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Economic Facts:

Economic Facts Sep 24, 2017

Thirteen Facts about Wage Growth

One of the best measures economists use to determine Americans’ economic advancement is whether wages are rising, broadly and consistently. This document highlights the necessary conditions for broadly shared wage growth, trends closely related to stagnation in wages for many workers, and the recent history of wage growth, with an emphasis on the experience of the Great Recession and recovery. It concludes by discussing how public policies can effectively contribute to the growth in wages that is a core part of improving living standards for all Americans.

Economic Facts Apr 26, 2017

Eight Economic Facts on Higher Education

In this set of eight facts, the Hamilton Project offers evidence of the economic value of a postsecondary education. These facts document who is enrolling in and completing – or dropping out of – postsecondary programs and how this has changed over time. While there continues to be a sizeable earnings premium for postsecondary degree holders, these facts also describe the distribution of debt and default among student borrowers.

Economic Facts Mar 2, 2017

In Order That They Might Rest Their Arguments on Facts: The Vital Role of Government-Collected Data

Objective, impartial data collection by federal statistical agencies is vital to informing decisions made by businesses, policy makers, and families. These measurements make it possible to have a productive discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of particular policies, and about the state of the economy. These economic facts highlight the breadth and importance of government statistics to public policy and the economy.

Economic Facts Oct 20, 2016

Twelve Facts about Incarceration and Prisoner Reentry

In this set of economic facts, The Hamilton Project explores the characteristics of the populations of the currently incarcerated and individuals reentering their communities. In 2014, there were approximately seven million Americans living under correctional supervision and even more with criminal records. Successful reintegration is not just a concern for those who return from prison: it is also a matter of public safety and economic necessity. Reducing recidivism is critical for community safety; providing effective rehabilitation and skill development for those incarcerated and formerly incarcerated is critical to strengthening households and the economy.”

Economic Facts Oct 4, 2016

Seven Facts on Noncognitive Skills from Education to the Labor Market

In the past 30 years, the U.S. labor market has shifted dramatically toward increasing demand and reward for noncognitive skills. These noncognitive skills – elsewhere called soft skills or social, emotional, and behavioral skills – include qualities like perseverance, conscientiousness, self-control, social skills, and leadership ability. To facilitate success in the modern labor market, education policies should address how schools and teachers develop noncognitive skills.  In this set of economic facts, The Hamilton Project explores the development of noncognitive skills in education and the returns to noncognitive skills in the labor market.

Economic Facts May 17, 2016

Nine Facts about the Great Recession and Tools for Fighting the Next Downturn

Between December 2007 and June 2009 the United States experienced the most severe recession in the postwar period. Given the massive human cost of recessions, it is incumbent upon policy makers to assess the policy tools at their disposal and identify those that are most effective at hastening economic recovery during a downturn. In this document, The Hamilton Project describes how different groups of workers were affected by the Great Recession, what works in fiscal stimulus, what could be done differently in future recessions, and the fiscal preparedness of states for the next downturn. 

Economic Facts Mar 24, 2016

Fourteen Economic Facts on Education and Economic Opportunity

There are many factors at work in determining educational outcomes; some of these are more easily addressed by policy reforms than others, and not all can be addressed directly within the K–12 education system. To illustrate the payoffs from increasing educational attainment, the challenges faced by our nation’s K–12 schools, and the promise of targeted childhood interventions, The Hamilton Project offers the following fourteen facts on education and economic opportunity.

Economic Facts Oct 6, 2015

Six Economic Facts about Health Care and Health Insurance Markets after the Affordable Care Act

It is still too soon to completely know the effects of the Affordable Care Act on the health-care system. But looking beyond these considerations, it appears that many enduring economic challenges persist in the markets. In particular challenges like accessing care, delivering high-quality care without waste, and managing new technology. The Hamilton Project offers six economic facts that highlight continuing challenges and complexities in health care and health insurance markets on which the policy debate should focus.

Economic Facts Oct 14, 2014

In Times of Drought: Nine Economic Facts about Water in the United States

The water crisis is as much an economic issue as it is an environmental one, and it demands focused national attention. This Hamilton Project policy memo presents nine economic facts about water in the United States, focusing on relevant background context to the water crisis as well as on supply and demand issues. This memo underscores three topics: the occurrence of drought in the United States, the importance of water to the U.S. economy, and barriers to efficient uses of water.

Economic Facts May 1, 2014

Ten Economic Facts about Crime and Incarceration in the United States

This Hamilton Project policy memo provides ten economic facts highlighting recent trends in crime and incarceration in the United States. Specifically, it explores the characteristics of criminal offenders and victims; the historically unprecedented level of incarceration in the United States; and evidence on both the fiscal and social implications of current policy on taxpayers and those imprisoned.

Economic Facts Dec 2, 2013

A Dozen Facts about America’s Struggling Lower-Middle Class

Many American families whose incomes are not low enough to officially place them in poverty live in economically precarious situations. This struggling lower-middle class consists of the 30 percent of working-age families with children who have incomes between 100 and 250 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). These economic facts focus on two key challenges facing lower-middle-class families: food insecurity and the low return to work for families who lose tax and transfer benefits as their earnings increase.

Economic Facts Aug 5, 2011

A Dozen Economic Facts About Innovation

During the last century, medical, technical, and business innovations have driven economic growth, increased wages, and improved living standards in the United States. In recent years, however, those gains have stagnated. The Hamilton Project examines the role of innovation in driving the U.S. economy, including its historical importance, the current pace of growth, and opportunities for investments to benefit America’s future.