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Despite strong GDP growth and the longest uninterrupted streak of job growth in recorded U.S. history, another economic downturn will be inevitable. The Hamilton Project explores the most direct approaches to identify recessions—including a rapidly increasing unemployment rate—in order to plan a timely response that can mitigate damages.
On May 16, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth co-convened a forum to explore policy options to reduce the impact of the next recession.
Slowdowns in the economy are inevitable. While it may be tempting to rely on Federal Reserve policy as a lone response to recessions, this would be a mistake; we know that fiscal stimulus is effective. Rather than wait for a crisis to strike before designing discretionary fiscal policy, we would be better served by preparing in advance. Enacting evidence-based automatic stabilizer proposals before the next recession will help the next recovery start faster, make job creation stronger, and restore confidence to businesses and households.
Automatic stabilizers are designed to expand during an economic downturn and contract during an expansion—providing timely and temporary fiscal stimulus. Boushey, Nunn, O’Donnell, and Shambaugh assess the various policy responses available to the federal government and argues that when well designed, automatic stabilizers can be an effective part of the policy tool kit for responding to recessions.
Despite a steadily improving U.S. labor market in recent years, unemployed workers today have more trouble finding a job than they did at the peak of the last business cycle in 2006, and have a much lower job-finding rate than in 2000. In the latest analysis, The Hamilton Project compares the rates of finding a job pre-, mid- and post-recession, as well as shifts in unemployment over the years.
Work requirements impede SNAP’s dual role as a safety net and automatic stabilizer. This economic analysis provides new evidence about how waivers to these rules functioned during the Great Recession and how the USDA’s proposed rules would have worked had they been in effect from 2007 to present.
Despite a growing aging population in the U.S. in recent decades, labor force participation among older Americans continues to rise. A new Hamilton Project analysis examines the significance of this trend on the economy’s potential future growth.
Each March, we celebrate Women’s History Month. The Hamilton Project takes this opportune moment to reflect on women’s changing labor market fortunes and its impact on the U.S. economy.
On March 15, The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution will host a forum exploring reforms to monetary sanctions, including bail, fines, fees, and forfeitures.
Interacting with the criminal justice system is an expensive proposition. Its reliance on bail to encourage return after pretrial release, on fines to punish and provide restitution, and on fees to fund the system implies that an individual’s economic means may determine how burdensome any interaction is. These nine economic facts characterize the current use of monetary sanctions in the criminal justice system, highlighting the economic and social costs that they pose to defendants and society.
Where is employment growing the fastest? In this analysis, The Hamilton Project uses its own Vitality Index to assist in comparing job growth across places since the depths of the recession.
In a new analysis, Ryan Nunn, Jana Parsons and Jay Shambaugh highlight a new Hamilton Project interactive that shows where and how places are thriving—or struggling—throughout the United States. They find that gaps across places today are large and meaningful for economic outcomes.