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Economic Roundup

Data That Drives Policy

Meaningful discussion of public policy issues requires accurate and reliable information. In a time of fake news and disinformation, we deliver trustworthy, timely, and transparent data so that you are armed with key facts and analysis about the economy and our nation.

How are average Americans faring in the current economy? Recent data show that average real disposable income for households has increased nearly $7,000 since December 2016. American families have more money left over after taxes to spend, save, and invest. The benefits to working Americans are also apparent from rising wages. Average hourly earnings rose 2.9 percent in December and wage growth has been at or above 3 percent for 16 straight months. These gains have disproportionately benefited low-skilled workers who need it the most. With a growing economy and a strong labor market, 1.4 million fewer people are in poverty than in 2017 and income inequality is falling.

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What have been the true effects of the 2017 Tax Cut? Beyond reducing income tax burdens and boosting disposable household incomes, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (TCJA) lowered the cost for businesses to purchase new capital. This has led to increased nonresidential capital investments that have boosted GDP growth. The 2017 tax cuts also reversed the trend of declining labor force participation. More people are now working across all age groups and the increased worker participation is large. This is especially true for black men and Hispanic women, who have experienced the largest gains.

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