The official unemployment rate (the U3) is only one data point—one that doesn’t include workers who have left the labor force because of weak opportunities or workers who want to be working full-time but can only get part-time work.
This blog post originally appeared on TalkPoverty.org.
Labor Day is a time to honor America’s workers and their contributions to our economy.
As kids head back to school, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that payroll employment increased by only 173,000 in August—lower than recent months, which were already showing slower growth than last year.
Unfortunately, a serious look at the economy suggests slow growth, and not a hint of acceleration—making a rate hike terribly premature.
As Labor Day approaches, about a quarter (24 percent) of private sector workers will not be enjoying a paid day off on Monday. A similar number (23 percent) earn no paid vacation time.
The income level necessary for families to secure an adequate but modest living standard is an important economic yardstick. While poverty thresholds help to evaluate what it takes for families to live free of serious economic deprivation, EPI's Family Budget Calculator offers a broader measure of economic welfare.
This paper presents the methodology and data sources used in the 2015 update of the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator.
Arguably, the most important measure for the Federal Reserve as they decide whether to raise rates in September is nominal average hourly earnings.
My former colleague, Heidi Shierholz, used to call the prime-age employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) her desert island measure, if she could only take one with her.
All throughout its discussions of if and when they will raise interest rates, Federal Reserve officials have insisted that their decisions will be “data driven.” This is, of course, the right approach.
The White House is reportedly considering an executive order that would require that federal contractors provide their employees with seven days of paid sick leave.
Tomorrow, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly jobs report, we’ll be looking at what the Federal Reserve should pay attention to as they debate whether or not to raise interest rates at the next FOMC meeting in September.
Between 1979 and 2007, the majority (61 percent) of the rise in annual earnings of middle-earnings households was due to increasing annual hours and not
The referee might miss an occasional handball, but a soccer game isn’t rigged in favor of one group of players over another. Unlike a soccer game, the most powerful economic actors have rigged the labor market against everyday hardworking Americans.
A big fat zero. That’s how many jobs the public sector added in June. Zero.
Average hourly earnings held steady between May and June at $24.95 per hour, a paltry increase of 2.0 percent over June 2014.
While job growth was decent in June (though the downward revisions to April and May were disappointing), the news on unemployment was actually less welcome.
In June, the economy added a disappointing 223,000 payroll jobs and the more optimistic gains for May were substantially revised downwards from 280,000 to 254,000, on top of downward revisions for April.
Are we there? No. Are we moving in the right direction? Yes. How will we know when we get there? See below.
Average hourly earnings hit $24.96 in May, an increase of 2.3 percent over May 2014. We’ve been tracking nominal wage growth
over the recovery and at best we can find reason for only a very modest celebration. 2.3 percent growth is a move in the right direction, but it’s nowhere near the 3.5 to 4.0 percent growth we expect in a healthy labor market.
The weak labor market has sidelined millions of “missing workers,” or potential workers who, because of weak job opportunities, are neither employed nor actively seeking a job. An increase in optimism about the labor market leads to more people actively seeking employment.
Yes, this morning’s jobs report had some welcome news. Payroll employment was up 280,000 jobs, slightly above the trend of the previous six months.
This morning’s jobs report shows a solid increase in payroll employment, with 280,000 jobs added in May—slightly higher than the previous six month average of 260,000.
In tomorrow’s release of the Employment Report, I’m primarily looking for evidence confirming that the Federal Reserve should continue to stay the course through its June (and most likely September) meeting. I’ll also be looking more closely at the labor market for young people: youth entering the labor market in the summer and prospects for recent high school grads.
Today's young college graduates face a more challenging labor market—higher unemployment, higher underemployment, and lower wages—than their older siblings did before the Great Recession. While wage stagnation is not unique to the newest labor market entrants, what is particularly stunning is the fact that stark wage disparities between men and women occur even at this early part of their careers.
The erosion of collective bargaining has been a key factor undermining pay growth for middle-wage workers over the last few decades.
The fact is that wage and income inequality didn’t happen by accident; they are the result of intentional policy decisions that have shifted bargaining power away from workers. So along with fighting to alleviate poverty through a stronger safety net, we should use all the tools available to raise America’s pay and raise Americans out of poverty.
Due to the progression of the economic recovery and a modest improvement in the unemployment rate, members of the Class of 2015 currently have better job prospects than the classes of 2009–2014. However, the Class of 2015 still faces real economic challenges, as evidenced by elevated levels of unemployment and underemployment, and a large share of graduates who still remain “idled” by the economy.
That the poverty rate has remained stubbornly elevated over the last three-and-a-half decades is simply a symptom of an increasingly unequal economy, marked by nearly stagnant hourly wages for the vast majority of the American workforce.