Weekly Economic Snapshot 7/9 - 7/13

Economic Facts for This Week

  • President Trump’s trade war sparked $165 billion in new tariffs and quotas since the start of 2018. As four of our five largest trade partners ramped up retaliatory tariffs in the last few weeks, American workers and businesses are paying the price. So far, Harley Davidson announced it would move some of its production offshore, the nation’s largest nail manufacturer laid off 12 percent of its workforce, and dairy farmers are keeping more cheese in cold storage than any time in history.
  • More than six months since Republicans passed corporate tax cuts that they claimed would boost wages for the middle class, average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory workers (a good proxy for the median worker) were 2.7 percent higher than a year ago, unchanged from last month’s gain and well below pre-recession levels.
  • Community health centers operating in rural areas that expanded Medicaid saw significant improvements in volume and quality of care, particularly for mammogram and substance abuse disorder visits.
  • Since 2007, households with incomes below the national median are spending a larger share of their income on housing costs, while above-median income households are spending a smaller share.

Chart of the Week

                          

The consequences of Republicans’ sabotage of the Affordable Care Act marketplaces continue to pile up. In just the latest example, about 1 million Americans were priced out of the individual health insurance market last year. Average monthly enrollment among people who did not receive advance premium tax credit (APTC) subsidies fell by 20 percent between 2016 and 2017, just as average monthly premiums increased by 21 percent. By contrast, individual plan enrollment among individuals who qualified for APTC subsidies fell by 3 percent. While the administration concludes that the spike in premiums drove people out of the market, President Trump and Congressional Republicans are doubling down on efforts to further destabilize markets, raise premiums, and eliminate coverage for millions of Americans.

ICYMI

  • The sixth installment of the JEC Democrats podcast, The Opportunity Agenda, features former U.S. Department of Agriculture chief of staff Karla Thieman and Grow New Mexico founder Terry Brunner, where they discuss issues facing rural communities.
  • The Great Recession accelerated new technological adoption among firms, a new paper shows. Businesses located in areas hit harder by the recession were more likely to restructure their production toward greater use of machines and higher-skilled workers.
  • Over 40 percent of households headed by Americans aged 55 through 70 lack the resources to maintain their standard of living in retirement.
  • New research finds that reduced participation in the ACA and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program among Hispanic American citizens may be explained by fear of exposing non-citizens in their networks to deportation. Recent immigration enforcement actions may have long-term adverse consequences for Hispanic families’ well-being.
  • According to a new study, reduced union membership resulting from state right to work laws led to a 14 percent increase in occupational fatalities between 1992 and 2016.

Coming This Week