Press Release ● Jobs and Economy
For Immediate Release: 
January 10, 2020
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
The Majority Leader’s Office is now sending a weekly e-mail highlighting economic statistics and news that Members can use as they discuss the state of the economy and how House Democrats are working to spur economic growth, support job creation, and raise wages for the people.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “It’s easier to get a job than a raise in this economy.” - Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton [New York Times, 1/10/20]

STATS OF THE WEEK: 

“The World Bank estimates growth in the United States will slow to 1.8 percent this year and 1.7 percent next year. That would be nearly the lowest annual rate since the last recession ended in mid-2009.” [The New York Times, 01/08/20]

“Private-sector wages advanced 2.9% from a year earlier, the smallest annual gain since July 2018… For all of last year, employers added 2.11 million jobs. That was a slowdown from 2018’s robust gain of 2.68 million and ranked 2019 eighth for job growth in the past 10 years. A cooler pace of hiring reflected employers’ difficulty finding enough workers, global economic uncertainty and the fading effects of 2018’s tax cuts.” [Wall Street Journal, 1/10/20]

ECONOMIC NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
  • CBO’s report on income growth shows dramatic leap in income inequality since Trump was elected. From the report:
    • Federal government policy’s impact on inequality has gotten worse, not better. “(I)ncome is distributed less equally in 2021 than it was in 2016…. The reduction in inequality attributable to transfers and taxes is projected to be smaller in 2021 than it was in 2016.” [CBO, 12/19/19]
    • Federal assistance, including targeted tax breaks, benefit the richest more than anyone else. “Growth in income after transfers and taxes is more skewed toward higher-income households than is growth in income before transfers and taxes.”
    • The wealthiest Americans not only got the biggest tax cuts, but they got the proportionately biggest tax cuts. “The highest-income households are projected to experience the largest percentage-point decreases in average federal tax rates.”
  • Wages are rising faster in states that increased the minimum wage than in states that did not. The Washington Post reported: “In the past week, minimum wages have risen in more than 20 states. Many of them are the result of increases that have been implemented in phases over the past few years, or indexed to inflation. Nearly 7 million workers began 2020 with higher wages, according to the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank… A hot labor market helps, but policies that increase the minimum wage are a ‘really meaningful part of wage growth for low-wage workers,’ said Heidi Shierholz, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute. ‘That is absolutely, undeniably true.’ …Our analysis of Labor Department data shows that before 2016, wages for lower-paid workers rose across the country at more or less the same pace. In 2017, things began to change. Wage growth in states that increased minimum wages began to accelerate. Over the past year, paychecks for those in bottom 25 percent of the workforce grew almost 1.5 times as fast as those in states where the minimum wage did not budge.” [Washington Post, 01/02/20]
  • Trump promised Michiganders job security; steel layoffs skyrocketed last month in Detroit. From the Center for American Progress: “… Just days before the holidays, U.S. Steel announced plans to lay off more than 1,500 workers in Detroit, Michigan and about 48 hours after President Trump promised supporters in the state that ‘steel mills are doing great,’ and that steel jobs were ‘expanding all over the country... This is the second time this year that steelworkers have been laid off at the same plant. U.S. Steel had already announced temporary layoffs of about 200 workers at the Detroit-area plant earlier this year. This latest round of manufacturing layoffs comes two years after the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress passed a massive corporate tax cut, and on the heels of the Trump administration’s steel tariffs.” [Center for American Progress Action Fund, 12/20/19]
  • America is experiencing the lowest levels of population growth since 1918, posing news questions on the role of immigration on our economy in the coming decade. From Brookings Institution: “The nation’s population growth from 2018 to 2019 grew by a mere 0.48%, according to newly released Census Bureau estimates. This is the lowest annual growth rate since 1918, and caps off a decade that should show the slowest 10-year population growth since the first census was taken in 1790... What this means is that immigration will become an increasingly important contributor to America’s health moving forward. As the country faces continued population stagnation, the 2020s will become a crucial period for understanding the role of immigrants in our economy and society.” [Brookings Institution, 01/02/20]
  • Republicans promised worker bonuses as a result of their GOP tax scam, which turned out to be another broken promise. From the Wall Street Journal: “…One widely publicized feature of the 2017 tax law hasn’t held up: The bonuses many companies announced for employees—often described as sharing the benefits of the corporate tax cut with workers —haven’t been repeated, even as company tax savings persist.” [Wall Street Journal, 01/04/20]