Archive for the 'Human Capital, Labor & Wealth' Category

Changes in Hourly Earnings by State

The Economics Daily (from the Bureau of Labor Statistics) reports on the percent changes in average hourly earning by state, May 2014 to May 2015 using data from the Current Employment Statistics (State and Metro Areas).

Housing Costs for American Renters

Jonnelle Marte of Wonkblog examines the costs of renting.

For many households, the monthly rent check is so big that it eats up the majority of their paycheck — and the burden is growing. Some 20.7 million rental households — or about half of all renters– spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing in 2013, according to a report from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies. About 11 million of those households spent more than half of their paycheck on rent and utilities, up 37 percent from 2003, the study found. (Financial advisers typically recommend that people spend less than a third of their pay on housing costs.)

Click here for an interactive map.

Global Middle Class

The Pew Research Center released a report on the promise and reality of a global middle class.

In 2011, a majority of the world’s population (56%) continued to live a low-income existence, compared with just 13% that could be considered middle income by a global standard, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of the most recently available data.

And though there was growth in the middle-income population from 2001 to 2011, the rise in prosperity was concentrated in certain regions of the globe, namely China, South America and Eastern Europe. The middle class barely expanded in India and Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central America.

See also:

Educational data vulnerable to ‘privacy’ legislation

When Guarding Student Data Endangers Valuable Research
Susan Dynarski | New York Times (Upshot Blog)
June 13, 2015

University of Michigan Public Policy professor, Susan Dynarski, warns researchers of pending legislation that would curtail sharing of educational data with researchers:

In response to such concerns, some pending legislation would scale back the authority of schools, districts and states to share student data with third parties, including researchers. Perhaps the most stringent of these proposals, sponsored by Senator David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican, would effectively end the analysis of student data by outside social scientists. This legislation would have banned recent prominent research documenting the benefits of smaller classes, the value of excellent teachers and the varied performance of charter schools.

Below is a summary of Vitter’s proposed legislation from his office:

Vitter Introduces Student Privacy Protection Act
David Vitter, R(LA) | From David’s Desk
May 14, 2015

Federal Reserve’s New Survey of Households

The Federal Reserve released the 2014 Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking on May 27, 2015.

From the press release:

The Federal Reserve Board’s latest survey of the financial and economic conditions of American households released Wednesday finds that individuals’ overall perceptions of financial well-being improved modestly between 2013 and 2014 but their optimism about future financial prospects increased significantly.

Download full report (PDF)

The In-State Tuition Break Is in Decline

The New York Times Upshot examines the rise of college tuition and fees and the restriction of in-state tuition breaks and what it means for the affordability of higher education.

Part of this story is familiar to anyone who has watched public universities raise tuition and fees, in some cases by 50 percent or more. But there’s another, less obvious, part of the story. Many of the most elite public universities are steadily restricting the number of students who are allowed to pay in-state tuition in the first place.

A result is the creeping privatization of elite public universities that have historically provided an accessible route to jobs in academia, business and government. One of the most important paths to upward mobility, open on a meritocratic basis to people from all economic classes, is narrowing.

See also: Readers’ Turn: The ‘Rat Race’ of College Competition.

9 Charts about Wealth Inequality

The Urban Institute has produced 9 interactive charts describing wealth inequality over the last 50 years:

Why hasn’t wealth inequality improved over the past 50 years? And why, in particular, has the racial wealth gap not closed? These nine charts illustrate how income inequality, earnings gaps, homeownership rates, retirement savings, student loan debt, and lopsided asset-building subsidies have contributed to these growing wealth disparities.

Gender Gap in the U.S. Black Population

According to Justin Wolfers, David Leonhardt and Kevin Quealy of The Upshot, there are roughly 1.5 million black men missing from the 25 to 54 age group due to incarceration and early death. “For every 100 black women in this age group living outside of jail, there are only 83 black men. Among whites, the equivalent number is 99, nearly parity.”

Read the full story and here is the methodology.

Wal-Mart’s Urban Spread

In 2010, 0% of the residents of Washington, DC lived within 2 miles of a Wal-Mart. 5 years later, 41% of residents do. NPR compiled data on the locations of Wal-Marts in Washington, DC, Chicago, and Atlanta and explores what this expansion means for urban neighborhoods. Today’s story focuses on what it means for the workers

Job Loss for Workers Over 50

Lydia DePillis from Wonkblog examines data from a new AARP survey, as well as data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Department of Labor, and finds a harsh reality for workers over 50 who lose their jobs.