off the charts

You are here

Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures

September 2, 2011

Today’s jobs report highlights the critical need to enact policies to get people back to work. Employers added no net new jobs to their payrolls and the unemployment rate remained 9.1 percent. Most forecasters, including the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), expect the unemployment rate to remain very high for the next few years.

Food Stamps and Unemployment Insurance Create Jobs in a Weak Economy

August 31, 2011

In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Robert Barro dismisses Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s claim that every dollar spent on food stamps generates $1.84 of economic activity. Barro claims Secretary Vilsack’s “Keynesian” estimate conflicts with “regular” economics, which he says predicts that increasing transfer payments like food stamps and unemployment insurance (UI) would lead to a decline in economic activity and a fall in employment because they would “motivate less work effort by reducing the reward from working.”

Today's Jobs Report in Pictures

August 5, 2011

Today’s jobs report shows a labor market that continues to limp along rather than provide the healthy job growth needed to put people back to work. This situation screams out for extending the federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) programs scheduled to expire at the end of this year, and for lawmakers and the Federal Reserve to consider further measures to boost the flagging economic recovery.

Budget Deadlock Could Derail Recovery That’s Already Running Out of Steam

July 29, 2011

Economic growth has slowed sharply this year, according to the Commerce Department’s initial estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter and its revised estimates for previous quarters (see first chart). This should be a wake-up call to policymakers who think the recovery is strong enough to withstand the risks associated with either a default on government debt or the sharply contractionary effects of large, immediate cuts to government spending.

The Crumbling Case for Cutting Spending to Stimulate the Economy

July 18, 2011

Empirical support for the view that sharp, immediate cuts in government spending would be good for the U.S. economy was never strong, and it’s getting weaker.

Today's Jobs Report in Pictures

July 8, 2011

Today’s very disappointing employment report shows that two years after the technical end of the recession and after 16 straight months of private-sector job creation, the jobs deficit remains huge. The depth of the job losses from the recession is unprecedented since the Great Depression, and the length of time it will take just to get out of the jobs hole — much less to restore full employment — will dwarf that of the sluggish jobs recovery from the 2001 recession.

Doing Deficit Reduction Right

June 10, 2011

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the non-partisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) reminded policymakers this week that sharp, immediate cuts in government spending are the wrong way to reduce deficits.

Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures

June 3, 2011

Today’s employment report should be a wake-up call to policymakers who continue to say the budget deficit is a more immediate threat to the economy than the jobs deficit. Nearly two years after the economy technically turned the corner from recession to recovery, job growth was disappointing in May and unemployment remained high.

What’s Driving Projected Debt?

May 20, 2011

As we’ve noted, my colleagues Kathy Ruffing and Jim Horney have updated CBPP’s analysis showing that the economic downturn, President Bush’s tax cuts, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire federal budget deficit over the next ten years. So, what about the public debt, which is basically the sum of annual budget deficits, minus annual surpluses, over the nation’s entire history?

Bad Economics and Distortions of 1990 Budget Agreement Hold Deficit Reduction Hostage

May 13, 2011

House Speaker John Boehner declared this week that huge spending cuts are a prerequisite for raising the debt limit and that tax increases are off the table in deficit reduction negotiations. Commentators have sharply criticized his rationale, calling it “economic illiteracy,” “gibberish,” and an “incoherent, impervious-to-facts economic philosophy.” The Speaker also gets his history wrong by denigrating the landmark 1990 budget agreement and misrepresenting the relationship between tax policy and economic performance over the past two decades.