Feb 13 2008
106 Dirksen Senate Office Building - 2:00 pm
Washington D.C. - U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), held a hearing on the newly released Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) monthly employment figures with BLS Commissioner Keith Hall. The hearing, entitled “The Employment Situation in January 2008” addressed the new jobs report and previously weak jobs reports in light of a potential recession. The hearing also addressed chronically-low job creation during the current administration and examined revisions to payroll figures for the past several years made that morning. With a recession looming and the unemployment rolls growing, Dr. Hall provided insight on labor market trends and conditions in a deteriorating economy.
With such a significant number of the population behind bars, expenditures associated with the prison system have skyrocketed. According to the Urban Institute, “the social and economic costs to the nation are enormous.” With 2.25 million people incarcerated in approximately five thousand prisons and jails, the combined expenditures of local governments, state governments, and the federal government for law enforcement and corrections personnel totals over $200 billion.
The JEC examined why the
Washington D.C. - Until recently, most mainstream economic experts—including Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke—have suggested that the widespread and serious problems in the subprime mortgage market, while a problem for the holders of subprime borrowers and their communities, would have a minimal impact on the larger American economy. However, a number of recent economic developments—including this summer’s credit crises in global financial markets, driven almost entirely by fears about the collapsing American subprime mortgage market, the accelerating slump in housing markets across the country, and the startling August jobs report—have made it increasingly clear that the economic spillover from the subprime mortgage meltdown is unlikely to be contained to one sector of the economy.
The Joint Economic Committee, investigated the economic threat that the subprime mortgage mess poses to the broader economy, and helped us learn more about the kind and size of economic problems this crisis may produce going forward.
Over the last year,
The JEC examined the destructive impact of the foreclosure boom on
The JEC examined the impacts of consolidation in the oil and gas industry on competition, gasoline prices, and consumers’ energy choices. Specifically, the Committee investigated whether oil industry mergers and increased market concentration have enabled firms to raise their prices above competitive levels and strategically withhold capacity to keep prices high; and investigated whether firms are preventing the entry of cheaper fuel alternatives for consumers at the pump.