Policy Points

11.01.2010 Policy Points Comments Off on Around the Dial – Jan. 11

Around the Dial – Jan. 11

Economic policy reports, blog postings, and media stories of interest:

11.01.2010 Policy Points Comments Off on Regaining Retirement Wealth

Regaining Retirement Wealth

One consequence of the current recession has been a significant loss of retirement wealth for the subset of Americans holding equities in IRAs, 401(k)s, and other tax-advantaged retirement savings accounts. A new analysis posted at TaxVox estimates how long it would take for portfolios to recover under various growth scenarios. The answers are not encouraging.

The post also highlights a frequently overlooked aspect of retirement saving: the class dimension. Severe stock market losses tend to inflict a higher price on older and wealthier households. Notes the blog:

Keep in mind that there will be big differences in how the crash affects individuals’ retirement prospects, depending on their age and income. Older people are likely to lose more because they had more invested before the crash and have less time to recover their losses before they retire. But younger people may benefit because they’ll have the chance to buy stocks at bargain prices. Because the wealthy are likely to own more stocks, they’ll lose more if the market does not bounce back, but gain more if it recovers. In contrast, low and middle-income individuals own few stocks and rely mostly on Social Security for their retirement. They are little affected by the market crash and most can recover their losses by working for an additional year.

11.01.2010 Policy Points Comments Off on New Workforce Policy Resource

New Workforce Policy Resource

Over the weekend, the National Skills Coalition, a national nonprofit organization focused on the competitiveness of the American workforce, launched a new Web site rich in data and information about state and federal workforce policies.  This information is valuable to anyone seeking to understand the jobs bills pending in congress, recent changes in federal programs like Trade Adjustment Assistance, and the pending re-authorization of programs like the Workforce Investment Act,

08.01.2010 Policy Points Comments Off on Weekend Wonk Out

Weekend Wonk Out

A round-up of policy reports from the week ending on 1/8:

08.01.2010 Policy Points Comments Off on National Employment Situation: Dec.

National Employment Situation: Dec.

New national employment data for December show that the economy shed 85,000 more positions than it created. Since the recession’s onset in December 2007, over 7 million positions have been eliminated with net job losses occurring in 22 of the last 23 months. Over the past two years, the unemployment rate has risen to 10 percent, and the number of unemployed persons nearly has doubled.

In December, the nation’s employers eliminated 85,000 more payroll positions than they added. Although the November payroll data were revised upward (to +4,000 positions from -11,000), downward revisions to the October data more than offset the gains. Additional downward revisions are expected when annual data adjustments are released in February.

Additionally in December,  15.3 million Americans – 10 percent of the labor force –  were jobless and actively seeking work. Proportionally more adult male workers were unemployed than female ones (10.2 percent vs. 8.2 percent). Similarly, unemployment rates were higher among Black (16.2 percent) and Hispanic workers (12.9 percent) than among White ones (9 percent).

Click here to read South by North Strategies’ analysis of the December employment report.