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Illustrating Income Inequality, Part 2: Top Earners Have Outpaced Rest Since 1979

January 16, 2014

In our first post in this series, we showed how after a period of shared prosperity in the early postwar decades, income disparities widened substantially beginning in the 1970s.  In this post, we’ll look at how incomes at the top have compared to the rest...

Illustrating Income Inequality, Part 1: Shared Prosperity Gives Way to Income Disparities

January 16, 2014

The economic fortunes of the wealthy and everyone else have diverged sharply in recent decades.  It wasn’t always this way; from the end of World War II into the 1970s, income growth was shared equally among all segments of the population.  But, as we’ll illustrate in three animated graphs, most of the income growth in recent decades has occurred at the very top.  Here’s the first:

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Where Things Stand for the Unemployed

January 14, 2014

Table updated May 1

With December’s expiration of emergency federal jobless benefits, only regular state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits are available to qualifying workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.  As a result, the maximum number of weeks of benefits fell to 26 in...

Today's Jobs Report in Pictures

January 10, 2014

Today’s surprisingly disappointing jobs report should temper recent optimism of an improving labor market in 2014. The climb back to normal levels of employment remains steep. Most notably, the labor force shrank and the share of the population with a job remains near the low to which it plunged in the Great Recession, and long-term unemployment remains historically high. The most urgent...

Congress Should Restore Federal Jobless Benefits

January 6, 2014

Congress can redress a serious problem that it created last month by quickly enacting legislation, from Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Dean Heller (R-NV), to provide a retroactive three-month extension of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program and using the time to craft a solution for the rest of the year.

When Congress failed the long-term unemployed by...

4.9 Million Reasons to Extend Emergency Jobless Benefits

December 12, 2013

An estimated 4.9 million jobless workers will lose out on emergency unemployment benefits over the next 12 months if policymakers let the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program expire right after Christmas.  Our new report, based on Labor Department data, gives the...

Failure to Continue Jobless Benefits Would Undo Budget Deal's Economic Boost

December 11, 2013

The Murray-Ryan budget deal provides a stimulative boost to the economy — albeit a modest one.  But here’s the rub:  the economic drag caused by lawmakers’ failure to include an extension of federal emergency jobless benefits in the deal would likely negate that stimulus.

Economist Joel Prakken of Macroeconomic...

On Emergency Jobless Benefits, Don’t Be Fooled by November’s Drop in Unemployment

December 10, 2013

November’s drop in unemployment to 7.0 percent was obviously welcome, but policymakers should not conclude that they can now justifiably let federal emergency unemployment insurance (UI) expire at the end of this year.  That’s because a look only at the unemployment rate provides too optimistic a picture of...

Things Looking Up at the Top, New Figures Show

December 6, 2013

Incomes at the top have started rebounding from their sharp decline in the financial crisis and Great Recession, new figures from the Congressional Budget Office confirm — just as they rebounded strongly from the dot-com collapse of the early 2000s (...

Today's Jobs Report in Pictures

December 6, 2013

Labor market conditions are significantly better than they were in the depths of the Great Recession in 2008-09. Nevertheless, nonfarm payroll employment is not yet back to where it was at the start of the recession in December 2007, unemployment is still much too high — especially long-term unemployment — and the share of the population with a job remains well below what it would be in a...

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