Economic Trends

By any measure, the U.S. economy is massive. Like the sea, our economy is swept by cross currents and changed by forces beyond its control. Yet, its sheer size means that those forces - increased productivity, rising unemployment, dropping interest rates, global competition -- may only be felt months and often years after they are first sighted. Economic Trends tries to track those forces so IAM members can prepare their families for what lies just over the horizon ...


Links to Information on Economic Trends and Issues Affecting IAM Members Everyday


From the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor and Statistics 

Economic Facts and Figures: Monthly stats on employment, earnings, trade, prices and more. (DOL, BLS)


From The AFL-CIO

Union Membership

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Statement on Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 Union Membership Numbers (1/2013)


Executive Paywatch

AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch: Check out what the Top 1 Percent is making and how you compare.


The Economy

Tell Us What You Think: What’s Wrong With the U.S. Economy? The Real Scoop: Info-graphic on Economy: Part 1 - “Short answer” to the question of what’s wrong with our economy(AFL-CIO, 9/24/12)

Tell Us What You Think: What’s Wrong With the U.S. Economy? The Long Answer.: Info-graphic on Economy: Part 2 - “Longer answer” to the question of what’s wrong with our economy (AFL-CIO, 9/25/12)

Tell Us What You Think: What Was Wrong With the U.S. Economy Before the Crash of 2008?: Info-graphic on Economy: Part 3 - Why the U.S. economy was so weak before 2008 due to the failure of the low-wage economy strategy (AFL-CIO, 9/26/12)

Tell Us What You Think: How Do We Fix What’s Wrong with the U.S. Economy?: Info-graphic on Economy: Part 4 - Agenda to fix what’s wrong with our economy with a high-wage strategy for shared prosperity (AFL-CIO, 9/27/12)



Evaluating China-U.S. Trade Relations over the Past Decade: Testimony by AFL-CIO Deputy Chief of Staff Thea Lee. (6/2010)


From The Center for American Progress

A nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all.

The State of Working America: An ongoing analysis published since 1988 by the Economic Policy Institute. Includes a wide variety of data on family incomes, wages, jobs, unemployment, wealth, and poverty that allow for a clear, unbiased understanding of the economy's effect on the living standards of working Americans.

Unions Make Democracy Work for the Middle Class: A special report from the Center for American Progress Action Funds American Worker Project: How organized labor helps ordinary citizens participate more and have a greater say. (1/2012)


From the Center for Economic and Policy Research

Making Jobs Good: This report by John Schmitt and Janelle Jones, evaluates the likely impact of several policies that seek to address job quality, including universal health insurance, a universal retirement system (over and above Social Security), a large increase in college attainment, a large increase in unionization, and gender pay equity. (CEPR, 4/2013)

The Chained CPI: A Painful Cut in Social Security Benefits and a Stealth Tax Hike: A report by Alan Barber and Nicole Woo (CEPR, 12/2012)

Protecting Fundemental Labor Rights: Lessons from Canada for the United States: A report by Kris Warner. (CEPR, 8/2012)

Where Have Good Jobs Gone?: A study that links the decline in "good jobs" with deterioration of worker bargaining power. (8/2012)


From The Economic Policy Institute

Economic Indicators: Timely analysis of economic trends affecting IAM members.

The Economic Policy Institute Blog: Working Economics-EPI's experts opine daily on a wide range of current economic issues.

The Economic Policy Institute News: EPI News updated Daily. Last weeks topic-Decline of collective bargaining worsens wage and benefit standards for all workers.

A Decade of Flat Wages: The Key Barrier to Shared Prosperity and a Rising Middle Class: Article by Lawrence Mishel and Heidi Shierholz (EPI, 8/21/13)

CEO Pay in 2012 Was Extraordinarily High Relative to Typical Workers and Other High Earners (EPI, 6/2013)

The Unfinished March: A special report from the Economic Policy Institute that coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and examines where we are as a country in accomplishing the goals of the March in 1963 -- good jobs and a living wage. (EPI, 6/2013)


From The Joint Economic Committee of The United States Congress

The Economic Costs of Debt-Ceiling Brinkmanship Report by the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress (9/2013)


From The United States Census Bureau

My Congresssional District Search Tool: Gives you quick and easy access to selected statistics collected by the U.S. Census Bureau through the American Community Survey which provides updated detailed demographic, social and economic statistics every year for the nation’s communities.

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance in the United States, 2012: Webinar (US Census, 9/2013)

Click Here for the Full Current Population Reports: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance in the United States, 2012 (US Census, 9/2013)


 From The United States Department of the Treasury

The Potential Macroeconomic Effect of Debt Ceiling Brinkmanship (US Dept. of Treasury, 10/2013)



Additional Publications with Reports, Articles and Helpful Information by Topic


Economics: Jobs, Wages & Taxes

The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) Quarterly Economic ForecastThis Quarter's headline - "Moderate Growth From A Deep Recession" (12/2013)

Good News on The Labor Market Front! Unemployment to Steadily Drop Over Next Six Months: "Unemployment should decline by more than 0.1 percent per month over the next six months and to fall below 6.5 percent—the Fed's unemployment threshold—by February 2014." A Brookings Blog Post by Regis Barnichon that discusses a monthly update of the Barnichon-Nekarda model. (Barnichon and Nekarda developed a model to forecast unemployment based on labor force flows—the number of workers moving into and out of unemployment each month.) (Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 11/2013)

Where Poor and Uninsured Americans Live: "The 26 Republican-dominated states not participating in an expansion of Medicaid are home to a disproportionate share of the nation’s poorest uninsured residents. Eight million will be stranded without insurance" (The New York Times 10/2013)

Prosperity Economics: Building an Economy for All: A report in which the authors, Jacob S. Hacker (Director of ISPS) and Nate Loewentheil (Yale), lay out an alternative to austerity economics, one based on our history, the successful experiences of other nations, and recent currents of research and theory in economics and allied fields called. They call this model "prosperity economics." (8/2012)

Closing the Jobs Gap: Each month, The Hamilton Project examines the “jobs gap,” which is the number of jobs that the U.S. economy needs to create in order to return to pre-recession employment levels while also absorbing the people who enter the labor force each month.

Economix Blog: Explaining the Science of Everyday Life (The New York Times)

WONKBLOG (The Washington Post)

U.S. Companies Thrive as Workers Fall Behind: Article on U.S. Companies and their workforce (The New York Times, 8/9/2013)

Off the Charts: Higher Profits, Lower Wages: Revised calculations by the government indicate that corporate profits were higher than previously estimated in 2012, while employee wages were lower. Effective tax rates on both companies and individuals were also revised downward. (The New York Times, 8/9/2013)

U.S. Adds 162,000 Jobs as Growth Remains Sluggish: Article on Jobs and the U.S. Economy (The New York Times, 8/2/2013)

The Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI) Quarterly Economic Forecast: This Quarter's headline - "Sluggish Pace, Volatility, Optimism" (6/2013)

Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007: A report from the Congressional Budget Office. (10/2011)

Critics Still Wrong on What's Driving Deficits in Coming Years: A special report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (6/2010)

Boeing's Cash Cow (A Corporate Strategy's Impact on Middle-Class America): A report from the Institute for Wisconsin's Future. (4/2010)


Health Care

Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us: A special report by Time Magazine's Steven Brill (2/2013)


Right to Work (for less) 

Right to Work: A Failed Policy (2/2012)

What 'Right-to-Work' Means for Indiana's Workers - A Pay Cut: An article that looks at what happens in states with this anti-worker legislation. (1/2012)

Working Hard to Make Indiana Look Bad: The Tortured, Uphill Case for 'Right-to-Work': A report that looks at the lies in a study used to support this anti-worker legislation. (1/2011)


Additonal Topics

Paul Ryan - Facts You Need To Know!:Ten facts about Ryan's budget, voting record and plan for the middle class. (8/2012)