EPI News

The slump worsens

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More bad news on jobs, growth
This week, the long string of bad economic news continued. On Friday, the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a rise in the unemployment rate to 5.7%, the highest in four years. In their Jobs Picture analysis, EPI economists Jared Bernstein and Heidi Shierholz noted that the buying power of weekly paychecks is dropping sharply, more part-timers want full-time work, and the unemployment rate of African American adult men jumped to 10%. “The persistence of job and real wage losses provides a very strong rationale for a second stimulus package,” said Bernstein. A day earlier, numbers from the Commerce Department showed anemic growth in the gross domestic product–insufficient to keep the jobless rate from growing even worse, as EPI economist L. Josh Bivens wrote in the GDP Picture.

U.S.-China trade gap: Massive job losses for U.S. workers
Unbalanced U.S. trade with China since 2001 has had a devastating effect on U.S. workers. This week’s Economic Snapshot revealed that between 2001 and 2007, the trade deficit caused the loss or displacement of 2.3 million jobs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including 366,000 last year. EPI economist Rob Scott explains the issue in more depth in a new briefing paper, The China Trade Toll, which detailed the devastating impact that the growing U.S. trade deficit with China is having on American jobs, wages, and key industries. (Press release [PDF])

Comparing health care proposals
A new EPI Policy Memo distilled the implications of health care plans by Senators Obama and McCain, based on research findings from the Tax Policy Center. The memo, with a series of graphs, spells out each plan’s outcomes regarding cost, coverage, and efficiency.