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EconomicPolicyInstitute September 9, 2011

EPI presents 11 effective policies for job creation and stronger economic growth

In the weeks leading to President Obama’s job creation plan, the media turned to EPI to understand the severe troubles of the labor market and for ideas on how to save and create jobs in the near future.  Last week, EPI released a Briefing Paper, Sustained high joblessness causes lasting damage to wages, benefits, income, and wealth, that explained why the pain of joblessness extends well beyond unemployed workers.  It was covered by a wide range of news outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and in a column by nationally syndicated columnist Robert Samuelson.

EPI also released the report Putting America back to work by Ross Eisenbrey, Lawrence Mishel, Josh Bivens and Andrew Fieldhouse, which outlined 11 policy proposals to create jobs. EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey discussed these job creation proposals on CNN and ABC News, as did Federal Budget Policy Analyst Andrew Fieldhouse in USA Today.  While not exhaustive, the proposals illustrated the types and scale of policies needed to put a real dent in joblessness in the near term. Some of the proposals are:

  • Temporarily increase disposable income for low- and middle-income consumers by renewing the payroll tax cut or replacing it with a refundable tax rebate, to create roughly 1 million jobs.
  • Enact a direct job creation program to put up to 2.2 million people to work over the next two years repairing schools, rebuilding communities, improving national parks, and rehiring police officers, firefighters, and teachers.
  • Pass President Obama’s budget request for the Surface Transportation Act, increasing employment by an average of 117,000 jobs annually over the next three years, or 350,000 jobs total, with larger job gains in later years.
  • Enact a job creation tax credit for firms that add employees, increase hours, or raise wages for rank-and-file workers, which could create 2.4 million jobs over the next two years if designed properly.

What’s new at 1333 H Street?

The EPI website has undergone renovations.  In addition to a cleaner, sleeker design, other features have been added to enhance the navigation experience. For one, the new advanced search function allows visitors to narrow their search.  Once you click the tab labeled either “area of research” or “publication,” you will see an option to further filter your results by topic, author, and date.

Also, don’t forget to travel to EPI’s new blog, Working Economics, which, in just a few short days, boasts a steady stream of engaging and substantive posts.  After reading, please feel free to leave your comments.  Below every author picture, you’ll see an option to add a comment, or if you’re on the individual blog entry, you’ll see the option to add a comment at the very bottom.  Our authors welcome your thoughts and want to hear from you!

No jobs for more than 3 out of 4 unemployed workers

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released a July report from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), and found that there were 3.2 million job openings and 13.9 million unemployed workers, resulting in a 4.3-to-1 ratio of unemployed workers to job openings.  In her analysis of the report, EPI labor economist Dr. Heidi Shierholz noted that though this is an improvement from the revised June ratio of 4.4-to-1, it also “marks two years and seven months—134 weeks—that the “job seeker’s ratio” has been substantially above 4-to-1.”

The Los Angeles Times cited EPI’s analysis of the report and used the graphic.

How children experience unemployment

This week’s Economic Snapshot shows how profoundly unemployment affects children. The share of children living with an unemployed or underemployed parent rose from 9.1 percent (6.4 million) in 2007 to 18.3 percent (13.0 million) in 2010.

Similar to national unemployment trends, the numbers are starker for minority children: One in four children in black and Hispanic families had an unemployed or underemployed parent in 2010.

In the past week EPI’s experts have been cited in over 2,000 television, radio, and print media outlets.

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Why Tax Cuts Aren’t the Answer to Wage Problems
Daniel Costa
President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration Will Improve the Wages and Working Conditions of Unauthorized Immigrants and U.S.-Born Workers Alike
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