A Hamilton Project analysis on how household balance sheets have evolved since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic finds that, in aggregate, households’ financial positions in 2022 are remarkedly improved relative to 2019.
A Hamilton Project analysis on how household balance sheets have evolved since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic finds that, in aggregate, households’ financial positions in 2022 are remarkedly improved relative to 2019.
Betsey Stevenson reviews what has happened to women’s employment and labor force participation in the recovery from the pandemic.
In a new economic analysis, Bradley Hardy, Georgetown University, and Trevon Logan, The Ohio State University, revisit their previous work for Hamilton Project and assess the economic recovery of Black Americans throughout the pandemic.
Wendy Edelberg, Sara Estep, Stephanie Lu, and Emily Moss examine and offer new insights on the recent history of housing policy from the latter half of the 20th century to today, compare homeowner and renter experiences, and analyze housing assistance policies. The authors conclude that to increase housing stability, policymakers should improve housing policies to create better infrastructure and more-inclusive housing programs in addition to supplying additional funding.
In this economic analysis, Kristen E. Broady, Darlene Booth-Bell, Jason Coupet, and Moriah Macklin examine data on the 60 jobs that employ the most workers in the United States and have the highest and lowest susceptibility to automation in the next 10 to 20 years, with a particular focus on Black and Hispanic workers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on Black Americans—yet these unequal outcomes are not novel challenges. Bradley Hardy and Trevon Logan outline several pre-pandemic conditions that have impeded Black Americans’ economic security and increased their vulnerability to the current crisis.
In this blog post, Lauren Bauer, Abigail Pitts, Krista Ruffini, and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach find that Pandemic EBT reduced food hardship experienced by low-income families with children and lifted at least 2.7-3.9 million children out of hunger.
David Autor and Elisabeth Reynolds ask whether the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the conventional wisdom about automation and inequality in the United States over the past four decades. They make four projections about a rapidly automating post-COVID-19 economy: increasing telework, city de-densification, large-firm consolidation, and forced automation, all of which have significant, negative consequences for low wage workers and economic inequality.
The economic crisis in the wake of the pandemic is changing the business landscape, exacerbating concerns about the state of competition in the U.S. economy. Nancy Rose documents how some large, well-positioned firms have dramatically increased their market share, accelerating trends seen prior to the pandemic.
The economic damages of the COVID-19 pandemic are not being well captured by current labor market statistics that show both permanent damage to employment relationships and labor force attachment as well as a surge of workers who have experienced a temporary loss of work and income. In this essay, Betsey Stevenson of the University of Michigan explores the many ways the COVID-19 recession has affected the labor market, showing that the labor market effects have not been evenly borne across workers and that the scarring effects of this recession will likely lead to high long-term unemployment and weakened labor market attachment for years to come.
In 2017, over 15 million workers (about 10 percent of the total U.S. workforce) were in alternative work arrangements. In this economic analysis, Ryan Nunn and Jimmy O'Donnell explore the characteristics of these workers, analyze their unique economic outcomes, and assess policy reforms that can help provide more security for these workers.
This interactive allows users to find out how many people and SNAP households lived in places that would have lost the protection of a SNAP work requirement waiver during the Great Recession (in 2009) and during an expansion (in 2018) had the Trump Administration's final rule been in place.
The Hamilton Project finds that changing employment and school enrollment patterns have contributed to declining labor force participation among youth, aged 16 to 24.
The Hamilton Project finds that the decline in private sector union membership is economically important for the future of labor. Unions can lift wages, reduce inequality and shape how work is organized, among other effects.
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.
Two thirds of the jail population consist of defendants who have not been convicted. This paper characterizes key trends in pretrial detention and the bail system, examines the financial implications of bail for the typical household, and explores the costs and benefits of monetary bail and the private bail bonds industry.
This paper characterizes the types of individuals who would face work requirements in SNAP and Medicaid, describes what their work experiences are over a two-year period, and identifies the reasons why they are not working if they experience a period of unemployment or labor force nonparticipation. The analysis concludes that proposed work requirements would put at risk access to food assistance and health care for millions who are working, trying to work, or face barriers to working.
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.
Workers with a license tend to receive a wage premium relative to unlicensed workers. Using new data from the Current Population Survey, Ryan Nunn examines the ways that licensing affects workers, as well as their wages, tenure, and part-time status by age, race, gender and wage level.
After lagging behind U.S. women for more than forty years, Japanese prime-age women have now caught up and exceeded the U.S. rate of labor force participation. In this economic analysis, we seek to learn from a labor market that has been on an entirely different trajectory from that of the United States, and a country that has made women’s labor force participation a top macroeconomic priority.
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 economic analysis, The Hamilton Project explores how college majors and occupations interact to produce a wide range of labor market outcomes. Different career paths and the associated earnings differences for students with the same college major are pervasive and important for understanding both the benefits of college majors and of college itself.
In this economic analysis, THP analyzes the relationship between age, income, and measures of health status, as well as how these relationships have changed between the late 1970s and today. While overall there have been remarkable gains in life expectancy in the United States over the past half-century, these have not been reflected in other measures of health which have declined over time.
Recently, private prisons have become the focus of considerable attention. This economic analysis explores the growth of the private prison industry and provides an economic framework for evaluating them.
In this Economic Analysis, The Hamilton Project explores the impact of Head Start on a new set of long-term outcomes, extending landmark analyses further into adulthood and considering the effect of Head Start on participants’ children. The Hamilton Project finds that Head Start has a significant impact on its participants' educational outcomes, social and behavioral development, and parenting practices later in life.
This economic analysis focuses on the role of occupational licensing—that is, the legal permission that many workers must obtain before working in professions ranging from law and medicine to, in some states, floral arrangement and landscaping.
Understanding the characteristics of the poor is crucial for crafting effective anti-poverty policies. In this Economic Analysis, The Hamilton Project documents characteristics of the 46.7 million Americans—14.8 percent of the population—who lived in poverty in 2014.
This economic analysis examines shifts in consumer spending patterns over the last thirty years, contrasting the experiences of low, middle, and high-income households. The analysis concludes that low-income households are spending a higher share of their budgets on basic needs—defined as the major budget components of housing, food, transportation, health care, and clothing—than they did three decades ago.
Households with teenagers report greater incidence of food insecurity than households with younger children. Yet for many teens, nutrition assistance programs such as School Lunch, School Breakfast, and SNAP are not providing enough calories to make it through the day. In a new economic analysis, The Hamilton Project explores how nutrition policies are leaving food insecure teenagers more vulnerable, and highlights policies to address this problem.
Allowing charter schools to operate is a policy lever that can encourage innovation and improvement in the education sector through competition. Yet, for charter schools to encourage school choice and competition, students must have reasonable access to them. This Hamilton Project economic analysis examines the variation in charter school access and enrollment by state, both over time and across student characteristics.
This month The Hamilton Project introduces an additional methodology, in addition to our standard monthly “jobs gap” measure (which calculates the number of jobs needed to return to the pre-recession employment-to-population ratio). Specifically, we add a new jobs gap measure calculating the number of jobs needed to reach the pre-recession unemployment rate after allowing for demographic shifts and changes in labor force participation. This will enable our readers to see the contrast between the two methods of estimating the jobs gap.
There has been tremendous focus in recent years on the plight of the typical American worker. In this economic analysis, The Hamilton Project takes a careful look at the data to examine what has been happening to America’s workers since 1990, paying particular interest to differences across workers with different levels of education. In addition, an accompanying interactive feature allows users to further explore these eight profiles by comparing employment, occupational, and earnings patterns between 1990 and 2013.
Scholars and public commentators have recently debated the impact of education on earnings and earnings inequality. Some have argued that improving education is not the sole solution to inequality. In this economic analysis, Brad Hershbein, Melissa Kearney and Lawrence H. Summers clarify the different elements of the public debate and note explicitly that these positions are not necessarily at odds.
As of the end of February 2015, our nation faces a jobs gap of 3.3 million jobs. In this economic analysis, The Hamilton Project explores the recent growth of jobs in the U.S. economy, and takes an historic look at past recessions and growth between 1981 and 2007.
In a new interactive feature and economic analysis, The Hamilton Project explores how the current student loan repayment system often creates a heavy burden on recent graduates by having them make payments in the beginning of their careers when their earnings are low. The accompanying interactive feature allows users to calculate the share of earnings necessary to service traditional loan repayment for 80 college majors.
Using newly released data, The Hamilton Project presents an economic analysis and a new interactive feature to illustrate the great variation in the level and nature of water use across the country.
The importance of a college education for the advancement of one’s life and career has been widely reported. However, there is much speculation about the likely trajectory of one’s lifetime earnings once they’ve chosen a major program to study. To accompany a new interactive feature, The Hamilton Project explores the evidence behind career earnings by college major In this economic analysis.
Each month, The Hamilton Project calculates America’s “jobs gap,” or the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while absorbing the people who newly enter the labor force each month. In this month’s economic analysis, we have made changes to the appearance of the jobs gap chart and the methodology behind the jobs gap calculations. As of the end of July 2014, our nation faces a jobs gap of 5.7 million jobs.
In this month’s Hamilton Project employment analysis, we consider the “ripple effects” of a minimum wage increase on near-minimum wage workers, finding that a minimum wage increase could benefit up to 35 million workers.
In the absence of congressional action to extend unemployment insurance, 1.3 million Americans will immediately lose their benefits on December 28th. In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project reexamines unemployment insurance and highlights evidence suggesting that extended benefits provide a sizable boost for workers and the economy.
In this economic analysis, The Hamilton Project focuses on two critical issues related to SNAP: (1) the widespread existence of both food insecurity and obesity among low-income children in the United States, and (2) the role of SNAP in fighting poverty during times of weak labor markets. SNAP participation rises and falls in lockstep with the unemployment rate, highlighting SNAP’s role as a safety-net program that bolsters family resources when employment and wages are low.
For many Americans, the high cost of higher education provides a substantial barrier to college entry and ultimate completion. In this economic analysis, The Hamilton Project provides a snapshot of today’s higher education student, illustrating how the current generation of students are older and more financially independent than in the past, and highlights three forthcoming papers that address the complicated landscape of higher education financing through innovative policy proposals.
Despite the consistent pattern of modest jobs growth over the last several years, the nation’s goal of a full recovery from the Great Recession remains elusive. One factor contributing to this outcome is an unclear definition of what “recovery” means, as policymakers have suggested a wide variety of economic goals. In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project explores the “jobs gap,” or the number of jobs the economy would have to add to offset the effects of the Great Recession, which we offer as a useful target for economic recovery. The analysis discusses how changes in population and labor-force participation rates will affect the time it takes to close the gap and how we measure progress toward our economic recovery.
The Hamilton Project examines how future immigration trends could impact American wages, using targets set in the recently-passed Senate bill as a signpost. Understanding that S.744 is just the first piece of legislation out of the gate, the new analysis suggests that the average impact of new immigrants on the wages of U.S.-born workers would be positive (based on CBO estimates, the analysis assumes approximately 9.6 million additional immigrants by 2013 due to the legislation). The analysis also suggests that American workers are likely to gain through other channels, based on evidence that immigrants enhance purchasing power of consumers, increase demand for goods and services at businesses, and contribute to innovation that boost living standards over time.
Despite the positive return to higher education, many Americans are concerned about their ability to pay for college, and there is increasing focus on the rising burden of student loans on recent graduates. Although average net tuition—the actual cost to students after grant aid, scholarships, and other financial aid—has increased somewhat over the last two decades, the volume of student debt has increased far more dramatically, as has the default rate on student loans. In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project examines possible explanations for the recent increases in student debt and default rates.
The role of education in improving social mobility is well-known, and new evidence identifies promising ways to help more low-income students improve their educational opportunities. The Hamilton Project compares a range of interventions aimed at boosting college attendance and completion among low-income students.
In recent years there has been increasing concern about students who begin two- and four-year college programs but fail to complete a degree—particularly in light of the large increase in student debt and concerns about the high costs of college. In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project examines whether starting college is worth it for students who fail to complete a degree. The findings show that students who complete “some college” earn about $100,000 more throughout their lifetime than their peers with only a high school education, and the rate of return to their investment exceeds the historical return on practically any conventional investment, including stocks, bonds, and real estate.
Following the last five recessions in U.S. history, the economy added government jobs—an average of 1.7 million, in fact—that helped spur our economic recovery. In contrast, during our recovery from the Great Recession, the economy has shed more than 500,000 government jobs. In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project explores the trajectory of public-sector employment since the Great Recession. The findings show that if the policy response to this recession had been similar to the response after other recent recessions, the economy would have about 2.2 million more jobs today.
There is significant pressure facing policymakers at all levels of government to fund programs that provide the best results for the best value. Worker training programs provide one example of where better use of evidence could dramatically improve outcomes for many Americans. The Hamilton Project explores how the use of evidence and data could help workers determine which training programs can most effectively help them find employment and increase their earnings.
In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project looks at current poverty trends in the United States, the important role of government support programs, and how sequestration could remove critical aspects of the safety net in the midst of continued labor-market weakness. The Project finds sequestration could throw many American families back into poverty during this sensitive period of economic recovery by cutting the very programs that are helping them stay above water.
The federal budget deficit is still the nation’s major economic focus. In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project explores the potential impacts of enacted budget cuts, including the looming sequester, on America’s economic well-being. The Project finds that smart deficit reduction will require creative thinking about which budget areas can be made more efficient without damaging programs that are essential to promoting economic growth.
Immigration reform has taken center stage of the policy debate. While most Americans agree that our immigration system is flawed, there remains a lack of understanding about immigration’s effects on wages, jobs, budgets, and the U.S. economy in general. Two recent Hamilton Project papers provide important economic context for the issue and a potential path forward.
This week, lawmakers passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act to avoid much of the near-term drag on the economy that could have been triggered by the tax increases and spending cuts in the so-called fiscal cliff. In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project explores the projected effects of the bill on economic growth and the long-run budget deficit. The Project finds that the immediate budgetary effects of the bill are a positive step, but the debt-to-GDP level will continue to rise and lawmakers face more work in the months ahead.
The Fed recently announced that it would keep interest rates at historic lows until the unemployment rate dropped below 6.5 percent, so long as inflation remained below 2.5 percent. In a new analysis, The Hamilton Project presents a range of estimates of how long it will take for the unemployment rate to fall to 6.5 percent based on different rates of job growth and an assumption about the growth of the labor force.
As the year draws to a close, policymakers and the media have their sights fixed on the “fiscal cliff” – the rapidly approaching day on which federal law mandates precipitous cuts in spending and increases in taxes. In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project examines how various approaches to confronting the fiscal cliff are projected to impact the employment situation in the coming year.
About two million U.S. residents stand to lose extended unemployment insurance benefits next month when legislation that temporarily increased how long people can claim benefits will expire. As lawmakers negotiate a path around the fiscal cliff and consider whether to extend these benefits, The Hamilton Project looks at the evidence on unemployment insurance, finding that the benefits of UI extension likely outweigh the costs.
As Americans prepare to cast their ballots for president, many voters are pausing to assess the state of the economy. In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project reviews the available data to explore whether America’s economic future looks brighter today than it did four years ago and finds that the data clearly indicate a much rosier future for the United States than was the case in 2008.
There is ongoing debate about the rising cost of college and whether that investment is still worthwhile in today’s economy. In this month’s employment analysis, The Hamilton Project examines the rising cost of college over the last 30 years and finds that while college costs are growing, the increase in earnings one receives from a college degree—and, by extension, the cost of not going to college—are growing even faster.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in August, according to today’s employment report, which is the lowest rate since the onset of the recession. The private sector added more than 100,000 jobs, continuing a steady recovery that has added 4.6 million jobs over the last 30 months. As of August, our nation faces a “jobs gap” of 11.3 million jobs.
The Hamilton Project examines the short- and long-run impacts of public-sector job cuts since the Great Recession. If the share of government employment to population had remained at historical levels, the unemployment rate would be approximately 7.1 percent.
The Hamilton Project examines the relationship between government spending and unemployment, finding that states that spent more during the Great Recession experienced a smaller increase in their unemployment rate.
The Hamilton Project explores what increased domestic natural gas and oil production means for the American energy sector, the environment, and employment.
Our nation’s immigration policy continues to be an issue of debate among policymakers, particularly the impact on the U.S. labor force. The Hamilton Project highlights the economic evidence on what immigration means for U.S. jobs and the economy.
As tax time approaches, one focus of debate has been the progressivity of the U.S. tax code. Evidence shows that the current U.S. tax system is less progressive than the tax systems of other industrialized countries, and considerably less progressive today than it was just a few decades ago.
A popular tax myth is that a large segment of Americans do not pay taxes and instead free ride off of our society. The Hamilton Project explores this myth and finds that virtually all Americans will pay some form of tax during their lifetime.
The Hamilton Project reexamines the current rate of labor force expansion, and how shifts in labor force participation will decrease the time it will take to close the “jobs gap.” As a result of new methodology based on population estimates, we now project that at a job creation rate of 208,000 per month, it will take until 2020 to close the jobs gap, rather than late 2023 as we had projected with the old method.
The Hamilton Project examines the decline the marriages over the last 50 years, highlighting the correlation between income level and likelihood of marrying. The decline in marriage is concentrated among less-educated, lower-income Americans.
The Hamilton Project compares trends in unemployment duration before and after the Great Recession and finds that the probability of finding new employment is considerably lower today than it was before the recession.
The Hamilton Project explores the employment and earnings trends facing America’s less-educated workers over the last few decades, and highlights training and workforce development opportunities that could be part of the policy solution.
The Hamilton Project explores the experiences of workers who lost their jobs during the height of the Great Recession and finds that even those workers who have found new employment often earn significantly less than before.
Resources available to children can have long-term effects on their quality of life. The Project examines the family earnings devoted to the typical American child and finds that half of children are now worse off than their counterparts 35 years ago.
America's workforce needs a strong eduction system to compete and research demonstrates the power of a good teacher to boost student achievement. However, hiring and retaining effective teachers has become difficult, partly due to compensation. In a new policy memo, The Hamilton Project explores the relative salary declines of teachers during the last four decades when compared to other professions.
As President Barack Obama prepares to give a major jobs address, Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney examine the “job gap” across the United States, looking at the areas of the country that remain hardest hit by the Great Recession.
Examining data about the current state of the economy and job growth in June, Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney look at the role innovation could play in aiding the faltering economy by increasing productivity, boosting wages, and improving the quality of life for American families.
Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney examine the trend in median earnings for the American family over the last 30 years. They find that the typical American family is earning more, but almost entirely because parents are working more.
Is college a worthwhile investment? Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone and Policy Director Adam Looney compare the value of a college degree to other investment options and find higher education provides, by far, the greatest rate of return.
As the job market continues to struggle, there has been much debate about whether a college education has been worth the investment for recent graduates. Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney examine whether recent college graduates are better off, in terms of employment and earnings, than their counterparts who did not invest in a degree.
Despite modest improvement in April jobs numbers, the job gap — the number of U.S. jobs that must be created to return to pre-recession levels — is just under 12 million. Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney also explore the impact of air pollution on long-term employment and the productivity of American workers.
The Hamilton Project continues its examination of long-term market treds by asking: what has happened to the earnings of women? In addition, we continue our look at America’s “job gap,” or 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 125,000 people who enter the labor force each month.
The Hamilton Project updates America’s “job gap,” the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while absorbing the 125,000 people who enter the labor force each month. This month we also return to our examination of longer-term labor market trends by looking at the earnings of Americans during the past four decades.
The January employment numbers, released today by the U.S. Department of Labor, present mixed evidence about the state of the labor market. While the unemployment rate dropped to 9 percent, payrolls were just better than flat, increasing by only 36,000 jobs last month. Much attention is given to the official unemployment rate, which is certainly an important indicator of our employment situation. But, in fact, the unemployment rate tends to understate the severity of the challenge for American workers in the aftermath of the Great Recession.
Unemployment fell to 9.4 percent for December, but not enough to absorb new entrants to the workforce and make a dent in the “job gap,” write Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney. As tracked monthly by The Hamilton Project, December’s job gap remains roughly unchanged since October 2010, at a gap of 11.8 million jobs.
November’s weaker-than-expected jobs numbers offer new evidence that little headway has been made at reducing the pool of the unemployed. Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney, in a new Hamilton Project examination of the “job gap,” focus on the plight of male workers in the longer-term U.S. employment trends.
The October employment numbers, released today by the Labor Department, show tentative progress toward recovery. The U.S. economy is creating jobs for the first time in four months, with an increase of 151,000 jobs last month. The private sector added 159,000 jobs, continuing ten straight months of private sector job growth.
Today’s release of September’s jobs numbers confirms what we all know: too many American workers remain unemployed. As the government reported, the U.S. economy lost 95,000 jobs in September as a decline in government employment outweighed modest private-sector gains.
The August employment numbers reflect the slow pace of the economy’s journey toward recovery. Overall, the U.S. economy continued to shed jobs as employment fell by 54,000 last month. In the private sector, however, businesses added 67,000 jobs, continuing a trend of lukewarm growth that began eight months ago.
As expected, July’s employment numbers suggest that the road to recovery will be long. The economy as a whole lost 131,000 jobs as layoffs of temporary Census workers continued. Private sector employment increased by 71,000 jobs, building on June’s increase of 31,000 jobs.
June’s employment numbers highlight that our economic recovery is not yet on solid footing. An analysis by The Hamilton Project digs into the regional distribution of these unemployment trends and finds that, by one measure, the five hardest-hit states are Alabama, Delaware, Colorado, Georgia, and Utah.
May employment numbers, released by the Labor Department today, demonstrate continued momentum behind our nation’s economic recovery. With 431,000 new jobs, building on the 290,000 jobs created in April, this marks the first time we’ve had five consecutive months of positive job growth since the beginning of the Great Recession in December 2007.
Today’s employment numbers reinforce the signs of economic recovery. In April, the economy created 290,000 jobs. This is the first time since the beginning of the Great Recession in December 2007 that the economy has had four straight months of positive job creation.