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'How Many Missing Workers' and 8 Other Important Economic Stories You Might Have Missed


A lot of new research about the economy has been released in recent weeks from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). Here are the most important recent reports:

1. EPI launches new measure of "missing workers": The number estimates what the national unemployment statistic would look like if it included workers who  no longer are looking for work. In August, for instance, the rate of people out of work would be 10.1% instead of the official unemployment rate of 7.3%. (EPI)

2. End of the shutdown still ignores the biggest economic problem facing the country: While the end of the irresponsible government shutdown by Republicans is great news for millions of Americans, the biggest drag on the economy remains bipartisan austerity policies that appear set to continue. (EPI)

3. Seniors to see small COLA increase in 2014: The cost-of-living increase that seniors will see next year in their Social Security payments is estimated to be about 1.5% to 1.6%. A switch to the Chained CPI would lower even this, as it relies upon untested assumptions that are not based on the actual spending habits of seniors. (CEPR)

4. Cuts to unemployment insurance have kept poverty stubbornly high: After the end of the Great Recession, the poverty rate in the United States has remained high. One of the key culprits is cuts to unemployment insurance that have led to more jobless workers not receiving unemployment benefits than at the height of the recession. (CBPP)

5. The trade deficit with China drives down U.S. wages and benefits and eliminates jobs: The increase in the trade deficit with China over the past decade has cost the United States more than 2.7 million jobs and removed $37 billion in lost wages from the economy. (EPI)

6. The trade deficit with China has a major impact on minority workers: Between 2001 and 2011, the growing trade deficit with China led to nearly 1 million minority workers losing jobs. When they found new work, their wages declined an average of more than $10,000 per year, leading to a cumulative loss of wages of more than $10 billion a year. (EPI)

7. We aren't broke and we aren't going broke: Josh Bivens reminds us that not only is much of the mainstream media talk about the economy inaccurate, but one of the most widely accepted tropes about the economy—we're broke—is just plain false. (EPI)

8. The Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit are very effective policies: The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) reduces poverty significantly, particularly among children. Both the EITC and the Child Tax Credit are effective in increasing the after-tax income of the recipients and the EITC increases the labor force participation of single mothers. (EPI)

9. The CEO-to-worker compensation rate grew by 876% between 1978 and 2011: CEOs make 273 times as much as their workers make. (EPI)

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