Council of Economic Advisers Blog
- Posted byon March 15, 2013 at 9:00 AM EDT
This year's Economic Report of the President describes the progress we have made recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. As a nation, we now buy more American cars than we have in 5 years, and less foreign oil than we have in 20 years. Our housing market is healing, and homeowners and consumers enjoy stronger protections than ever before. But there are still millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs, but too many of our fellow citizens still can't find fulltime employment. Corporate profits have reached all-time highs, but for more than a decade, wages and incomes for working Americans have barely budged. As President Obama has said, "A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs–that must be the North Star that guides our efforts."
Although economics has long been called "the dismal science," it is more appropriately viewed as a "hopeful science." The right mix of economic policies and leadership can help a country to recover from a deep recession and point to the investments and reforms that will build a stronger, more stable, and more prosperous economy that works for the middle class. Conversely, government dysfunction or misguided fiscal policy can cause self-inflicted wounds to the economy. This year's Economic Report of the President highlights the progress that has been made in recovering from the deepest recession since the Great Depression, together with the policies that the Obama Administration is advancing to address the fundamental imbalances and threats that have built up for decades and that have created severe stress on the middle class and those striving to get into the middle class.
- Posted byon March 8, 2013 at 10:31 AM EDT
While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides evidence that the recovery that began in mid-2009 is gaining traction. Today’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that private sector businesses added 246,000 jobs in February. Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 236,000 jobs last month. The economy has now added private sector jobs every month for three straight years, and a total of 6.35 million jobs have been added over that period.
The household survey showed that the unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent in January to 7.7 percent in February, the lowest since December 2008. The labor force participation rate edged down 0.1 percentage point to 63.5 percent in February.
It is important to bear in mind that the reference period for today’s surveys was the week of February 10-16 for the household survey and the pay period containing February 12th for the establishment survey, both of which were before sequestration began. The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable Federal budget in a responsible way that balances tax loophole closing, entitlement reform, and sensible spending cuts, while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protecting our most vulnerable citizens.
Chairman Alan Krueger Discusses “The Economic Case for a Balanced Approach to Fiscal Policy” at the 2013 NABE Economic Policy ConferencePosted byon March 5, 2013 at 12:45 PM EDT
At 11:45 am ET on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, President Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Alan B. Krueger, delivered remarks on “The Case for a Balanced Approach to Fiscal Policy” at the 2013 NABE Economic Policy Conference in Washington, DC.
In his prepared remarks, Chairman Krueger said: "… a balanced approach to deficit reduction is good economic policy, justified by considerations of both efficiency and fairness. Deficit reduction that balances spending cuts, entitlement reform and loophole closing is also in the interest of the macroeconomy and economic growth. Economists should reject the position that says no revenues can be raised from closing unjustified tax loopholes in order to finish the job of stabilizing our finances and strengthening our economy.”
- Posted byon February 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM EDT
Today, Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, answered questions from the public about President Obama's State of the Union Address in an “Open for Questions” session moderated by Yahoo! Finance. Check it out below.
- Posted byon February 1, 2013 at 10:30 AM EDT
While more work remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we pursue the policies needed to build an economy that works for the middle class as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.
Today’s report is a reminder of the importance of the need for Congress to act to avoid self-inflicted wounds to the economy. The Administration continues to urge Congress to move toward a sustainable Federal budget in a responsible way that balances revenue and spending, and replaces the sequester, while making critical investments in the economy that promote growth and job creation and protect our most vulnerable citizens.
With today’s release, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has finalized its benchmark adjustment, and the latest data show that the economy has now added private sector jobs for 35 straight months, and a total of 6.1 million jobs have been added over that period. In 2012, private businesses added 2.2 million payroll jobs. The first report of private sector job growth for January is that businesses added 166,000 jobs. Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 157,000 jobs last month. The average first report of monthly job growth in 2012 was 142,000, that is now revised to 181,000 jobs per month.
- Posted byon January 30, 2013 at 10:30 AM EDT
According to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis today, real GDP edged down 0.1 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2012, amid signs that Hurricane Sandy disrupted economic activity and Federal defense spending declined precipitously, likely due to uncertainty stemming from the sequester. This was the first quarterly drop in real GDP in three-and-a-half years (see first chart below). Over the last fourteen quarters, the economy has expanded by 7.5 percent overall, and the private components of GDP have grown by 10.9 percent. During the four quarters of 2012, real GDP grew by 1.5 percent, the third consecutive year of economic expansion. Over this period, real GDP growth has been led by an expansion in the private sector (see second chart below).
Several private sector components of GDP continued to make positive contributions to growth in the fourth quarter. Personal consumption expenditures, the single largest component of GDP, increased by 2.2 percent at an annual rate in 2012:Q4, as compared with 1.6 percent in the previous quarter. Residential investment grew by 15.3 percent last quarter and has increased for seven consecutive quarters, the longest streak since 2004-2005. Business investment in equipment and software grew at its fastest pace in more than a year, rising 12.4 percent.
Federal defense purchases declined at an annual rate of 22.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, the largest quarterly decline in 40 years. A likely explanation for the sharp decline in Federal defense spending is uncertainty concerning the automatic spending cuts that were scheduled to take effect in January, and are currently scheduled to take effect on March 1st. The decline in government spending across all levels reduced real GDP by 1.33 percentage points in the quarter.
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