Budget Matters Blog

Will Unemployment Be Extended into 2014?

Emergency unemployment benefits expired at the end of December and cut off jobless aid to 1.3 million out-of-work Americans. Whether benefits will be extended is now the top debate in Washington.

War on Poverty: 50 Years Later

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, which renewed a commitment to federal funding for programs to help struggling Americans. Here's a list of resources that illustrate how these federal programs are faring 50 years later.

Latest Federal Priorities Data: Unemployment, Labor Force, Medicare, Medicaid

We have another round of updates to NPP's Federal Priorities Database. Get the latest information on Medicaid participation, Medidcare enrollment, unemployment, and labor force participation.

The Budget Deal and What it Left Behind

Congress leaves some unfinished budget business as it heads out for the holidays.

Food Stamp Cuts in the Time of Thanksgiving

The food stamps program (SNAP) continues to grow, even as the employment picture improves. Time for more SNAP cuts?

A Fight for the Future

National Priorities Project and Young Invincibles announce the release of A Fight for the Future: Education, Job Training, and the Fiscal Showdown, a major report that looks at federal budget priorities through the lens of this nation's future: young people.

Data Story: Rising Medicaid Enrollment

Unemployment rose sharply following the start of the Great Recession in 2007. At the same time, enrollment in Medicaid increased as Americans who were hard-hit in the economic downturn qualified for the health insurance program for low-income Americans. Medicaid enrollment rose from 16.6 percent of the under-65 population in 2007 to 20.6 percent in 2010.

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.

Data Story: Unemployment and Underemployment

To accompany this week’s look at employment numbers, we’ve updated last year’s unemployment and underemployment story from NPP’s Federal Priorities Database. The chart below compares unemployment rates to underemployment rates. Underemployment is a number that not only counts the unemployed but also counts people no longer looking for work and ...

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 ...