Weekly Economic Snapshot 5/14 - 5/18

Economic Facts for This Week

  • Average hourly wages for production and nonsupervisory workers were only 0.1 percent higher in April than a year prior. It is clear that the tax cut has not led to the raises Republicans are claiming.
  • Withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal will likely lead to higher gas prices, which disproportionately affect low-income and rural consumers.
  • Medicaid provides critical health care to the country’s most vulnerable families. In 2010, the program lifted between 2.1 and 3.4 million Americans out of poverty, including at least 550,000 black Americans and 610,000 Hispanic Americans.  
  • In the average month, 1.2 million American adults would lose Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in 2028 under the House Republican Farm Bill, including 740,000 adults that live in households with children.

Chart of the Week             

The labor market has steadily improved since 2010, as the economy recovered from the Great Recession. Looking past the headline unemployment rate, though, shows that there is still room for employment to grow. In January 2007, 80.3 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 54 were employed, today that rate is 79.2 percent. Getting back to the higher rate would mean that 1.4 million more Americans would have jobs.


  • New research confirms that programs that promote basic living standards, like Social Security and the Earned Income Tax Credit, reduce poverty.
  • Forty-six percent of Americans are worried they will not have sufficient income in their retirement; Social Security is the foundation of Americans’ retirement security.
  • The top 1 percent of households will see more benefits from the Republican tax cuts in 2019 than the entire cost of annual SNAP benefits.

Coming This Week

  • Thursday 10:00 am: JEC hearing on Opportunity Zones