April’s employment report showed a gain of 223,000 jobs and a further one-tenth percent decline in the unemployment rate to 5.4%. The good news is the report shows the economy continues to nudge forward and create jobs for newcomers into the labor force. The bad news is the economy is not growing fast enough to raise wages.
A bipartisan group of senators and representatives unveiled legislation Tuesday to clamp down on countries—like China—that cheat trade law by manipulating their currency. That cheating has cost millions of U.S. manufacturing jobs and is a major reason for the massive U.S. trade deficit.
President Barack Obama, in his State of the Union address, told Americans that manufacturing in the United States is back. The president is right to applaud job creation in manufacturing. But both elected leaders and the public should be wary of one company, in particular, falsely taking credit for this “manufacturing renaissance”: Wal-Mart.
I took part in a "fair trade" study session at a synagogue recently, looking at moral authority in the global economy. We considered four historical examples.
In Exodus, Moses leads the children of Israel out of Egypt, creating a new nation in the midst of established tribes and nations. After finding food and water, Moses gets excellent advice from his father-in-law, Jethro: Appoint judges.
Twenty years later and what have we learned from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? Nearly 700,000 U.S. jobs have been lost or displaced, union density in the United States, Mexico and Canada fell and income inequality has increased. The AFL-CIO's new report, NAFTA at 20, discusses how current U.S. trade policy has failed to raise wages, improve social standards or address inequality—and what needs to change to ensure that future trade agreements actually work for working people.
Some observers have declared that the United States has reached a full recovery after the Great Recession because per capita GDP growth has rebounded to pre-recession levels. But in a thorough essay at the Economic Policy Institute, Josh Bivens argues that the logic is highly flawed and that we're far from a full recovery. He also provides several policy suggestions that would get us much closer to that elusive full recovery and on the path to raising wages.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) and Media Matters have released important research about the economy in the past few weeks. Here's a look at some of the key pieces they have uncovered about the U.S. economy.