Please don’t be distracted by the drop in the unemployment rate today to 4.6 percent—which, incidentally, fell largely because of a drop in labor force participation.
December 2, 2016 | By Elise Gould
| Economic Indicators
Today’s jobs report shows that the economy continues to move in the right direction. Payroll employment increased by 178,000 jobs, and nominal wages grew 2.5 percent over the year.
Friday is the last Jobs Report before the Federal Reserve’s final meeting of the year, when they decide whether to hold the course or raise rates.
EPI Senior Economist Elise Gould delivered the following testimony before the Council of the District of Columbia Subcommittee on Workforce on November 29, 2016.
There was some good news in this morning’s Employment Situation Report. The economy added 161,000 new jobs in October—enough to bring in players off the bench.
Amidst lots of questions about the economy heading into the presidential election next week, I thought it would be appropriate to provide a brief analysis of where the economy is today.
Progress on closing the gap between men’s and women’s wages in the U.S. economy has been glacially slow in recent decades—and gender wage parity has become a top priority for those committed to ensuring the economic security of American women.
Working women are paid less than working men. A large body of research accounts for, diagnoses, and investigates this “gender pay gap.” But this literature often becomes unwieldy for lay readers, and because pay gaps are political topics, ideological agendas often seep quickly into discussions.
With the September employment data in hand, we can look at the number of teachers who are starting work or going back to school this year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 156,000 new jobs in September—enough to absorb new entrants into the labor market and move us slowly closer to full employment.
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the September numbers on the state of the labor market. As usual, I’ll be paying close attention to the prime-age employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) and nominal wages, which are two of the best indicators of labor market health.
September 28, 2016 | By Elise Gould
| Economic Snapshot
The Department of Labor is soon expected to issue their final rule on an executive order requiring federal contractors to allow their employees to earn and use paid sick days.
The official poverty rate fell by 1.3 percentage points from 2014 to 2015, as annual earnings and household incomes rose significantly for the first time since 2007.
In recent decades, the vast majority of Americans have experienced disappointing growth in their living standards—despite economic growth that could have easily generated faster gains in their living standards had it been broadly shared.
Key numbers from today’s new Census reports, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2015. All dollar values are adjusted for inflation (2015 dollars).
Next Tuesday, the Census Bureau will release its data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage for 2015, which will give us a better picture of how working families are—and are not—recovering from the Great Recession.
Today’s jobs report came in somewhat underwhelming. This morning, I compared payroll employment growth to weak tea and the labor market saw little to no improvement in other key measures.
September 2, 2016 | By Elise Gould
| Economic Indicators
This morning’s payroll report showed that the economy added 151,000 jobs in August. To put things in perspective, we need about 100,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth.
Earlier this week, I analyzed the latest wage data by percentile, which shows that inequality has grown since the last business cycle peak in 2007. Today, I’m going to discuss the latest wage data by education groups.
As part of our effort to present a clear, accessible, and in-depth view of the economy and how it affects the workers in it, we’re launching EPI’s State of Working America Data Library.
Looking at the most recent data—through the first half of 2016—we see that wage inequality has continued to grow, with top earners faring far better than those in the middle or bottom end of the wage scale.
This morning’s jobs report showed the economy created 255,000 jobs in July. Aside from the strong payroll numbers, very little changed in key measures.
I am cautiously optimistic that the topline payroll numbers in this Friday’s Employment Situation Report will build on June’s positive upturn and come in stronger than the weaker April and May figures.
The Brian Lehrer Show’s Tuesday night coverage of the Democratic National Convention featured EPI’s Elise Gould on the landscape of minimum-wage and living-wage employment.
Serious attempts to understand the gender wage gap should not include shifting the blame to women for not earning more. Rather, these attempts should examine where our economy provides unequal opportunities for women at every point of their education, training, and career choices.
After the weakness in payroll job growth the last two months, this month’s Employment Report gives us reason to be optimistic about the future of the economy. Payroll employment grew by 287,000 jobs in June. As I discussed extensively yesterday, this is the kind of job growth that would likely get us to full employment within the next year.
In June, payroll employment grew by 287,000 jobs—an welcome boost after the weakness of the last two months. The June jobs report is the kind we want to see more of.
When looking at payroll employment and assessing the strength of job growth, it’s important to keep these benchmarks in mind. Yes, as we get closer to full employment the pace of monthly job growth should slow a bit. But empirical measures still indicate that we should be hoping for substantially faster job growth than we’ve been seeing in recent months.
Not surprisingly, given the rash of ho-hum economic reports we’ve seen recently, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for April 2016 was underwhelming.
While the pace of job growth is expected to slow as the economy approaches full employment, May’s rate of growth was not even strong enough to keep up with growth in the working age population.