EPI News

A little brighter start to the second half of 2012

The July 2012 employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the addition of 163,000 jobs, with the unemployment rate holding roughly steady (increasing three one-hundredths of a point from 8.22% to 8.25%, the latter rounded to 8.3%). “July’s job growth is encouraging, and more than enough for the labor market to hold its ground as the population grows, but we still need faster job growth to meaningfully bring the unemployment rate down,” said EPI labor economist Heidi Shierholz.

For-profit colleges convert taxpayer dollars into Wall Street profits

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions released a shocking report this week finding that many for-profit colleges prey on the most vulnerable students while enriching their shareholders, owners, and CEOs. The average associate degree program at a for-profit college, for example, costs four times more than at a community college. While tuition at for-profit colleges is often very high, the likelihood that a student—more likely to be female, low-income, and African American or Hispanic—will obtain a degree is quite low. As this week’s Economic Snapshot shows, for-profit education companies take away more in profits than they spend on education.

Prosperity Economics provides an economic blueprint for long-term growth

On Tuesday, the Economic Policy Institute hosted Yale professor Jacob Hacker as he released an important new paper, Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All. In the report, Hacker and Nathaniel Loewentheil argue that an economy that works for everyone is the only path to sustainable, long-term growth.

EPI was joined by the AFL-CIO, Center for Community Change, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, SEIU, and the National Council of La Raza, who all support the core tenets of Prosperity Economics and represent the very people who must be organized around these ideas and policies.

Click here to read the full report and see the policy recommendations Hacker and Loewentheil propose.

EPI in the news

  • In the op-ed “Poverty in America: Why Can’t We End It?” that appeared in Sunday’s New York Times, Peter Edelman used EPI’s research to show how the increase of low-wage jobs in the last 40 years has contributed to the rising number of working families living in poverty.
  • Dylan Matthews of the Washington Post’s Wonkblog cited EPI’s research showing how median wages have largely stagnated since the 1970s to help disprove the conservative argument that pins this development on the addition of women and non-white workers to the workforce (an argument that, even if it were true, would hardly portray the U.S. economy in a positive light).
  • Speaking to Josh Boak and Eric Pianin of The Fiscal Times, EPI’s Ethan Pollack explained why focusing on cutting the deficit now would negatively affect recovery efforts. “This whole notion that ‘we need to show capital markets we’re serious’ by cutting immediately is ridiculous. Chances are, they’ll just factor in the job loss from fiscal contraction and get even more skittish,” said Pollack.
  • And NPR’s Marilyn Geewax quoted EPI Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens’s analysis of last week’s GDP report to emphasize why policymakers should do more to spur the economy.