Amid a successful vaccination rollout and a strengthening economy, the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) and Chairman Don Beyer (D-VA) are elevating the evidence of economic progress and pushing back strongly against partisan attacks and misinformation. The economy is growing at a pace not seen in 30 years, unemployment is down, last month’s job growth exceeded expectations, and retail sales are above pre-pandemic levels, reflecting pent-up demand as people can safely resume more normal levels of economic activity.
Here is an overview of recent highlights:
- New Joint Economic Committee research: “Economic indicators show that the labor market is experiencing a period of rising wages and more job choices for workers as Americans continue to recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The JEC released a new issue brief summarizing real-time evidence and the broad academic consensus that the labor market is returning to its pre-pandemic tightness. Wages are rising the most among the lowest-paid one-quarter of employees, and contrary to partisan attacks, the scale of the impact of government programs like Unemployment Insurance (UI) on the timing of workers’ return to work is small to negligible. While the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus recession, UI dollars support communities, keep families housed and fed and bolster the entire economy.
This is the second brief in JEC’s new series on the role of UI in bolstering economy-wide strength and stability, the first of which highlighted the need for UI reform to build economic resilience.
- Bloomberg TV: “What’d You Miss?”
“We want to celebrate that we’re going to have record economic growth this year, somewhere between seven and eight percent. The unemployment rate continues to fall. Wages are up more than they’ve been in quite a long time. And on Thursday, the child tax credit kicks in: This is $3000, per child, per family, per year.”
- The Hill: “Democrats seek to counter GOP attacks on gas prices”
“I think the Democratic message ... is going to be: Look at how fast we're growing; look at the number of jobs that are available; look at how fast wages are growing; look at how much money we’ve pumped into the economy,” said Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), chairman of the Joint Economic Committee.
- On the first monthly payments of the expanded Child Tax Credit: “The biggest investment in children and families in a generation”
“The expansion of the Child Tax Credit, included in the American Rescue Plan Congress passed last spring, is the biggest investment in children and families in a generation and puts people at the center of our economic recovery … The historic expansion of the CTC isn’t just good for families—it is good for our whole economy. Thanks to a large and growing body of economic research, we know that investments in children are investments in our economy’s future growth and strength.”
- On new CPI numbers: “The top driver of price increases right now is cars. I know a few things about the auto industry, so let's look under the hood at what's going on with inflation.”
“If you talk an auto dealer, they will tell you that this year is a time unlike anything they've ever seen. People have had money to spend, and many were trying to rely less on shared transit like trains and ride shares because of pandemic concerns. Cars have been very popular … That isn't normal, and it isn't going to last. This is true of many of our other drivers of inflation right now as well. The Fed expects many of the price increases we are seeing now to be temporary.”