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Graphic Economics

A collection of graphic representations of data by CEPR researchers on important economic issues.



Year-Over-Year- Change in Personal Health Care Expenditure Print

July 30, 2014

After a reported drop in the first quarter, health care costs grew at a 2.6 percent annual rate. They stand just 3.0 percent above their year-ago level. While there were likely some errors in the data leading to a sharp reported rise in spending in the fourth quarter of 2013, followed by a nominal drop last quarter, taken together these numbers indicate there was no surge in spending associated with the implementation of Obamacare.

gdp-2014-07-ge

 
Average Hourly Earnings of Production and Non-supervisory Workers Print

July 3, 2014

The average hourly earnings of production and non-supervisory workers has risen at a 2.3 percent rate over the last year, compared to an increase of 2.0 percent for all workers. This continues a pattern in wage growth that we have seen throughout the recovery with wages of production workers rising more rapidly than wages of supervisory workers, who tend to be better educated.

jobs-2014-07-ge

For more, read our latest Jobs Byte.

 

 
Economy Adds 217,000 Jobs in May; Unemployment Stable at 6.3 Percent Print

The economy added 217,000 jobs in May, bringing the average over the last three months to 234,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.3 percent in May. This is due to the fact that the 0.4 percentage point plunge in labor force participation reported for April was not reversed. At 62.8 percent, the labor force participation rate is at its lowest level since March of 1978.

The job gains were concentrated in four industries which accounted for half of total job growth in the month: health care (33,600), restaurants (31,700), social assistance (21,300) and employment services (20,200). The jump in health care seemed to be somewhat of an anomaly. It compares to an average of just 18,000 jobs a month over the last year. There had not been a noticeable uptick since the ACA took effect in January, so this growth will likely be partially reversed in the months ahead. The increase in jobs in social assistance was also an anomaly. The monthly data in this category are often erratic, but it has added just 97,500 jobs over the last year.

Job Growth, Select Industries, 2007 - 2014

For more, see the latest Jobs Byte.

 
Piketty in One Graph Print

This graphic summarizes the key inequality and policy trends (for the U.S.) traced in Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Scrolling through the inequality metrics suggest the key themes in Piketty’s examination of the U.S. case: the now-familiar “suspension bridge” of income inequality, dampened only by the exceptional economic and political circumstances of the decades surrounding World War II; the growing share of recent income gains going to the very high earners (the 1% or .01%); the stark inequality within labor income (see the top 1% and top 10% wage shares) generated by the emergence of lavishly-compensated “supermanagers”; and a concentration of wealth that fell little over the first half of the twentieth century and has grown steadily since then.

Scrolling through the policy metrics suggests some of the causal forces at work: a precipitous decline in the top inheritance and income tax rates (lifting the ceiling on high incomes); and the collapse of labor standards and bargaining power (lowering the floor for everyone else). I have added here one data series—the trajectory of union density—on which Piketty is curiously silent (his chapter on income inequality uses the minimum wage as a surrogate for bargaining power more generally).

 
A College Degree is No Guarantee: Labor-Market Outcomes for Black Recent College Grads Print

May 2014

The Great Recession has been hard on recent graduates. Black recent college graduates in particular have experienced higher unemployment rates and are more likely to find themselves in a job that does not require a degree than other recent college graduates

Download Infographic (PDF)

Blackgrads infographic

 

More information on the May 2014 report

 
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