It’s been well documented that low-skilled workers were more likely to lose their jobs during the recession than those with higher levels of education. The current unemployment rate is 14.0% for workers without a high school degree, 9.7% for those with only a high school degree, and 4.2% for those with a college degree. A new analysis by the Urban Institute identifies the states where low-skilled workers (those with less than a high school degree) were hit hardest by the recession in comparison to other groups: Tennessee, Virginia, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Arizona.
After the stock and housing markets bottomed out three years ago, many older Americans saw their nest eggs disappear and had to delay their plans to retire. Or at least that’s the story that news outlets have been reporting for a while. New data show, however, that a larger share (17%) of individuals over age 62 retired between 2008 and 2010 than during any other two year period in the past decade.
Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on those making over $1 million unleashed heated discussion over what the effect of such an increase might be. Will it reduce wealth inequality and close our deficit, or will it hurt the economy by stifling entrepreneurship and job creation? A similar debate took place earlier this year in Britain and resulted in a temporary increase in the tax rate for the top 1% of earners, from 40% to 50%. While it’s too soon for any definitive research on the impact of the change, twenty prominent British economists recently sent a letter to the Financial Times arguing that for its repeal. Does this mean Obama’s approach is misguided as well? Continue reading