Tag Archives: Brookings Institution

How Far Are We From Full Employment?

By Gary Burtless – In the two years after December 2007 the number of payroll jobs shrank by a total of 8.7 million.

In the same two years the number of adults who reported holding a job fell 8.2 million.

Since the job market recovery began in early 2009 we have recovered a bit more than three-quarters of the job loss suffered in the Great Recession.

The number of payroll jobs has increased 6.7 million, and the number of adults who say they are employed has risen 6.3 million.

As of July 2013 we still needed to see an increase of 2 million jobs to bring us back to payroll levels we saw at the end of the last expansion. more> http://tinyurl.com/kehz8te



Education, Job Openings, and Unemployment in Metropolitan America


unemployment (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

By Jonathan Rothwell – [INTERACTIVE PROFILER] An analysis of labor markets using data on adult educational attainment, occupations, and job openings in the 100 largest metropolitan areas from January of 2006 to February of 2012 finds that:

  • Advertised job openings in large metropolitan areas require more education than all existing jobs, and more education than the average adult has attained
  • Metro areas vary considerably in the level of education required by job openings posted online
  • Unemployment rates are 2 percentage points higher in large metro areas with a shortage of educated workers relative to demand and have been consistently higher since before the recession
  • Unemployment rates are 2 percentage points higher in large metro areas with a shortage of educated workers relative to demand and have been consistently higher since before the recession
  • Metro areas with higher education gaps have experienced lower rates of job creation and job openings over the past few years

In the short-term, unemployment rates are unlikely to come down to their pre-recession levels without improvements in housing markets and consumer demand. Yet high educational attainment is essential for the health of  metropolitan labor markets before, during, and after recessions. Educational attainment makes workers more employable, creates demand for complementary less educated workers, and facilitates entrepreneurship. more> http://tinyurl.com/8z59u7c

Are We Headed toward a Permanently Divided Society?

Ford House Office Building, where the CBO is l...

Ford House Office Building, where the CBO is located. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Isabel V. Sawhill – The concentration of income and wealth in the U.S. has reached levels we have not seen since the late 1920s. The Congressional Budget office reports that incomes after taxes and transfers, adjusted for inflation, almost quadrupled (275 percent) for the top 1 percent between 1979 and 2007. By contrast, incomes for the next 19 percent rose by 65 percent; income for the middle 60 percent rose by 37 percent; and incomes for the bottom 20 percent rose by only 18 percent.

Despite this evidence of growing disparities there has been little public outcry. Why have Americans been so complacent about high levels of inequality? more> http://tinyurl.com/7x3nlrp

Obama healthcare law faces high court hearing

By James Vicini – President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul faces its biggest court test next week, capping a legal battle that could reshape the powers of the U.S. government, redefine medical care for most Americans and transform the 2012 election campaign.

Stephen Hess, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former adviser to four presidents, said a case like healthcare occurred once in a generation or maybe even longer, unique both legally and politically.

“A victory for the president would be very substantial. A defeat for the president means that in a sense we politically reopen the situation,” Hess said. more> http://tinyurl.com/7mh33f7

Narrowing the New Class Divide

Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, Author: Charles Murray.

By Charles Murray – I can see four steps that might weaken the isolation of at least the children of the new upper class.

For one thing, we should get rid of unpaid internships. The children of the new upper class hardly ever get real jobs during summer vacation. Instead, they get internships at places like the Brookings Institution, the American Enterprise Institute (where I work) or a senator’s office.

It amounts to career assistance for rich, smart children. Those from the middle and working class, struggling to pay for college, can’t afford to work for free. Internships pave the way for children to move seamlessly from their privileged upbringings to privileged careers without ever holding a job that is boring or physically demanding. more> http://tinyurl.com/6na8yp9

Transportation Infrastructure: Moving America

By Robert McMahon – Transportation experts view the call for dramatic federal government action in response to the economic crisis as an opportunity to overhaul the U.S. system of highways, bridges, railways, and mass transit. In the past, the United States has revamped its transportation infrastructure to build canals, transcontinental railways, and a federal highway system, in each case helping usher in periods of economic growth.

A serious problem is coordination between different forms of transportation, experts say. Congress aligns transportation funding with specific modes like highways, rail, and mass transit.

The failure to achieve such coordination, note Brookings Institution experts Bruce Katz and Robert Puentes, leaves the United States as “one of the few industrialized countries that fails to link aviation, highways, freight rail, mass transit, and passenger rail networks.” more> http://is.gd/nnel49

Secret Cash Baiting Officials Leaves No Trace in U.S. Attack Ads

Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Image via Wikipedia

By Charles R. Babcock – Ben Nelson doesn’t face re-election to the U.S. Senate for another year and won’t know his opponent until next May. Yet advertising attacks on the second-term Democrat began months ago.

The early barrage means incumbents in Congress and President Barack Obama are stuck in “permanent warfare,” said Thomas Mann, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington research group, in an interview. The amounts of money surged since court rulings wiped out limits on corporate contributions and as government requirements for disclosing donors eroded. more> http://tinyurl.com/3nknhn2