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Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures

November 5, 2010

Today’s employment report contains much better news on job creation than was expected, but it does not change the underlying fact that the economic recovery remains weak and the economy needs a boost. Below are some charts to show how the new figures look in historical context; see our statement with analysis.

Big Cuts in Store for the Unemployed?

November 4, 2010

When Congress returns to work in two weeks, it faces an important decision: whether to let federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, which are helping 5 million jobless workers and their families, expire even though unemployment is near 10 percent and expected to stay above 9 percent through 2011.

New GDP Report Shows We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Stimulus

October 29, 2010

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” Roy Scheider’s character announces in the movie Jaws when he sees the size of the shark they’re hunting. Today’s Commerce Department report on the economy is just the latest evidence that we’re going to need a bigger stimulus to address the Jaws-sized jobs deficit the nation faces.

Cold Turkey — and Cold Holidays — for the Unemployed

October 25, 2010

Over 1.2 million Americans will face a cutoff in unemployment benefits in December if Congress (which returns to work for a week in mid-November) does not extend the emergency unemployment insurance program for the long-term unemployed before it goes home for Thanksgiving, according to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project.

The Rich Are Different…They Have More Money

October 21, 2010

In 1926, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that the rich “are different from you and me,” and Ernest Hemingway supposedly retorted, “Yes, they have more money.” The recent recession didn’t change things much.

Shared Prosperity Lost

October 18, 2010

Describing the social and economic costs of growing income inequality, economist Robert Frank explained in yesterday’ New York Times that while the first three decades after World War II were a time of broadly shared prosperity, income gains over the next three decades went almost entirely to the very wealthy. You can see the striking contrast in the graph below.

Today’s Jobs Report in Pictures

October 8, 2010

As our statement and podcast both explain, today’s jobs report shows that the economy still faces a long and difficult climb out of the jobs hole created by the recent recession. Private-sector job creation has averaged fewer than 100,000 jobs a month this year — not enough to keep up with population growth and not nearly enough to bring down the unemployment rate. Worse, the pace of job creation is slowing as the economy slows; only 64,000 private-sector jobs were created in September.

Good-Bye, Great Recession; Hello, Great Slump?

September 30, 2010

Today’s Commerce Department announcement that the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.7 percent in the June-July-August quarter (up from the earlier estimate of 1.6 percent) does little to change the picture of an economy that is growing far too slowly to replace any time soon the millions of jobs that disappeared in the recession . As the charts at bottom show, economic growth is slowing at a time when we still have an unprecedented jobs deficit.

The Recession Is Over But the Malady Lingers

September 20, 2010

The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research, which makes the official determinations of when recessions start and end, announced today that the recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009.

What’s the Best Course on the Bush Tax Cuts?

September 11, 2010

Analysts Mark Zandi, Peter Orszag, and Howard Gleckman have all said sensible things about what would be the best policy for dealing with the expiring Bush tax cuts (which include a panoply of “middle class” tax cuts as well as cuts in marginal tax rates for the richest 2 percent of taxpayers). Unfortunately, their smart policy analysis has been lost in the headlines generated by their actual proposals, which are colored by their political judgment about what might be achievable in today’s fractious (and fractured) Congress.