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Graphic Economics

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



Workers Earning More and Less than the Social Security Payroll Tax Cap Print

January 25, 2013

On January 1, the maximum amount of annual earnings subject to the Social Security tax – a.k.a. the payroll tax cap – was adjusted for inflation and increased to $113,700.  Income above the cap is not taxed by Social Security.  To help alleviate Social Security’s long-term budget shortfall, raising – or even eliminating – the cap has gotten some attention from policy makers. Just 1 in 20 workers would be affected if the cap were eliminated entirely, and only 1 in 75 would be affected if the cap were applied to earnings over $250,000.

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For more, check out the report, "Raising the Social Security Payroll Tax Cap: How Many Workers Would Pay More?"

 
Change in Bottom-Tier Home Prices in Selected Cities, Jan 2000 - October 2012 Print

January 7, 2013

The price increases in the bottom-tier housing markets in December were truly extraordinary. On the one hand, it is not altogether surprising that prices in this segment of the market would rise the most rapidly since it had been badly beaten up in the crash, especially after the ending of the first-time buyers tax credit.

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For more, check out the latest Housing Market Monitor.

 
The Path Back to Full Employment Print

January 4, 2012

The Bureau of Labor Statistics'  establishment survey showed the economy adding 155,000 jobs in December. This is virtually identical to the 151,000 average over the last three months and the 154,000 average over the last year. This pace of job growth is consistent with a declining unemployment rate, but will not return us to full employment until the next decade.

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For more, check out the latest Jobs Byte.

 
Change in Employment in Selected Industries by Sex, Jan 2011 - Nov 2012 Print

December 7, 2012

Women got somewhat more than half the gains in jobs over the last month. This reverses the pattern for the last couple of years in which men were coming out ahead. The better job growth for men was not due to the comeback of traditional areas of male employment, such as construction and manufacturing, but rather by men getting a disproportionate share of the jobs created in areas such as retail and health care.

jobs-2012-12-ge

For more, check out the latest Jobs Byte.

 
Residential Construction as Share of GDP Print

November 27, 2012

The rise in housing starts has been impressive, with starts running close to 40 percent above year-ago levels. Of course this increase is against an extremely low level, with starts having fallen to less than 30 percent of their bubble peaks in 2009 and 2010. The Midwest also looks comparatively good in this category with starts near half of their 2005 peaks, whereas starts in the other regions are closer to 40 percent of the 2005 peaks.

The best indicator of the future path for starts is the vacancy rate. This has fallen substantially from 2010 peaks, even though it is still much above the pre-bubble level. Housing has contributed an average of 0.3 percentage points to GDP growth over the last year. This contribution is likely to continue and possibly increase slightly in 2013.

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For more, check out the latest Housing Market Monitor.

 
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