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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.”

News Coverage Aug 7, 2017

Econofact: What Does the Seattle Experience Teach Us About Minimum Wages?

“It is an important and unresolved question whether minimum wages at the levels that will be reached in many cities and states in coming years—and that have been proposed at the federal level—will lead to meaningful reductions in employment, even where the evidence points to few or no such effects for lower minimum wages. Unfortunately, the Seattle study does little to resolve this question.”

News Coverage Aug 6, 2017

Axios: Women and baby boomers power the great American jobs machine

“Ryan Nunn, an economist with the Hamilton Project, tells Axios that, adjusting for population growth, all the jobs lost in the 2009 recession are now restored. But, he said, ‘there's been a very different recovery for different kinds of Americans.’ Hamilton released a report on Friday detailing these results, using monthly jobs figures released by the federal government… ‘Whites were never hit as hard during the worst of the recession,’ says Nunn. ‘But they've actually recovered more slowly as well.’ That said, African American workers and women still remain employed at lower rates than white men.”

News Coverage Aug 6, 2017

Axios: Women and baby boomers power the great American jobs machine

Ryan Nunn, an economist with the Hamilton Project, tells Axios that, adjusting for population growth, all the jobs lost in the 2009 recession are now restored. But, he said, ‘there's been a very different recovery for different kinds of Americans.’ Hamilton released a report on Friday detailing these results, using monthly jobs figures released by the federal government… ‘Whites were never hit as hard during the worst of the recession,’ says Nunn. ‘But they've actually recovered more slowly as well.’ That said, African American workers and women still remain employed at lower rates than white men.

News Coverage Aug 4, 2017

Yahoo Finance: The job market hits a key milestone

“Until now. Employers added 209,000 jobs in July, which pushed the economy past an important milestone: When adjusted for a growing and aging population, there are now more jobs than there were at the pre-recession peak in 2007. “Nearly a full decade after the start of the recession, employment has returned to its demographically adjusted pre-recession level,” according to a new report from the Hamilton Project, which is part of the Brookings Institution. “The economy has added enough jobs to make up for losses during the Great Recession.”

News Coverage Aug 4, 2017

Bloomberg: U.S. Economy Finally Closes Jobs Gap With Strong July Payrolls

“The better-than-estimated 209,000 payroll gain in July was more than enough to close what the Hamilton Project calls the ‘jobs gap.’ The measure, which adjusts for growth and aging of the population, accounts for total employment and what’s needed to absorb the number of new labor-market entrants, according to the economics offshoot of the Brookings Institution. ‘It’s sort of a mark of healing of the labor market,’ said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, the outgoing director of the Hamilton Project. ‘That doesn’t mean we’re at full employment…and I think everybody’s worried about wage growth, but this is one marker of healing.’”

News Coverage Aug 4, 2017

PBS Newshour: July jobs report closes the near decade-long jobs gap

“Since 2010, the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution has calculated the jobs gap, defined as “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.” ‘With this jobs report, the economy has closed the jobs gap…We think of the jobs gap as one important measure of labor market health, but it’s just one measure. There are other economic indicators that suggest there still may be slack,’ said Ryan Nunn, the policy director at the Hamilton Project. He also pointed to a report released today that shows how uneven the recovery has been by state, gender, education and race.”

News Coverage Aug 4, 2017

The Washington Post: The job market just recovered from the recession. Men and white people haven’t.

“After accounting for changes in the population, the United States regained the same level of employment in July that it had before the recession began nearly a decade ago in November 2007, according to a new report published Friday morning by the Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project… The milestone is important, though it does not indicate the economy is unblemished, said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, one of the report’s authors. “It does not mean there’s no slack in the economy, [or] that we’re at full employment. But it does mean the job losses from the great recession are behind us,” she said.”

News Coverage Aug 2, 2017

The Hill: Eliminating in-house CBO scoring would be ‘profoundly unwise’

“Cutting the CBO’s resources and responsibilities would be profoundly unwise. The CBO has a unique role in our democracy, bringing high-quality evidence to bear on important public policy questions. Although the CBO’s projections have not been perfect — no forecasts ever are — the CBO has provided vital information to policymakers who would otherwise lack an understanding of the probable costs and benefits of their actions.”

News Coverage Aug 1, 2017

The Atlantic: The Unexpected Value of the Liberal Arts

“Yet over time, liberal-arts graduates’ earnings often surge, especially for students pursuing advanced degrees. History majors often become well-paid lawyers or judges after completing law degrees, a recent analysis by the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project has found. Many philosophy majors put their analytical and argumentative skills to work on Wall Street. International-relations majors thrive as overseas executives for big corporations, and so on.”

News Coverage Jul 19, 2017

PBS NewsHour: If SNAP benefits are cut, who hurts the most?

Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach views it differently. A senior fellow at Brookings who directs the Hamilton Project, Schanzenbach has studied the food stamp program for two decades. She said policies that serve as “food police” tend to raise stigma rather than help families and individuals who need better access to food. When New York City’s “soda ban” on sugary drinks at food-service establishments failed in 2013, the idea initially sounded simple but was bedeviled with details, Schanzenbach said: “You could purchase V8 juice but not V8 splash. Try to explain that to someone.”

News Coverage Jul 18, 2017

Time Magazine: How You Can Help Save Local Kids From Going Hungry This Summer

For many children, summer vacation evokes images of their favorite foods: backyard barbecues, fresh farmer’s market produce, s’mores by the campfire and frozen delights from the ice cream truck. However, for the 13 million children in America living in food-insecure households — homes lacking the adequate resources to purchase the food needed for an active, healthy lifestyle — summer vacation offers less relief than it does hunger and uncertainty.