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Blog Posts: Employment & Wages

Blog Post May 13, 2020

Incomes Have Crashed. How Much Has Unemployment Insurance Helped?

The rapid contraction of the economy this spring has shattered records for the speed of onset of a recession. One of the most economically important pieces of the nearly $3 trillion policy response has been the rapid expansion of unemployment insurance (UI). Our preliminary calculations suggest that UI offset a small portion of personal income loss in March 2020, but roughly half of lost wages and salaries in April.

Blog Post Jun 7, 2018

Independent Workers and the Modern Labor Market

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.

Blog Post Dec 10, 2015

The Opportunities and Challenges for Workers in the Online Gig Economy

While forms of nontraditional and contingent work relationships such as subcontracted, temporary, part-time, and seasonal work are not new, the emergence of the online gig economy has increased policy interest in the issue of contingent work arrangements. To draw attention to this emerging issue, The Hamilton Project released a new framing paper on the economic opportunities and challenges of the online gig economy, and hosted a public forum featuring a new proposal by Seth Harris of Cornell University and Alan Krueger of Princeton University. 

Blog Post Aug 14, 2015

Morris Kleiner Comments on White House Report about Occupational Licensing

In July 2015 the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Economic Policy, the Council of Economic Advisers, and the U.S. Department of Labor issued an impressive and extremely well documented report entitled "Occupational Licensing: A Framework for Policymakers." Recent Hamilton Project author Morris Kleiner comments on the positives and shortcomings of the report, and draws comparisons with his Hamilton Project policy proposal released in March.

Blog Post Jan 28, 2015

Nearly 30 Percent of Workers in the U.S. Need a License to Perform Their Job: It Is Time to Examine Occupational Licensing Practices

Nearly 30 percent of workers in the U.S. need a license to perform their job. It is important to realize that occupational licenses are not mere state-sponsored certificates to signal that workers have completed some level of training; occupational licensing laws forbid people from practicing in their occupation without meeting state requirements.

Blog Post Jan 9, 2015

Promoting Educational Advancement and Skill Development through Community Colleges

In previously released work, The Hamilton Project has emphasized that individuals who obtain college-level education have notably higher earnings than those with lower levels of education. Accordingly, The Hamilton Project has commissioned a series of papers in recent years describing opportunities to strengthen community college programs and vocational training, presented in this blog post as an overview.

Blog Post Mar 27, 2014

New Tax Legislation Would Increase the Return to Work for Low-and Middle-Income Working Families

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray introduced legislation that would provide tax relief for working families by establishing a deduction for two-earner families and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for childless individuals.The proposed legislation closely follows the secondary earner deduction outlined in a Hamilton Project paper by Melissa Kearney and Lesley Turner.

Blog Post Mar 26, 2014

A New Approach to Making Work Pay

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray introduced the "21st Century Worker Tax Cut Act" to establish a new deduction for married couples who are both employed and have young children, and to increase the earned income tax credit (EITC) for childless workers.The Act would implement the policies introduced by two Hamilton Project proposals designed to help “make work pay” by allowing low- and middle-income families keep more of what they earn.

Blog Post Mar 7, 2014

Closing the Jobs Gap - February 2014 Jobs Gap Update

As of the end of February 2014, our nation faces a jobs gap of 7.5 million jobs. This chart shows how the jobs gap has evolved since the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, and how long it will take to close under different assumptions for job growth. If the economy adds about 208,000 jobs per month, which was the average monthly rate for the best year of job creation in the 2000s, then it will take until September 2018 to close the jobs gap. Given a more optimistic rate of 321,000 jobs per month, which was the average monthly rate of the best year of job creation in the 1990s, the economy will reach pre-recession employment levels by September 2016.

Blog Post Sep 16, 2013

Where Did 6 Million Missing Workers Go?

In a recent blog post on Yahoo! Finance’s “The Exchange,” Rick Newman discussed the Hamilton Project’s latest employment analysis, “The Lasting Effects of the Great Recession: Six Million Missing Workers and A New Economic Normal.” Examining data from the current labor market, the analysis finds that there are about six million fewer workers in the labor force today than the Bureau of Labor Statistics had projected in 2009. Newman outlines factors contributing to this trend, and questions “whether a slow-growing economy with fewer jobs is the new normal.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Aug 28, 2013

The Declining Government Workforce

Today on “The Diane Rehm Show,” Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone discussed how the declining number of public-sector jobs is affecting the U.S. economy and American workers. During the show, Greenstone noted that the policy response after the Great Recession differed from those following previous recessions, and discussed how these choices are impacting all levels of government. To listen to the show, click here. In a recent Hamilton Project employment analysis, “Should The United States Have 2.2 Million More Jobs?”, the 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.

Blog Post Aug 26, 2013

How Technology Wrecks the Middle Class

In a recent New York Times opinion piece, David Autor and David Dorn discuss recent attention on the effects of technological change on employment. They write that computerization has polarized employment, “with job growth concentrated in both the highest- and lowest-paid occupations, while jobs in the middle have declined” and suggest that the shift is not reducing the quantity of jobs, but “degrading the quality of jobs for a significant subset of workers.” In a 2010 Hamilton Project discussion paper, “The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market: Implications for Employment and Earnings,” Autor analyzes the U.S. labor market over the past three decades and finds employment polarization on the rise as job opportunities decline in middle-skill occupations, resulting in a sharp increase in wage inequality.

Blog Post Aug 22, 2013

College Costs: Rising, Yet Often Exaggerated

In a recent New York Times“Economix” story on a new report that found incomes are down since the recovery began, Catherine Rampell discusses findings from a Hamilton Project employment analysis. In “The Long-term Effects of the Great Recession for America’s Youth,” the Project examined how the Great Recession has impacted different age groups. Rampell highlights findings from the new report on how young people and those nearing retirement have been hit harder than other age groups, and cites findings from the Project’s analysis that indicate the average person who graduated around 2010 would be expected to experience an earnings loss of about $70,000 over the following decade.

Blog Post Aug 12, 2013

Starting college? Here’s how to graduate with a job.

In this week’s Washington Post Magazine cover story on finding a job after college, Jim Tankersley cites findings from The Hamilton Project’s discussion paper, "Using Data to Improve the Performance of Workforce Training." In the paper, Louis Jacobson of New Horizons Economic Research and Robert LaLonde of the University of Chicago propose a competition to increase the return on workforce training investments by developing the data and measures necessary to provide the information prospective trainees need, by presenting the information in user-friendly “report cards,” by providing help for prospective trainees to use the information effectively, and by creating incentives for states to implement permanent information systems once they prove cost-effective. Tankersley cites the paper to support his suggestion that community college enrollees may save money and maximize their future earnings by “asking pointed questions very early about what degree or certificate you plan to pursue; how likely it is that you’ll complete that degree, given your academic record; and what sort of job prospects await grads in that field.”

Blog Post Aug 5, 2013

Average Student Loan Debt Could Cost A Household $208,000 Over A Lifetime: Study

This weekend, the Huffington Post highlighted The Hamilton Project’s recent employment analysis “Rising Student Debt Burdens: Factors Behind the Phenomenon.” In the analysis, The Hamilton Project examines possible explanations for the recent increases in student debt and default rates. Huffington Post highlights findings from the analysis that indicate students who complete even “some college” earn an average of $100,000 more over their lifetime than their peers with a high school diploma. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jul 10, 2013

The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System

Today, the White House released a report on the economic benefits of immigration reform. The report outlines how a Senate bill (S. 744) would strengthen the economy and boost the G.D.P.; foster innovation and encourage job growth; increase productivity and protect workers; and lower the federal deficit and strengthen Social Security. The report quotes Madeline Zavodny, co-author of The Hamilton Project’s “Overhauling the Temporary Work Visa System” who said, “Targeted changes to immigration policy geared toward admitting more highly educated immigrants and more temporary workers for specific sectors of the economy would help generate the growth, economic opportunity, and new jobs that America needs.” Her Hamilton Project proposal co-authored by Pia Orrenius and Giovanni Peri, presents a strategy to change the U.S. employment-based immigration system to make the system more efficient, increase the economic benefits of immigration and raise revenues by using market-based auctions to allocate visas. To read the full proposal, click here.

Blog Post Jun 24, 2013

Is a college degree still worth it?

In a recent op-ed in the Dallas Morning News, Jeffrey Selingo cites data from The Hamilton Project employment analysis, “Where is the Best Place to Invest $102,000 — In Stocks, Bonds, or a College Degree?” In the analysis, The Project compares the value of a college degree to other investment options and finds higher education provides, by far, the greatest rate of return. Selingo highlights the finding that the “annual return on investment of a bachelor’s degree is 15 percent, compared with 6 percent for stocks and 1 percent for housing.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jun 18, 2013

Generation Dropout: Millennials Joining the Workforce Are Less Educated Than Retiring Boomers

Today in Quartz, Lauren Alix Brown cited The Hamilton Project’s jobs gap calculator in an article on a new study that found Americans entering the labor force have less education than those retiring from it. In the article, Brown discusses data from the calculator showing that ifthe economy adds about 208,000 jobs per month, which was the average monthly rate for the best year of job creation in the 2000s, then it will take until April 2020 to close the jobs gap. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Jun 11, 2013

Going to college is worth it – even if you drop out

This week, Business Insider’s Laura Brothers and Wonkblog’s Dylan Matthews discussed The Hamilton Project’s latest employment analysis, “Is Starting College and Not Finishing Really That Bad?” In the analysis, the 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. “Taking into account the cost of going to college for a certain period (1.83 years on average, for these students), the return on investment is significantly lower than that for bachelor’s degrees or professional degrees (a category which includes medical, law and dental degrees, but not PhDs or master’s degrees), but still higher than stocks, bonds, or any other conventional investment,” Matthews notes. To read the full Wonkblog story, click here. To read the full Business Insider story, click here.

Blog Post Jun 10, 2013

Study: Even for drop-outs, college pays

In a recent article, The Associated Press’ Justin Pope discusses The Hamilton Project’s latest employment analysis, “Is Starting College and Not Finishing Really That Bad?” In the analysis, the 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. Pope quotes Hamilton Project Policy Director Adam Looney who discussing the analysis said, “It is vastly better to get a college degree… But I think the evidence says that fears of dropping out, that there are big downside risks to trying it and not finishing it, I think those are overblown.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post May 29, 2013

Upside of Low Employment Is Longer Life

In his latest column for Bloomberg View, Advisory Council member Peter Orszag discusses the link between the unemployment rate and life expectancy. He highlights estimates that indicate for each percentage-point the unemployment rate increases, the mortality rate falls by 0.3 percentage point. He writes that “the evidence suggests that a combination of forces contribute to the increase in life expectancy during times of higher unemployment: Motor vehicle deaths decline, people tend to avoid unhealthy behavior, air pollution is diminished, and nursing home staffing improves.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post May 20, 2013

A Marriage Mystery: Why Aren’t More Wives Outearning Their Husbands?

In a recent story for The Atlantic on why there are so few marriages where women earn more money than their husbands, Derek Thompson discusses data from the Hamilton Project’s “The Marriage Gap: The Impact of Economic and Technological Change on Marriage Rates.” In the employment analysis, The Hamilton Project examines the decline the marriages over the last 50 years, highlighting the correlation between income level and likelihood of marrying. Thompson discusses a chart from the employment analysis that shows “the bottom half of female earners have seen their marriage rates decline by 25 percentage points since 1970” and a chart that shows the correlation between declining marriage rates and declining male earnings. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post May 14, 2013

Should the United States have more jobs in recovery? What about Texas?

In a recent blog post for the Dallas Morning News’ “Biz Beat Blog”, Sheryl Jean highlights The Hamilton Project’s recent employment analysis, “Should the United States Have 2.2 Million More Jobs?” THP’s analysis explores government employment since the Great Recession and finds that, had the policy response been similar to that after other recent recessions, the economy would have about 2.2 million more jobs today. Jean discusses data from the Project’s jobs gap calculator, and highlights data on Texas’ jobs gap from THP’s state-by-state jobs gap chart. To read the full post, click here.

Blog Post May 7, 2013

Austerity Has Cost The U.S. Economy 2.2 Million Jobs: Study

In a recent article in the Huffington Post, Mark Gongloff discusses findings from The Hamilton Project’s latest employment analysis, “Should the United States Have 2.2 Million More Jobs?” In the analysis, the 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. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post May 6, 2013

How Our Incredible Shrinking Government Raises Unemployment and Hurts the Recovery

Today in The Atlantic, Derek Thompson discusses findings from The Hamilton Project’s latest employment analysis, “Should the United States Have 2.2 Million More Jobs?” In the analysis, the 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. In his blog post, Thompson writes “it's intuitive that expansionary public spending (including on people) following a private sector meltdown are useful to help the economy catch up to trend-line growth. But rather than Washington leading the still-weak economy, the cart has led the horse, with the private sector adding roughly 2.2 million jobs over the past year while state, local, and federal governments have shed more than 90,000 jobs.” To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Apr 22, 2013

How Did the World’s Rich Get That Way? Luck

In a recent blog post in Bloomberg Businessweek’s “Small Change,” Charles Kenny discusses income inequality in the United States. He highlights data from a Hamilton paperin the Milken Institute Review focused on trends in earnings and job prospects in America during recent decades. Kenny notes a finding from the paper that median wages of average American men has fallen by $13,000 since 1969. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Apr 11, 2013

Missing jobs create a hole in the lives of the unemployed

In a recent blog post in The Guardian, Helaine Olen highlights data from a Hamilton Project employment analysis “Unemployment and Earnings Losses: The Long-Term Impacts of The Great Recession on American Workers.” Olen discusses findings from the analysis on the earnings of Americans who lost their full-time jobs for economic reasons between October 2008 and April 2009 during the two years after their job loss. She notes that even those who found a new job earned an average of 17% less than they did in their previous positions. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Apr 9, 2013

The Rise of Gay Marriage and the Decline of Straight Marriage: Where’s the Link?

In a recent article on gay marriage, The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson cites data on the wages of low-income men from The Hamilton Project's “The Marriage Gap: The Impact of Economic and Technological Change on Marriage Rates” . Thompson highlights a chart from THP that shows the change in earnings and the change in the share of men married by earnings percentile and notes that low-income men had the largest decline in marriage rates since the 1970s. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Mar 29, 2013

Five ways to reform Social Security Disability Insurance

Today in the Washington Post’s “Wonkblog,” Dylan Matthews highlights two Hamilton Project proposals in a blog post on five ways to reform the disability insurance system. Matthews mentions “Supporting Work: A Proposal for Modernizing the U.S. Disability Insurance System,” in which David Autor and Mark Duggan discuss how the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program has failed to support the ongoing employment and economic self-sufficiency of workers with disabilities, leading to declining employment of Americans with disabilitiesand a rapid growth in program expenditures. Autor and Duggan offer a blueprint for refocusing the SSDI program toward assisting individuals with disabilities to remain employed. Matthews also highlights “An Evidence-Based Path to Disability Insurance Reform,” in which Jeffrey Liebman and Jack Smalligan propose a path to improve our disability insurance systemthrough demonstration projects and administrative changesthat could potentially increase employment and economic engagement among workers with disabilities--and provide more rapid and reliable resolution of disability insurance claims for those who cannot work. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Mar 25, 2013

Trends with Benefits

The latest episode of This American Life, “Trends with Benefits,” and a series of stories this week on NPR’s “All Things Considered” focus on the growing number of Americans receiving federal disability payments and what the increase says about the U.S. economy. The programs feature commentary from David Autor and Mark Duggan who co-authored The Hamilton Project paper, “Supporting Work: A Proposal for Modernizing the U.S. Disability Insurance System.” The paper discusses how the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program has failed to support the ongoing employment and economic self-sufficiency of workers with disabilities, leading to rapid growth in program expenditures and declining employment of Americans with disabilities. Autor and Duggan’s proposal offers a blueprint for reversing this needless employment decline and stemming the dramatic growth of the SSDI program. To read the full proposal, click here.

Blog Post Feb 27, 2013

How to Not Cut Stupidly

Last night on MSNBC’s “The Last Word,” Ezra Klein highlighted his top five proposals from The Hamilton Project’s “15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget.” Klein featured “The Many Benefits of a Carbon Tax,” by Adele Morris; “Transitioning to Bundled Payments in Medicare,” by Michael Chernew and Dana Goldman; “Limiting Individual Income Tax Expenditures,” by Diane Lim, “Funding Transportation Infrastructure with User Fees ,” by Tyler Duvall and Jack Basso; and “Making Defense Affordable,” by Cindy Williams. For more information on all fifteen policy proposals, or to download all the proposals in a single volume, either in PDF format or as a free ebook, click here. For the video clip, click here.

Blog Post Feb 5, 2013

Are Immigrants Taking Your Job? A Primer

In a blog post on the effects of immigration on American workers in the New York Times’ “Economix,” Catherine Rampell discusses findings in The Hamilton Project’s recent piece, “The Economics of Immigration” that indicate American-born workers could see wages increase by between 0.1% and 0.6% on average with a boost in immigrants. She also notes that The Project found immigrants generally complement native-born workers, as low-skill immigrants often fill jobs that U.S.-born workers do not want and high-skill immigrants fill vacancies for which there are not enough trained native-born candidates. To read the full piece, click here. Additional information on the economic impacts of immigration on the U.S. economy can be found in another Hamilton Project paper, “Ten Economic Facts about Immigration.”

Blog Post Jan 15, 2013

Deep Dive: Promises Kept

Today on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” Chuck Todd highlights Hamilton Project data in a segment on President Obama’s first term. Todd cites data from a recent Hamilton Project employment analysis, “A Record Decline in Government Jobs: Implications for the Economy and America’s Workforce,” on public-sector employment trends, in which The Project found nearly 212,000 teaching jobs were cut between 2009 and 2011. Watch the video clip here.

Blog Post Jan 14, 2013

100,000 cops

In the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Daily Kos’ Jon Perr proposes adding another 100,000 members to the police force to make communities more secure and to help the economy. Perr cites data from a recent Hamilton Project employment analysis, “A Record Decline in Government Jobs: Implications for the Economy and America’s Workforce,” on public-sector employment trends. Parr highlights THP data on declining numbers of police department employees and emergency responders between 2011 and 2009. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Jan 11, 2013

Why the Unemployment Rate is So High

Advisory Council member Laura D’Andrea Tyson cites a recent Hamilton Project piece in a recent blog post about the unemployment rate in the New York Times’ “Economix.” Tyson argues against the idea that the unemployment rate remains high because of a gap between the skill requirements of vacant jobs and those skilled possessed by unemployed Americans. Instead, she writes that the economic evidence suggests the high unemployment rate is due to weak demand. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Jan 2, 2013

2012: The Year in Graphs

The Washington Post’s Wonkblog highlights work from The Hamilton Project and selections by several Advisory Council members in its feature titled, “2012: The Year in Graphs.” The piece quotes Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone and highlights two graphs from The Project on costs associated with various sources of electricity generation and the change in family earnings of children. Wonkblog also quotes Advisory Council members Robert Greenstein, Peter Orszag and Alice Rivlin who weigh in on charts and graphs they felt best represented the year. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Dec 20, 2012

Inequality’s pernicious twin is our growing cultural divide

In a Reuters opinion piece on economic inequality, Don Peck highlights data from a paper by Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone and Policy Director Adam Looney, “Trends: Reduced Earnings for Men in America: Full Paper,” on some of the workforce challenges facing American men. Peck notes data that show earnings for men with only high school diplomas have fallen 25%, adjusted for inflation, since 1969. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Dec 19, 2012

Job creation’s glum arithmetic

Today in the Washington Post’s “PostPartisan,” Robert Samuelson highlights a Hamilton Project analysis, “How Long Will It Take to Get to 6.5 Percent Unemployment,” which was released after the Fed’s recent announcement that interest rates will remain at historic lows until the unemployment rate falls below 6.5 percent. Samuelson discusses THP’s estimates of how many jobs would need to be created to lower the unemployment rate from 7.7 percent in November, to 6.5 percent.

Blog Post Dec 18, 2012

Jobs Gap Could Close In 2020: Report

Ideas Lab highlights The Hamilton Project’s jobs gap calculator, a interactive feature that allows you to calculate how long it will take to close the “jobs gap” under different scenarios of growth.The blog post also cites The Project’s state-by-state jobs gap chart, which allows users to see the number of jobs each state would have to add in order to bring its employment-to-population ratio to its pre-recession level. To read the full piece, click here.

Blog Post Dec 11, 2012

Unemployment Benefits Hang on “Fiscal Cliff” Deal

In today’s Daily Ticker, Hamilton Project Policy Director Adam Looney discusses the impact of an unemployment insurance (UI) benefit extension on employment incentives, noting that extended benefits added only between 0.1 and 0.5 percentage point to the unemployment rate in 2011. Washington Post's Brad Plumer in an article today on jobless benefits highlighted a new Hamilton Project paper, "The Impact of Fiscal Cliff Negotiations on American Jobs," in which Looney and Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone discuss the benefits of UI in more detail.

Blog Post Dec 6, 2012

The No Good, Very Bad Outlook for the Working-Class American Man

In National Journal, Jonathan Rauch cites data from The Hamilton Project in an article on the effects of the economy on middle class Americans, particularly less-skilled men. Rauch writes that overall economic growth over the last few decades has not translated into higher wages for large segments of the population, which has led many Americans to leave the workforce. He quotes THP Policy Director Adam Looney as saying the departure of many of these less-skilled workers from the workforce will “place a huge strain on the social safety net in the coming decades." Rauch argues that both economic and cultural forces have impacted less-skilled workers’ ability to earn livable wages, and suggests that remedies to both areas should be pursued to reverse the trend. He cites THP data on the earnings of median male workers, the number of men participating in the workforce by education level, and the earnings and marital rates of men. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Dec 5, 2012

Extending Unemployment Insurance — A Live Web Chat with Adam Looney

Negotiations on a compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff are underway, and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are also discussing whether or not to extend unemployment insurance for 12 million unemployed Americans before the benefits expire at year-end. On December 5, Hamilton Project Policy Director Adam Looney took your questions on extending unemployment insurance in a live web chat moderated by Vivyan Tran at POLITICO. To read a full transcript of the chat, click here.

Blog Post Dec 5, 2012

ADP: We gained 118,000 jobs in November. That’s really bad.

In Washington Post’s “Wonkblog,” Dylan Matthews discusses private forecaster ADP’s latest report on job growth and unemployment changes, which estimates that the economy gained 118,000 jobs last month.  Matthews cites data from The Hamilton Project’s jobs gap calculator—an interactive feature that allows you to calculate how long it will take to close the “jobs gap” under different scenarios of growth—which shows that at a rate of 118,000 jobs per month, the U.S. will not be back at pre-recession employment levels until after 2025. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Dec 4, 2012

The Importance of UI Benefits for American Families and the Economy

Among the many spending cuts and tax increases legislated to take effect at the turn of the year, few policies have as direct an effect on those most affected by the recession than the expiration of extended unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. During the first week of January, roughly two million individuals will lose extended benefits with the expiration of legislation that temporarily increased the duration individuals can claim benefits. As lawmakers consider whether to extend these benefits, The Hamilton Project’s Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney explore the evidence on unemployment insurance. They find that while these benefits make up only $30 billion of the roughly $500 billion ‘fiscal cliff,’ they have a disproportionate effect on the lives of the unemployed and their families, as well as on the aggregate economy. To read the full piece, click here. Tomorrow, Hamilton Project Policy Director Adam Looney will answer questions about the costs and benefits of extending UI benefits during a live webchat moderated by POLITICO’s Vivyan Tran. For more information or to register for the webchat, click here.

Blog Post Nov 29, 2012

If you want to solve the IT skills gap, fix the gender gap

In a Nextgov blog post, Dana Grinshpan describes a shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals to fill positions aimed at combating security breaches in federal IT systems. She notes that one challenge to recruiting skilled workers for these vacancies is that the percentage of women who go into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields continues to decline despite the increased demand for workers in these fields. The Hamilton Project’s “A Dozen Economic Facts About Innovation,” highlights this disparity and notes that American women are less likely to pursue advanced degrees and employment in STEM fields than men. Read the full piece here.

Blog Post Nov 8, 2012

The Long-Term Economic To-Do List

In a Wall Street Journal article on President Obama’s “economic to-do list,” David Wessel cites data from the Hamilton Project on trends in annual wages for American workers. The Project’s data suggest that wages of American male workers began stagnating before the Great Recession and women are beginning to face some of the same issues. In the New York Times’ Economix Hamilton Project Director Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney previously discussed these trends. Read the full Economix piece here.

Blog Post Nov 6, 2012

Running the numbers on your college education ROI

Reuters in an article on selecting a major highlights data from The Hamilton Project paper, “Where is the Best Place to Invest $102,000 — In Stocks, Bonds, or a College Degree?” which finds that investing in college has a higher return than investments in stocks and bonds. The Project compares the economic benefits of a college degree to its costs and finds the benefits of a four-year college degree on average are more than double the average return to stock market investments since 1950 and more than five times the returns to corporate bonds, gold, long-term government bonds, or home ownership. Read the full piece here.