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Graphic Economics

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

Change in Housing Units Started and Construction Employment, 2000-2013 Print

March 26, 2013

While the come back in the housing market is impressive, it is important to realize that the rapid growth is starting from very low levels. Starts peaked at over 2 million in 2005; the 917,000 annual rate for February was still less than half of the bubble level. It is reasonable that starts will continue to increase over the course of the year, as vacancies are falling back to more normal levels. However the vacancy rate still remains at unusually high levels. Furthermore, it is not plausible that starts will go back to their bubble pace.


For more, check out the latest Housing Market Monitor.

Change in Employment-to-Population Ratio, Jan 2000 - Feb 2013 Print

March 8, 2013

While the unemployment rate has dropped more than 40 percent of the way back to its pre-recession level, the employment-to-population ratio is still far closer to its trough than its pre-recession peak. While women have fared better than men, this is because they did not see the same sort of steep hit to employment at the start of the downturn. In the last couple of years the gap in performance has been closing with the EPOP for men rising and the EPOP for women drifting lower.

African Americans have fared much worse than whites in the downturn. The fall in the EPOP for black women has been almost as sharp as for men. The drop in the EPOP for black men has been by far the sharpest. Their EPOP has edged up slightly in the last two years but is still almost 8 percentage points below the pre-recession level.


For more, check out the latest Jobs Byte.

Single Family Housing Permits and Units Started, 2000-2013 Print

February 26, 2013

Construction is continuing its upward path, despite the sharp drop in starts reported in January. This decline was clearly a function of weather factors that led to a big jump in starts in December. In the Northeast starts were down 35.3 percent from their December level, but were still above November starts. Starts in the Midwest were down by 50.0 percent, but the vast majority of the decline was due to a plunge in multi-family units. Single-family units were down by just 9.7 percent. Starts in the South and West actually rose in January, as did permits.


For more, read the latest Housing Market Monitor.

Change in Construction Employment, 2000-2012 Print

February 1, 2013

Construction has added an average of 27,000 jobs a months since October. This rise is also in part attributable to unusually warm weather as well as repairs after Hurricane Sandy. However it may also be partly attributable to the bounce back in housing construction.

It is worth noting the divergence in construction employment as measured in the household survey and jobs as measured in the establishment survey. The former rose considerably more during the boom in the last decade and fell somewhat more in the downturn. This likely reflects undocumented workers in the industry who are likely working off the books.


For more, check out the latest Jobs Byte.

Year-Over-Year Percent Change in Personal Consumption of Health Care, 1980-2012 Print

January 31, 2013

One especially noteworthy item in the recent Bureau of Economic Analysis' report on the Gross Domestic Product is the continuing slow pace in the growth of spending on health care services, which accounts for almost three quarters of all health care spending. Nominal spending grew at a just a 2.3 percent annual rate in the quarter. Over the last year, nominal spending is up by just 3.7 percent, far less than the rate of growth of GDP, and well below the projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). It seems increasingly likely that we are on a slower health care cost trajectory. The deficit picture will look very different when CBO incorporates this slower growth trend into its projections.


For more, check out the latest GDP Byte.

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