The Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, released a series of snapshots that examine the impact of the worsening economy on women, Hispanics, Americans nearing retirement, African-Americans, and young families.  Each snapshot examines the current housing, jobs, wages, health care, and poverty data and their impact on these individual groups.  You can find state-by-state economic snapshots on our website that  were also recently updated. 

The Joint Economic Committee, chaired by Sen. Charles E. Schumer, released a series of snapshots that examine the impact of the worsening economy on women, Hispanics, Americans nearing retirement, African-Americans, and young families.  Each snapshot examines the current housing, jobs, wages, health care, and poverty data and their impact on these individual groups.  You can find state-by-state economic snapshots on our website that  were also recently updated. 

Equality in Job Loss

Jul 22 2008

The Joint Economic Committee released this report, requested by Vice Chair Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), finding that the current downturn threatens women’s employment more than ever before. The 2001 recession was the first in decades during which women not only lost jobs, but also did not see their employment rates recover to their pre-recession peak. Unlike in decades past, families can no longer rely on women’s employment to help boost family income during a downturn.  U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer is the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee. 

The JEC has compiled a timeline of events tracking the subprime crisis from December 2006 to the present. Although it does not include every event in the markets, in Congress, or in the Administration, it provides a fairly comprehensive background guide to the current housing crisis and the steps taken to avoid further deterioration of the subprime market.

Recent employment reports have shown that the labor market is seriously distressed. Last month, the national unemployment rate rose a half percentage point – the largest one-month increase since 1986. In general, the nation has seen lackluster wage and job growth over the economic recovery of the 2000s. Between 2000 and 2007, across the nation, inflation-adjusted wages grew by just 0.3 percent per year, while productivity grew by 2.5 percent per year. As shown below, fourteen states have seen falling wages over that time period.i Additionally, many states have recessionary levels of unemployment: the unemployment rate in Michigan, Rhode Island, Alaska, Mississippi, California, South Carolina, Tennessee, Illinois, Ohio, Nevada, Kentucky, and the District of Columbia is already above 6.0 percent.

The recent run-up in the price of crude oil has prompted new calls for the Federal government to increase its petroleum production by allowing exploration and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) along the northern coast of Alaska. While there is a strong incentive to provide much needed relief to American families who are currently struggling with high gasoline prices, analysis of ANWR’s projected contribution to crude oil markets suggests that relief will be neither substantial nor timely in its effect. Based on Energy Information Administration (EIA) projections of the effect of ANWR on crude oil prices, we estimate that opening up ANWR will reduce gasoline prices by just one cent, starting in 2018.

Your Flight Has Been Delayed Again

Flight Delays Cost Passengers, Airlines, and the U.S. Economy Billions

May 22 2008

The economic costs of air traffic delays to the U.S. economy are large and far-reaching.  As air traffic has grown over the last two decades, the number of domestic flights and air flight delays has reached record levels. Increasing flight delays and cancellations are placing a significant strain on the U.S. air travel system and costing both passengers and airlines billions of dollars each year.

For this report, the majority staff of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC) used U.S. Department of Transportation data to analyze more than 10 million individual U.S. domestic scheduled flights in 2007. These passenger flights were operated by more than 400 different carriers – both national and regional – and traveled through more than 1,100 airports.

Free E-Filing Makes Sense for Both Taxpayers and the IRS
Filing income tax returns electronically has significant advantages for both taxpayers and the IRS.  Electronic filing (e-filing) is more convenient for taxpayers, return processing is faster, and refunds can be sent out more rapidly.  For the IRS, there are enormous cost savings from e-filing.

EXTENDING THE BUSH TAX CUTS IS THE WRONG WAY TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY

The Bush tax cuts, which disproportionately benefited the wealthiest Americans, were justified with a series of claims about their economic effectiveness.  Seven years after the first tax cuts were passed, the evidence is clear that these claims were false, and in reality, these tax cuts have been bad economic policy.  They have done little to stimulate the economy. The economic expansion earlier in the Bush administration was one of the weakest on record, and the economy has once again fallen into recession. While having limited economic effect, the tax cuts led to massive increases in the national debt and created an enormous windfall for the very wealthiest Americans at the expense of the middle class and future generations. Making the Bush tax cuts permanent would compound these long-term structural problems while doing nothing to address the immediate problems of the economy.

Text of the full release can be viewed here

State-by-State Figures: Foreclosure and Housing Wealth Losses

While the White House has threatened to veto a number of housing bills being debated in Congress, including the recently passed Senate housing bill intended to aid families who are in danger of losing their homes, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released reports showing that the subprime foreclosure crisis could cost over $2.6 TRILLION in household wealth from record numbers of foreclosures and falling home prices.

The state-by-state report was prepared by the majority staff of the Joint Economic Committee and shows that nationally, home prices will decline over 11% from 2007-2009 and families in a majority of states will lose over $2.6 Trillion in housing wealth in that same period. Moreover, an additional 1.3 million families stand to lose their homes to foreclosure in 2008 and 2009.