Educational and occupational choices matter for your earnings, but where you work matters, too. Employment opportunities and wages in some occupations vary substantially from state to state, county to county, and city to city. One location might be a great place to earn a living as a nurse but not as a construction worker (e.g., New Orleans, Louisiana), while a different location might be the opposite (e.g., Utica, New York). In this economic analysis we look at some of the ways that typical earnings in an occupation—and the value of those earnings after adjusting for taxes and cost of living—vary across the United States. We also examine some of the reasons why places have such different labor markets.
Lauren Bauer and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach provide an update on the state of food insecurity in the U.S., noting that despite economic growth across the country, food insecurity among households with children is still above its pre-recession level.
An estimated 15.5 million U.S. workers have alternative arrangements for their primary employment—this includes independent contractors, on-call workers, temporary help agency workers, and workers provided by contract firms. Alternative work arrangements may on the one hand represent flexibility of the U.S. labor market; on the other hand, such arrangements may indicate insufficient labor demand. These new arrangements likely require different labor market institutions to protect workers as well as new data to properly understand the state of the labor market.
Fellow Lauren Bauer breaks down why chronic absenteeism matters for all students, drawing on a new Hamilton Project strategy paper on school accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
In this Hamilton Project strategy paper, Lauren Bauer, Patrick Liu, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, and Jay Shambaugh articulate a framework for states as they oversee implementation of statewide accountability plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act and describe how states differ in their approaches. The authors present novel analyses of the factors at the school and student levels that relate to chronic absenteeism and describe evidence-based strategies for schools as they work to reduce rates of chronic absence among students.
One simple question—are wages rising?—is as central to the health of our democracy as it is to the health of our economy. This book presents evidence and analysis that detail why wages have been stagnant for so many workers, while also identifying public policies that could effectively contribute to the growth in productivity and wages that are core parts of improving living standards for all Americans. These proposals include greater support for policies that increase human capital, boost worker mobility, strengthen worker bargaining power, and sustain robust labor demand.
Human capital is central to raising wages. This framing paper describes trends in human capital investment and educational attainment, and reviews the evidence of wage returns to educational attainment and to early childhood education, K-12 education, postsecondary education, and workforce development.
In President Trump’s 2019 budget, he proposes changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) that would significantly reduce the efficiency and efficacy of the program. In this blog post, Lauren Bauer draws on previous Hamilton Project research to make the case for increasing SNAP benefits and providing rebates on healthy food.
Who are the millions of people living in poverty in the United States? In this economic analysis, we characterize those who were living in poverty in 2016, as we reported for 2014 and 2015. We then extend these snapshots to examine the population living in poverty over time: how have the characteristics of those living in poverty changed over the past 30 years?
Our nation’s labor force participation rate has fallen steadily since 1999, a trend that many economists find troubling, since the labor force participation rate is an indicator of household living standards and economic vitality. In this economic analysis, The Hamilton Project examines the characteristics of the approximately 24 million men and women of prime working age who were not in the labor force in 2016.
In this economic analysis, The Hamilton Project evaluates the nation's economic recovery, assessing jobs growth at a national level and examining factors that contributed to the uneven rate of recovery experienced by some regions and demographic groups. Notably, the report assesses the recovery rate by geographic region, gender, race, and educational attainment.
In this blog, The Hamilton Project examines how food insecurity affects children in the United States and policies that can help alleviate this problem.