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News Coverage Nov 20, 2017

USA Today: How a few small investments can lower your water bill

The median monthly water bill in the U.S. falls at about $34.50, LaFrance said, but that number can vary widely from region to region or even city to city. According to a study from the economic research group The Hamilton Project, water bills can range anywhere from $25 to $70 in major cities. But, when it comes to saving, the rules are universal: be conscientious. Water conservation and saving money go hand and hand.

News Coverage Nov 8, 2017

The New York Times: Why the U.S. Needs a Federal Jobs Program, Not Payouts

The federal jobs program I’ve described doesn’t have the intuitive simplicity of the universal basic income. But it serves critical purposes that the basic income doesn’t and should be an integral part of a broad-based agenda to address rapidly changing economic conditions. Adopting a federal jobs program could enhance our work force and increase our nation’s output while providing people with the self-worth and economic opportunity that work can provide.

News Coverage Nov 1, 2017

Real Clear Markets: Removing Barriers to Female Labor-Force Participation

Women’s labor force participation and the quality of women’s labor market opportunities are dual objectives, both contributing to economic growth. Working within this framework, The Hamilton Project’s recent book, entitled The 51%: Driving Growth through Women’s Economic Participation, put forward policies to both increase women’s labor force participation and improve their economic outcomes.

News Coverage Oct 26, 2017

Slate: I’m Sandwiched Between Elder and Child Care—and I’m Not Alone

A report from the Brookings Institute and the Hamilton Project finds the cost of care to blame for a steady drop in the number of adults who are employed or looking for a job. More than 70 percent of those surveyed in their study said that caregiving kept them out of the workforce. Too often caregivers, who predominantly are women, have to leave their jobs because the burden of family care is not affordable or sustainable. And they often neglect their own health and personal needs.

News Coverage Oct 26, 2017

The Washington Post: Trump was an election surprise. Expect more.

There is no reason to think, with continued income weakness, that we will not see a similarly discontented electorate in upcoming elections — including because the Trump administration, like its recent predecessors, will not have delivered better household economics. Which suggests volatile voting behavior again. And with a right-wing candidate having won the presidency last year, and voters often seeking the opposite in the next election, don’t be surprised if a distinctly left-wing candidate takes the White House in 2020. President Sanders, anyone?

News Coverage Oct 24, 2017

Harvard Business Review: Why Wages Aren’t Growing in America

The majority of Americans share in economic growth through the wages they receive for their labor, rather than through investment income. Unfortunately, many of these workers have fared poorly in recent decades. Since the early 1970s, the hourly inflation-adjusted wages received by the typical worker have barely risen, growing only 0.2% per year. In other words, though the economy has been growing, the primary way most people benefit from that growth has almost completely stalled.

News Coverage Oct 23, 2017

Pacific Standard: How expanding the EITC would benefit working-class Americans

And at a policy forum last week at Stanford University, a group of experts reminded us of some of those reforms. The forum, co-hosted by the Hamilton Project,, and the Stanford Law School, focused on increasing economic opportunities for women; many of the policy proposals released in conjunction with the event are focused on the kinds of things that are perceived as "women's issues," but of course affect all Americans across the income spectrum: encouraging female labor force participation, increasing the economic security of older women, investing in child care, and establishing a paid parental leave program.

News Coverage Oct 9, 2017

The Washington Post: Why aren’t wages growing more quickly? A graphical analysis.

Such disinvestment shows up in my final figure, from a must-read new study on the wage problem from the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project. The figure shows the persistent fall-off in labor’s share of income, which predated the last recession. Tightening labor markets have helped to stop the fall, but again, if the job market were really that tight, I’d expect to see this metric climbing back up. 

News Coverage Sep 24, 2017

The Wall Street Journal: Real Wages Keep Powering Ahead, but Can the Trend Last?

In the past decade, real-wage growth has been stronger than during the economic cycles of the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, according to a paper the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project released Sunday. Inflation-adjusted wages have increased at a 0.82% annual rate since the recession began in late 2007. In contrast, real wages declined in the 1980s, and rose at 0.71% and 0.31% rates, respectively, in the cycles of the 1990s and early 2000s

News Coverage Sep 8, 2017

The Nation: Unemployment Statistics Don’t Take Into Account People Who Have Given Up on Finding a Job

The millions who don’t show up in the statistics are often overlooked or dismissed because they’re not employed or job seeking. But a fresh analysis by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project reveals why a growing portion of “non-labor-force participants” are deciding work isn’t worth it. Why would anyone, after all, deliberately abandon the one activity that, above all, defines an American’s social status? These individuals seem to have opted out, but often it is the labor system that is turning away from their communities.

News Coverage Aug 30, 2017

Real Clear Markets: We’ve Fixed the Jobs Gap, But People Still Aren’t Working

A recent Hamilton Project analysis calculated that—adjusting for population and demographic changes—the jobs gap, as of July 2017, is now closed. This does not mean the economy is at full employment or has no slack, but rather that enough jobs have been added to restore the share of the population working (after adjusting for demographic shifts) to where it was before the crisis began. Any slack that existed prior to the financial crisis still remains, and it’s worth noting that the prime age employment rate is still below its December 2007 level of 79.8 percent. The jobs gap is closed despite this because older workers are employed at a higher rate than previously. But, there is clearly room to lift employment rates—at a minimum back to where they were prior to the crisis.

News Coverage Aug 18, 2017

CBS News: Unemployment is down, but millions of Americans remain on sidelines

Women staying home to take care of kids or an aging parent are the biggest group, a new analysis of 2016 labor data by the Hamilton Project shows. In total, about 24 million people, or 19 percent of Americans aged 25 to 54, didn't actively seek a job last year, according to the analysis of Federal Reserve data. Child care costs likely play a role in the persistent phenomenon, a 2014 Pew Research study showed. Whether by choice or necessity, millions of Americans continuing to sit on the economic sidelines may show a need for policy changes, said Hamilton Project Director Jay Shambaugh. ‘Child care highlights that there is something holding back some that could participate,’ he said. It's ‘certainly going to leave you with disparities.’

News Coverage Aug 18, 2017

Forbes: Why Millions of Americans Stay Out of the Workforce [Infographic]

Since 1999, the share of U.S. adults who are either employed or job seeking has been in steady decline, according to a report from The Brookings Institution and The Hamilton Project. Economists consider labor force participation a barometer of economic vitality and an indicator of household living standards. In 2016, more than a third of American adults were not part of the workforce, with nearly a fifth of them prime working age.

News Coverage Aug 18, 2017

U.S. News and World Report: Study: Who Is Slipping Through the Unemployment Cracks?

A new report from the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project this week aims to shed more light on that demographic, finding that older Americans, women and those without much education are significantly more likely to sit on the sidelines than any other groups. ‘The large number of adults who are not in the labor force is a puzzle that cannot be fully accounted for by factors like baby boomers aging out of the workforce, women engaged in caregiving, or recent college graduates delaying the responsibilities of adulthood,’ the report said. Indeed, the researchers behind the study pooled government data and ultimately found that 37.2 percent of American adults – and 18.7 percent of prime-aged working adults between the ages of 25 and 54 – were not in the workforce as of 2016.

News Coverage Aug 7, 2017

Fortune: Takeaways From a “Near-Perfect” Jobs Report

“With the expansion entering its ninth year, and already the second longest on record, now’s the time to be looking for signs it is coming to an end. Friday’s report offered none. Job growth was solid, but not strong enough to spook the Fed. Wage growth picked up, but not enough to threaten inflation. Discouraged workers began making their way back into the job market, indicating that despite an unemployment rate of just 4.3%, there’s still some slack to fuel future growth. An important milestone was passed: the Hamilton Project calculated the U.S. job market has finally fully recovered from the Great Recession. And The Wall Street Journal calculated layoffs are at their lowest level in half a century.”