Issue Report
For Immediate Release: 
September 26, 2019
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: “‘Given the uncertainty in the economy, businesses are very cautious about spending in construction as well as equipment, and this is not a very good sign,’ said Sung Won Sohn, a business economics professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. ‘After all, businesses are the ones hiring people, providing income and the buying power for consumers.’” [Reuters, 09/26/19]

STAT OF THE WEEK: According to a study released by the Joint Economic Committee, the gun violence epidemic costs the United States economy over $200 billion, “Rural states also suffer the most economically from the gun violence epidemic. … In total, gun violence costs the United States $229 billion annually, or 1.4 percent of the GDP.” [Rolling Stone, 09/18/19]

ECONOMIC NEWS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED:
  • The Economist reported that the black-white wealth gap hasn’t budged after half a century, with the net worth of African American families far lower than the net worth of white families. “The typical black family has just $17,100 compared with the typical white one, which has $171,000. The discrepancies are caused by low incomes and by debt. Compared with whites, black Americans have higher debt loads: 19.4% of black households have net wealth at or below $0, compared with 9.2% of whites. There had been slow improvement over the decades, but the Great Recession of 2007-08 wiped this out, since blacks were disproportionately harmed by the subprime mortgage blow-up. Because of that, home-ownership, the conventional wealth-building tool of the middle class, stands at 42% among blacks—only one percentage point higher than it was in 1968—compared with 73% for whites.” [The Economist, 04/06/19]
  • Trump's trade war has plunged the trucker industry into a recession. From Business Insider: “America's $800 billion trucking industry has been in a recession since the beginning of 2019, according to ACT Research The culprits: President Donald Trump's trade war and a glut of trucking capacity...Trucking is often looked at as a leading indicator of where the rest of the economy is headed. As 71% of America's freight is moved on trucks, companies foreseeing a need for fewer trucks is typically an omen of an economic downturn: If manufacturers are producing less and people are buying less, there's less of a need to move goods.” [Business Insider, 09/19/19
  • What is the relationship between concerns over a recession and millennials visiting the doctor? Apparently, it’s a strong one, according to CNBC: “During a recession, health-care costs typically tick up, Jonathan Wiik, principal of health-care strategy at TransUnion Healthcare, tells CNBC Make It. But for millennials, this issue is a little more personal. Americans, and in particular, millennials are thinking; ‘I’d better go to the doctor before I lose my job and my health insurance,’ he says.” [CNBC Make it, 09/17/19]
  • The housing market has less-than-impressive gains compared to the relative health of the economy. The Wall Street Journal reports: "The National Association of Realtors reported that its index of pending home sales — sales of previously owned homes that are under contract but haven’t been finalized — bounced back in August, putting it 2.5% above its year-earlier level. That follows … [the] Commerce Department report showing that new-home sales jumped last month and last week’s report that existing-home sales firmed in August.,” but later adds, "Combined new- and existing-home sales have gotten back only to where they were in the beginning of last year. And they are about level with where they were in 2000, when the U.S. population was significantly lower than it is now.” [The Wall Street Journal, [09/26/19]