Budget Matters Blog

Category: Social Insurance, Earned Benefits, & Safety Net

You Ask, We Answer: Is the Private Sector Fine?

William from Denver, Colorado, asks: “Is there a way to show whether or not the private sector is actually ‘doing fine?’ In TV commercials I see that Mitt Romney is criticizing President Obama for saying that.” Great minds can disagree about what constitutes “fine,” so let’s look at a firm measure of private sector health – the most recent jobs report. It didn’t contain a lot of good news, though there was perhaps one bright spot.

Understanding Unemployment

Last week’s jobs report for May by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that unemployment grew for the first time in three months, albeit very slowly, up one-tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 percent. Good news or bad news? The news coverage has focused on the “bad,” but the ...

Updated Data: SNAP (Food Stamps)

SNAP participation and monthly benefits data are now current through fiscal year 2011.

Updated Data: TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families)

TANF individual and family participation numbers are now current through fiscal year 2011.

Updated Data: School Meals

School breakfast, school lunch, and summer lunch participation numbers are now current through fiscal year 2011.

Updated Data: Labor Force, Employment, and Unemployment

Labor Force Participation, Employment, and Unemployment data are now current through 2011.

Improved and Updated: Median Household Income

We've updated the following dataset, which is now current through 2010, the latest available information: Median Household Income As with our poverty data, we've changed the data source from the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey to the American Community Survey, which is more accurate at the state level.

Updated Data: WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children)

WIC participation and benefits are now current through 2011.

Primary Stakes: Tale of Two Super Tuesday States

The presidential election is about voters’ vision for how the federal government should serve the American people. National Priorities Project’s Primary Stakes series examines how residents of primary states currently rely on assistance from the federal government, and two Super Tuesday states illustrate that support from the federal government—and taxes ...

Priority Number One: Job Creation

Likely voters said their top priority for President Obama’s 2013 budget was job creation, according to a poll conducted last month by The Hill. The president released his fiscal 2013 budget on Feb. 13, and it includes around $350 billion for job creation, including money for jobs in the short-term, ...