. We are presenting a series of five measures that provide insights on employment and unemployment that aren’t captured by the official unemployment rate. One such measure is discussed here.

Age-Adjusted Employment-to-Population (EPOP) Ratio

The age-adjusted EPOP ratio measures the percentage of Americans that would be employed if the age distribution of the population hadn’t changed since December of 2007.

Read more...

 

 
The Debt Ceiling Everybody Forgot About is Back Print
Written by Nicole Woo   
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 11:00

On Monday, the nation's debt ceiling came back into effect for the first time in over a year. Did you hear all the sighs of relief across Capitol Hill and Wall Street?

No? Nothing? That may be because over the past two years, the debt limit has been in effect for only about five months. The debt limit, also called the debt ceiling, was suspended during the rest of that time, allowing the government to borrow as much as needed to fulfill the spending and revenue levels set by Congress and the President.

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The Real Rate of Recovery, Part 2: The Prime-Age EPOP Ratio Print
Written by Nicholas Buffie and Kevin Cashman   
Monday, 16 March 2015 12:38

Many media outlets cite the official unemployment rate – the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ U-3 unemployment rate – when reporting on the recovery in the jobs market. This rate stood at 5.0 percent in December 2007 (the first month of the recession) and rose to a high of 10.0 percent in October 2009; it has since fallen to 5.5 percent. Relative to its peak, the unemployment rate has made up 90 percent of the ground lost between December 2007 and October 2009. However, there are good reasons to think that the unemployment rate overstates the degree of recovery in the job market. We are presenting a series of five measures that provide insights on employment and unemployment that aren’t captured by the official unemployment rate. One such measure is discussed here.

Seasonally Adjusted Employment-to-Population (EPOP) Ratio, Prime-Age Population

The prime-age EPOP ratio measures the percentage of Americans aged 25 to 54 who are employed.

Read more...

 

 
Labor Market Policy Research Reports, March 6 to 13 Print
Written by CEPR   
Friday, 13 March 2015 14:13

The following reports on labor market policy were recently released:

Economic Policy Institute

How Low Can We Go? State Unemployment Insurance Programs Exclude Record Numbers of Jobless Workers
Will Kimball and Rick McHugh

EPI’s Family Budgets and Income Sufficiency in Los Angeles
Elise Gould and David Cooper

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

The Status of Women in the States: 2015 — Employment and Earnings
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Urban Institute

How Much Could Policy Changes Reduce Poverty in New York City?
Linda Giannarelli, Laura Wheaton, and Joyce Morton

 
The Real Rate of Recovery, Part 1: The Jobless Rate Print
Written by Nicholas Buffie and Kevin Cashman   
Thursday, 12 March 2015 14:50

Many media outlets cite the official unemployment rate – the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ U-3 unemployment rate – when reporting on the recovery in the jobs market. This rate stood at 5.0 percent in December 2007 (the first month of the recession) and rose to a high of 10.0 percent in October 2009; it has since fallen to 5.5 percent. Relative to its peak, the unemployment rate has made up 90 percent of the ground lost between December 2007 and October 2009. However, there are good reasons to think that the unemployment rate overstates the degree of recovery in the job market. We are presenting a series of five measures that provide insights on employment and unemployment that aren’t captured by the official unemployment rate. One such measure is discussed here.

Seasonally Adjusted “Jobless Rate”

The "jobless rate" measures the percentage of Americans lacking a job amongst all those who say they would like to work.

Read more...

 

 
The ACA Is Helping Workers Print
Written by Nicholas Buffie   
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 11:48

Two months ago, I argued that the Affordable Care Act isn't forcing firms to cut hours. Rather, the law gives workers the ability to pursue part-time employment if they so desire -- an improvement over the previous system, in which workers had to be full-time in order to receive health insurance. As I explained:

If an employee is working part-time and would like to work full-time, his or her status as part-time is a negative: that employee would like to work more, but hasn't been given the opportunity to do so. However, if an employee is voluntarily working part-time, it means that he or she is making an active decision to pursue part-time employment. Since health insurance was previously linked to a worker's status as a full-time employee, many Americans worked full-time simply to receive health insurance benefits; this was true even for workers who otherwise would have preferred to work part-time. Thanks to the ACA, workers no longer have to be employed full-time in order to receive insurance, so, not surprisingly, voluntary part-time employment is up.

Read more...

 

 
Labor Market Policy Research Reports, February 20 to March 6 Print
Written by CEPR   
Friday, 06 March 2015 16:21

The following reports on labor market policy were recently released:

Center for American Progress

Economic Snapshot: February 2015
Christian E. Weller and Jackie Odum

The Great Cost Shift
Topher Spiro, Maura Calsyn, and Meghan O’Toole

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Strengthening the EITC for Childless Workers Would Promote Work and Reduce Poverty
Chuck Marr and Chye-Ching Huang

Letting Key Provisions of Working-Family Tax Credits Expire Would Push 16 Million People Into or Deeper Into Poverty
Chuck Marr, Bryann DaSilva, and Arloc Sherman

EITC and Child Tax Credit Promote Work, Reduce Poverty, and Support Children’s Development, Research Finds
Chuck Marr, Chye-Ching Huang, and Arloc Sherman

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Job Gains Continue in February: Women Gained 162,000 and Men Gained 133,000 Jobs
Institute for Women’s Policy Research

The Gender Wage Gap: 2014; Earnings Differences by Race and Ethnicity
Ariane Hegewisch, Emily Ellis, and Heidi Hartmann

National Employment Law Project

Giving Caregivers a Raise: The Impact of a $15 Wage Floor in the Home Care Industry
National Employment Law Project

 
Job Growth Strong Again in February Print
Written by Dean Baker   
Friday, 06 March 2015 08:24

The labor market produced another strong month in February, with the employers adding 295,000 jobs in the month. While there were small downward revisions to the January numbers, this still left the three month average at 288,000. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent, its lowest level since May of 2008, the early days of the recession. The employment-to-population ratio remained at 59.3 percent, more than 3.0 percentage points below its pre-recession level.

The February performance is especially impressive given that an unusually severe winter might have been expected to dampen job growth, especially in sectors like construction and restaurants. Construction added 29,000 jobs and restaurants added an extraordinary 58,700 jobs. Of course, some of the weather effect may show up in the March data, since the worst weather came towards the end of the month, after the reference week for the survey.

Other data was positive as well. Involuntary part-time employment fell by another 175,000 in February and is now 570,000 below its year-ago level. There was a small rise in the number of people who have voluntarily chosen to work part-time. This figure is now 750,000 above its year-ago level and almost 900,000 higher than in February of 2013, before the exchanges from the Affordable Care Act came into existence.

Reported wage growth was for the month was weak, as expected, following a large reported gain in January. Taking the average for the last three months compared to the prior three months, the annual rate of growth was just 1.8 percent, down from 2.0 percent over the last year.

 
Three Ways to Regulate Wall Street Pay Print
Written by Nicholas Buffie   
Tuesday, 03 March 2015 09:56

Section 956(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act calls for elimination of compensation schemes that encourage “inappropriate risks by covered financial institutions.” What follows is a discussion of precisely how financial sector compensation could be reformed so as to achieve a more stable financial sector.

One of the most important areas for Wall Street reform is banker compensation. While many commentators have been outraged at the amount of money made by traders and executives in the financial sector, it’s clear that compensation packages are more than just a number: the way that banks and other institutions pay their traders and executives is important too. Reforming banker compensation would be one of the best ways to prevent financial crises; indeed, in Crisis Economics, Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm (2010) write: “[Compensation] is where the problem originates, and it’s where the solution should be focused” (pg. 187).

Read more...

 

 
Monty Python and the Holy FEU3R Print
Written by Nicholas Buffie   
Monday, 02 March 2015 13:33

Jared Bernstein has a great blog post at the WaPo on the unemployment rate associated with full employment. Bernstein refers to this as the FEUR, or "Full Employment Unemployment Rate".

When economists talk about the FEUR, they’re referring to the lowest rate of unemployment that can be achieved before inflation takes off. The concept behind the FEUR is that high levels of employment will be associated with levels of demand that are high enough to induce wage-price spirals.

Read more...

 

 
Labor Market Policy Research Reports, February 12 to February 19 Print
Written by CEPR   
Friday, 20 February 2015 10:11

The following reports on labor market policy were recently released:

Economic Policy Institute

2014 Continues a 35-Year Trend of Broad-Based Wage Stagnation
Elise Gould

National Women’s Law Center

Moving Women & Families Forward: A State Roadmap to Economic Justice
National Women’s Law Center

Political Economy Research Institute

Improving Population Health by Reducing Poverty: New York’s Earned Income Tax Credit
Jeannette Wicks-Lim and Peter S. Arno

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

States Can Adopt or Expand Earned Income Tax Credits to Build a Stronger Future Economy
Erica Williams and Michael Leachman

 
Disunited States of America Print
Written by John Schmitt   
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 12:14

disunitedstates I have a chapter on state-level labor-market regulations in a new ILR Press book edited by David Jacobs (Morgan State University) and Peggy Kahn (University of Michigan, Flint). The book is called Disunited States of America: Employment Relations Systems in Conflict, and the title of my chapter is “Differences in the ‘inclusiveness’ of state labor market institutions.”

My chapter compiles and presents a lot of data on differences in minimum wages, unionization rates, earned income tax credits, unemployment insurance systems, employment protection legislation, and other dimensions of labor-market regulation at both the state and international levels. The main conclusion is that, while there is substantial variation across the U.S. states along many of these dimensions, these differences are small relative to the gap between the United States and the rest of the world’s rich economies.

Read more...

 

 
The U.S.A. as Number 1? Print
Written by Dean Baker and Nicholas Buffie   
Friday, 13 February 2015 14:23

It’s standard practice in public discussions to refer to the United States as being the richest country in the world. Even though this is repeated all the time, it’s worth asking if it is true.

In terms of having the largest economy in the world, it is no longer true. If we measure the size of economies by assigning the same price to all goods and services they produce (purchasing power parity GDP), China passed the United States last year. Of course China has more than four times the population as the United States, so on a per capita basis it is still much poorer.

Read more...

 

 
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