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.
This morning’s jobs report showed that the economy added a disappointing 38,000 jobs in May. While this number is depressed by the 35,000 Verizon workers who were striking during the reference period, even adding those workers back into the mix, the total number of jobs is low compared to recent trends.
Throughout the recovery, any time some particular measure of wage growth seemed to be indicating strong growth, it would attract attention—particularly from those arguing that rate hikes should come sooner rather than later. The latest such measure is an alternative measure of wage growth produced by the Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta. In recent months, their wage tracker has edged up towards 3.5 percent, hitting 3.4 percent in April 2016.
Thank you for holding this hearing and giving me the opportunity to speak with you about the Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016.
Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum seems to dislike a New York Times article calling job prospects for young high school graduates “grim.” Along the way, he directs an odd bit of unprovoked snark at us:
I don’t know how EPI measures unemployment, but the federal government measures it in a consistent way every single month.
It is well-known that high quality child care is out of reach for working families in the United States. If we capped child care costs for families at 10 percent of their income, families across the nation would see significant and much-needed savings.
The black unemployment rate is typically twice as high as the white unemployment rate, and African Americans are often the last to feel the economic benefits during a recovery.
On the heels of last week’s latest disappointing jobs numbers, today’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report, unsurprisingly, shows little improvement in the labor market. In March, overall job openings rose slightly, while the number of people hired decreased.
This morning’s employment situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the economy added 160,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate held steady at 5.0 percent, while the labor force participation rate (LFPR) and the employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) ticked down.
This morning’s employment situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the economy added 160,000 jobs in April, which is notably slower than recent months.
On Friday, I’ll be looking for signs of stronger nominal wage growth. As the labor market strengthens one expects upward pressure on wage growth. However, the last 6 months have seen rapid increases in workers returning to the labor force in search of jobs. This inflow could well further delay the date when durable wage acceleration begins.
While young men with a college degree earn an average hourly wage of $20.94 early in their careers, their female counterparts earn an average hourly wage of just $16.58, or $4.36 less than men.