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EconomicPolicyInstitute August 25, 2012

In his latest look at the effect U.S. trade with China has had on American jobs, EPI Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research Robert Scott finds that more than 2.7 million jobs were eliminated from 2001 to 2011 due to U.S. trade deficits with China. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and each congressional district experienced job losses. Manufacturing jobs represent over 2.1 million, or 76.9 percent, of the total jobs lost, with service industries also experiencing significant job displacement.

Raising the Massachusetts minimum wage would generate jobs and benefit working families

In A Massachusetts minimum-wage increase would help working families and generate jobs, EPI Policy Analyst Mary Gable shows that raising the minimum wage in Massachusetts from $8.00 to $10.00 per hour would give more than 581,000 of the state’s lowest-paid workers a raise while generating thousands of new jobs. She goes on to explain that while workers’ productivity has increased almost 100 percent since 1973 and corporate profits are near their 2006 peak, in 2011 the real value of Massachusetts’s minimum wage was just 1 percent higher than in 1973.

Rising health care costs are an economic, not a budget, problem

While federal budget deficits in recent years have been driven by the Great Recession and its aftermath, long-term fiscal issues are fueled almost solely by rising health care costs. These growing government health costs, however, are the direct result of a larger economic problem: the failure of our dysfunctional health system to contain costs. This week’s Economic Snapshot shows health care costs—those paid for by both private and public sources—have been rising over the last 50 years and are projected to continue increasing.

EPI in the news

  • The Atlantic’s Jordan Weissmann turned to EPI’s research to explain why the conventional wisdom that a bachelor’s degree guarantees a job no longer applies, as most job gains have gone to advanced-degree holders. That reality plays out pretty clearly in the unemployment figures, as shown in this chart posted by EPI’s Lawrence Mishel. Bachelor’s holders, like everyone else, have suffered from much worse joblessness than normal during the recovery,” Weissmann said.
  • In a guest post for the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, John Pelletier, director of the Center for Financial Literacy at Champlain College, also used EPI’s research to acknowledge the tough job market young workers face. He wrote, A recent Economic Policy Institute study reports that the unemployment rate is 9.4% for college grads ages 21 to 24 (not currently seeking a post graduate degree), and the underemployment rate for this group is 19.1% (this includes part-time workers who want full-time jobs).”
  • Slate’s Matt Yglesias used EPI’s data and analysis to explain that the divergence of consumer and output prices is an often-overlooked cause of the gap between productivity and median compensation. “So there’s systematic divergence. And it’s a big deal,” he explained. “According to Lawrence Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute, this gap alone accounts for one third of the divergence between productivity and median compensation in the 1973-2011 period.”
  • In a column for Politico, former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm cited EPI’s recent analyses of Mitt Romney’s budget proposals to detail why they would be disastrous for working families. Granholm wrote, “The Tax Policy Center, the Congressional Budget Office, the Economic Policy Institute, Annenberg, Brookings, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, your own brain and common sense logic – they all fact checked Romney’s plan and agree that his jobs numbers don’t bear out and his plan results in a tax increase for the middle class on a revenue neutral budget.”
  • And Robert Reich, Secretary of Labor under President Clinton, looked to EPI to show how a Romney/Ryan budget plan would significantly stall job growth, endangering recovery efforts. “According to the Economic Policy Institute, Ryan’s plan would mean 1.3 million fewer jobs next year than otherwise, and 2.8 million fewer the year after,” Reich explained.
From the EPI Blog
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High-income Households Pay a Large Share of US Taxes—But This Doesn’t Make Our Tax System Progressive
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The Top 1 Percent of Wage Earners Falters in 2013—Was it a Temporary Event?
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Myths and Facts About Corporate Taxes, Part 2: Will Congress’s Idea of “Base-Broadening, Rate-Lowering Tax Reform” Fix What’s Wrong With Our Corporate Tax Code?
Ross Eisenbrey
Corporations Are Stealing Your Constitutional Rights: Forced Arbitration Clauses
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