Weekly Economic Snapshot - 10/1 - 10/5

Economic Facts for This Week

  • Last year, nearly one-fifth of all power generated in the U.S. came from renewable sources—almost twice the market share renewables had in 2008. This gain has been driven by innovation and a sharp decline in the cost of renewables.
  • Combined U.S. household wealth hit a record high of nearly $107 trillion in the second quarter of this year. But many Americans have not shared in these gains, as wealth gaps between upper income and lower- and middle-income families continue to grow.
  • Immigrants and their families help grow local economies, starting new businesses and contributing to the local workforce. The Trump administration is proposing regulation that would make it extremely difficult for many immigrants to come to the U.S. if they are deemed likely to receive benefits such as SNAP or Medicaid.
  • New data show that the gender wage gap has gone unchanged since 2016: women’s median full-time, year-round earnings were 80.5 percent that of men’s in 2017.

 

Chart of the Week

New evidence shows that offering two years of high-quality preschool at zero cost boosted labor force participation among mothers in Washington D.C. at both ends of the income spectrum and across all levels of educational attainment. Mothers with less than a high school degree experienced the largest gains. The city now boasts the highest maternal labor force participation rate (LFPR) in the nation. From 2008 to 2016, the LFPR rose 15 points for mothers below 100 percent of the poverty line and 13 points for mothers above 500 of the poverty line. This is further evidence that universal preschool programs are a worthwhile investment in families, providing educational benefits for children and allowing more women to participate in the labor force.

 

Tracking Trump’s $4k Promise

During the tax debate, the White House claimed that the average American household would see an income increase of $4,000 a year because of the tax cuts. Below are some indicators looking at whether or not Republicans are living up to their promise:

  • Stock buybacks are at record highs, with public companies announcing more than $750 billion in stock buybacks so far this year. Goldman Sachs projects buybacks could soar to $1 trillion by the end of 2018.
  • Average weekly wages for production and nonsupervisory workers are just 2 percent higher than they were before the new tax law, before adjusting for inflation.
  • The average hourly wage for production and nonsupervisory workers—our best measure of the median workers’ take home pay—was lower in August 2018 than it was in August 2017, after adjusting for inflation. 

 

ICYMI

  • A recent JEC hearing highlighted how traditional measures of economic growth do not paint a full picture of what the economy is doing for middle- and low-income Americans, and how proposed Income Growth Indicators could shed light on who is benefitting from economic growth and who is left behind.
  • Building credit is critical to attaining financial security and can have far-reaching benefits. A higher credit score can reduce borrowing costs on financial products, such as mortgages, student loans, and small business loans.
  • Despite modest gains over the last decade, just 1 in 20 CEOs at S&P 500 companies are women.
  • A new brief details what families need to know about treatment for adolescent opioid use disorder (OUD) and what to think about when selecting a treatment program.

 

Coming This Week

  • Monday 10:00am: ISM Manufacturing Index (for September):

https://www.instituteforsupplymanagement.org/ISMReport/MfgROB.cfm?SSO=1

  • Friday 8:30am: Employment Situation (for September):

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.toc.htm