Employment report

As the job market loses steam, and Congress dithers over a new bailout package, Americans are having a harder time paying their bills. First the job market. Employers added 245,000 jobs in November, the least since the recovery from the March–April crash. As the graph below shows, that recovery has been losing momentum since June, when employment rose by 4.8 million. What looks to be happening is that the easy recalls after the initial shutdown have happened, and with the giant stimulus of the CARES Act receding, there’s not much fuel for… Read More

The boom in Food Stamps

One area where the languishing U.S. economy is breaking records these days is in need. One measure: more than one in seven Americans is now on Food Stamps, an all-time record. Here’s a graph of the share of the U.S. population drawing benefits from what used to be called the Food Stamp program, and is now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which is no doubt some bureaucrat’s idea of catchy. As of September, the latest month available (data here), over 46 million people, or almost 22 million households, were… Read More