Weekly Economic Snapshot - 9/10 - 9/14 

Economic Facts for This Week

  • Small businesses are vital sources of jobs, innovation, and growth in rural America. Senator Martin Heinrich, Ranking Member of the JEC, recently hosted a series of roundtables to explore best practices in supporting rural small businesses.
  • One in five rural places that saw population growth between 1990 and 2012-2016 did so because of an increase in the foreign-born population who helped to grow vibrant local economies by starting new businesses and contributing to the local workforce.
  • The median income of middle-class households is about the same as it was in 2000, while the incomes of the upper-income households increased from 2000 to 2016. 
  • Shifting to a sustainable, low-carbon economy could deliver $26 trillion in net global economic benefits by 2030.
  • Middle-income families are increasingly dependent on support from federally funded programs, such as Medicaid, SNAP, and CHIP.

Chart of the Week

Teachers play a vital role in shaping children’s ability to succeed in the 21st century economy. But over the last few decades, teacher pay has eroded relative to comparable workers. The gap between what public school teachers earn and what similar professionals earn has grown just about every year over the last decade. In 1994, public school teachers earned just about 2 percent less than comparable workers. Today, that gap has grown to 18.7 percent. Raising teacher pay so that our nation’s teachers can earn a decent living is critical to recruiting and retaining the high-quality, effective teaching workforce American children deserve.

Tracking Trump’s $4k Promise

During the tax cut 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 about 2.6 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 July 2018 than it was in July 2017, after adjusting for inflation. 

ICYMI

  • Economists Jared Bernstein and Larry Mishel highlight concerns with the Council of Economic Advisers’ latest report on wage growth, pointing out that there is no evidence of real wage acceleration since Trump took office.
  • Accessing start-up capital is often a primary obstacle to those trying to start a business. The New Mexico Start-Up Factory helps to grow small businesses by supplying capital and providing coaching, mentorship, and education focused on entrepreneurial development.
  • Better employment opportunities both in and out of prison could be key to breaking the cycle of incarceration.
  • A bipartisan working group led by the American Enterprise Institute and Brookings released a report on paid leave, advocating for a national medical paid leave program.

Coming This Week

  • Thursday 8:30am: Consumer Price Index (inflation, for August):

https://www.bls.gov/cpi/news.htm

  • Thursday: American Community Survey 2017 release (income, poverty, and health coverage statistics):

https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/data.html

  • Friday 8:30am: Retail Sales (for August):

https://www.census.gov/retail/marts/www/marts_current.pdf

  • Friday 9:15 am: Industrial Production (for August):

https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/g17/current/