Beginning February 2016, The Hamilton Project introduces an additional methodology to calculate the jobs gap. Specifically, we add a new jobs gap measure that calculates the number of jobs needed to reach the pre-recession unemployment rate after allowing for demographic shifts and changes in labor force participation, which has been gradually falling for more than a decade.
Each month, The Hamilton Project examines the “jobs gap,” which is the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while also absorbing the people who enter the potential labor force each month. As of the end of January 2016, our nation faces a jobs gap of 1.8 million jobs.
Use The Hamilton Project's Jobs Gap calculator to estimate possible scenarios for labor market growth.
In 2013 approximately 80 percent of households with health insurance through an employer faced an average annual (family) deductible of roughly $2,500 for non-preventive care. One in five households did not have enough cash on hand to pay a smaller deductible of $1,000.
For much of the past five decades, growth in spending on health care has been faster than economic growth in the economy as a whole. As shown in this chart, healthcare expenditures in 2014 accounted for an estimated 18 percent of GDP—a marked increase from 6 percent of GDP in 1965.
This chart shows Medicare spending for the average enrollee in the program after adjusting for prices and demographics for each hospital referral region—areas where people tend to receive medical care from similar providers.
Over the past two decades, there has been a nearly 50 percent increase in the share of private sector workers who are offered a choice of health insurance plans.
Over the past three decades the percent of American workers enrolled in conventional health insurance plans has declined from 73 percent to less than 1 percent.
Several studies find that consumers spend more on health insurance and prescription drug plans than they need to by choosing a plan that is not well-aligned with their needs.
In 2014, nearly 60 percent of Americans' tax-preferred retirement savings were held in either IRAs or defined-contribution plans, and only 13 percent were held in private sector traditional pensions (i.e., defined-benefit plans).
This chart presents one widely used measure of financial literacy: the ability to correctly answer three questions about compound interest, inflation, and risk diversification. Fewer than half of Americans can accurately answer these questions.
Half of all Americans turning 65 in 2015 will eventually face out-of-pocket expenditures on long-term services and supports (LTSS)—services provided in nursing homes, adult day-care centers, or in people’s homes that support those who have difficulty with routine daily activities such as bathing or dressing.
Rising life expectancy and potentially exorbitant long-term care costs have increased the financial resources required to support oneself and one’s spouse in retirement and old age.
In 2014 approximately half of nonretired Americans reported being confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.
Federal taxes, which are constant across states, amount to 18.4 cents per gallon—of which 15.44 cents go to the highway portion of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), 2.86 cents to the mass transit portion of the HTF, and 0.1 cent to maintaining underground storage tanks). State taxes on gasoline vary considerably.
Of the more than 1,800 mass transit systems in the United States—including those running trains, buses, or other transport modes—roughly 2 percent reported that fare revenue exceeded operating expenses in 2013.
The Highway Trust Fund (HTF), established by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, was the first dedicated funding source for highway construction and maintenance. For most of its history, the HTF was well in the black. Over the past fifteen years, however, expenditures have routinely exceeded revenues.
Public infrastructure spending from all levels of government totaled $416 billion in 2014—$41 billion (9 percent) less than its peak of $457 billion in 2003.
Over the period 1990 to 2013, the real earnings of individuals with lower levels of education have tended to decline, while they have risen for those with at least a bachelor’s degree.
There has been tremendous focus in recent years on the plight of the typical American worker. In this interactive chart, users can explore eight profiles by comparing employment, occupation, and earnings patterns between 1990-2013.
A full-time secondary earner in a low- or middle-income family takes home less than 50 percent of his or her earnings.
A substantial share of American workers must obtain a license from a state or local government to work in their professions. The share of workers nationwide required to have a license has risen dramatically since the 1950s, from just 5 percent to nearly 30 percent in 2008. This chart shows the share of the workforce that is licensed in every state based on estimates from a Harris poll conducted in the first half of 2013.
Each month, The Hamilton Project calculates America’s “jobs gap,” or the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while accounting for changes in the population. In this chart, The Hamilton Project applies the same jobs gap methodology to earlier recessions in 1981–82, 1990–91, 2001, and 2007–09.
The cost of computing has fallen spectacularly since the 1980s, creating a strong incentive for employers to substitute cheap technology for expensive labor.