Weekly Economic Snapshot: 12/10 - 12/14

Economic Facts for This Week

  • The number of uninsured children in the United States increased from 2016 to 2017, marking the end of nearly a decade of steady progress on children’s health coverage. Roughly three-quarters of the children who lost coverage live in states that have not expanded Medicaid.
  • New Census data show that only 40 percent of workers were covered by employer retirement plans last year, a drop of 4 percentage points from three years prior. Unionized workers continue to be covered at nearly double the rate of non-unionized workers.
  • The wealth gap between Latinos and whites has widened since the Great Recession. Latino families had less than one-sixth the wealth of whites in 2016. Key factors contributing to the gap include lower job stability, lower wages, costly debt, and disparities in retirement savings and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Chart of the Week

Difficulty accessing affordable and high-quality child care puts a strain on family pocketbooks and well-being and can hinder child development. This is the case for far too many American families, especially in rural and lower-income areas. Three in five rural communities lack adequate child care options. Child care deserts are also associated with lower rates of maternal labor force participation. Participation rates among mothers with young children in child care deserts are roughly 3 percentage points lower than participation rates in neighborhoods with an adequate child care supply. Improving access to affordable high-quality early learning and care kills two birds with one stone: it promotes healthy child development and allows parents to remain in or enter the workforce.



  • New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show life expectancy fell to 78.6 years in 2017, the third straight year of decline. The drop was in part due to the uptick in suicides and opioid-related deaths.
  • The introduction of ridesharing could be putting more cars on the road, causing more accidents. One estimate puts the annual cost in human lives at $5.3 to $13.2 billion per year.
  • Global carbon emissions are expected to increase by 2.7 percent in 2018, confirming that last year’s 1.6 percent increase after a three-year plateau was not just temporary.


Coming This Week

  • Wednesday 8:30am: Real Earnings (for November):


  • Wednesday 8:30am: Consumer Price Index (inflation, for November):


  • Thursday 8:30am: U.S. Import and Export Price Indexes (for November):