Council of Economic Advisers Blog

  • The Employment Situation in September

    With today’s report, America’s businesses extended the longest streak of private-sector job gains on record. The data underscore that six years after the Great Recession—thanks to the hard work of the American people and in part to the policies the President has pursued—our economy has bounced back more strongly than most others around the world. But even as we take stock of the progress that has been made, too many Americans do not yet feel enough of the benefits. Yesterday, the President set out his vision for steps that can lay a new foundation for stronger growth, rising wages, and expanded economic opportunity.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

    1. The private sector has added 10.3 million jobs over 55 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 248,000 in September, mainly reflecting a 236,000 increase in private employment. Private-sector job growth was revised up for July and August, so that over the past twelve months, private employment has risen by 2.6 million. So far this year, private employment has risen by nearly 2 million, on pace for the strongest year of private-sector job growth since 1998. 

  • Third Estimate of GDP for the Second Quarter of 2014

    Today’s revision confirms that economic growth in the second quarter was strong, and other recent data suggest that this momentum has continued into the subsequent months. While these indicators demonstrate that the economy has come a long way in recovering from the Great Recession, there is more work to do to both boost growth and ensure that growth translates into greater financial security for working families. The President will continue to do everything in his power to support investments in job creation and encourage higher incomes for workers.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

    1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 4.6 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter of 2014, the fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the third estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The strong second-quarter growth represents a rebound from a first-quarter decline in GDP that largely reflected transitory factors like unusually severe winter weather and a sharp slowdown in inventory investment. Growth in consumer spending and business investment picked up in the second quarter, and residential investment increased following two straight quarters of decline. Additionally, State and local government spending grew at the fastest quarterly rate in five years. However, net exports subtracted from overall GDP growth, as imports grew slightly faster than exports. Real gross domestic income (GDI), an alternative measure of the overall size of the economy, was up 5.2 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter. 

  • Chart of the Week: The Persistent Gender Pay Gap

    In a country founded on the principle of equality, an unfortunate fact remains: Women still do not receive the fair pay that they have earned. This gender pay gap not only flies in the face of our national values -- it undercuts our economic growth and hurts the financial security of families across the country.

    Looking back over the last 40 years, the wage gap narrowed from around 60% in the 1970s to above 70% in the 1990s, but progress stalled in the mid-2000s. For much of the last decade, women consistently earned 77% of what their male counterparts earned. But new data released this week shows that in 2013, the female-to-male earnings ratio climbed above 78% for the first time on record.

    Take a look at the gender pay gap over the years to the recent progress, and more importantly, just how far we have left to go to achieve equal pay:

  • Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance in the United States in 2013

    Today’s report from the Census Bureau shows that key indicators of poverty and family income improved in 2013. Moreover, there is reason to believe that this progress has continued into 2014, as the labor market has strengthened and millions have gained health insurance coverage. At the same time, the data also offer a clear illustration of the large amount of work that remains to strengthen the middle class in the wake of the worst recession since the Great Depression. To address this challenge, the President will continue to do everything in his power to ensure that hard work pays off with decent wages and financial security. And he will also continue to push Congress to take constructive steps that invest in job creation, boost wages, and ensure equal pay for equal work.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE CENSUS BUREAU

    1. The overall poverty rate declined to 14.5 percent in 2013 due to the largest one-year drop in child poverty since 1966. The poverty rate for people under age 18 fell by 1.9 percentage point from 2012 to 2013, equivalent to 1.4 million young people lifted out of poverty. Poverty rates for other age groups (18-64 and 65+) were little changed. The official poverty rate for 2013 remains above its pre-recession rate. This official poverty rate does not reflect the full effect of anti-poverty policies because it excludes the direct effect of key measures like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Notably, the EITC was expanded in 2009, and those expansions were subsequently extended. Accounting for such policies would reduce the number of people counted as being in poverty by millions. 

  • The Employment Situation in August

    With today’s report, the economy has now added 10 million private-sector jobs over 54 straight months of job growth. This figure is a marker of the progress that has been made, but also a reminder that more must still be done to create jobs, especially for the long-term unemployed, and grow the middle class. Although the pace of job gains in August was below recent months, the broader trends are moving in the right direction. To continue to support the progress our economy has made, the President will act wherever he can to create good jobs, facilitate investments in American infrastructure and manufacturing, and make sure that hard work pays off with higher wages.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS

    1. The private sector has added 10 million jobs over 54 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 142,000 in August, mainly reflecting a 134,000 increase in private employment. Private-sector job growth was revised up for July and down for June for little total revisions. Over the past twelve months, private employment has risen by a total of 2.4 million.

  • Second Estimate of GDP for the Second Quarter of 2014

    Today’s revision affirms that economic growth in the second quarter was strong, consistent with the recent string of solid job growth and improvements in other economic indicators. But there's more work that needs to be done to build on this momentum. That is why the President continues to act on his own to facilitate investment in American manufacturing, energy, and infrastructure, as well as take steps to improve the financial security of working families.

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY'S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

    1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 4.2 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter of 2014, according to the second estimate from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The strong second-quarter growth represents a rebound from a first-quarter decline in GDP that largely reflected transitory factors like unusually severe winter weather and a sharp slowdown in inventory investment. Growth in consumer spending and business investment picked up in the second quarter, and residential investment increased following two straight quarters of decline. Additionally, state and local government spending grew at the fastest quarterly rate in five years. However, net exports subtracted from overall GDP growth, as imports grew faster than exports. Real gross domestic income (GDI), an alternative measure of the overall size of the economy, was up 4.7 percent in Q2.