Women’s Earnings Lower in Most Occupations

Source: Amy Newcomb, U.S. Census Bureau, May 2018

Women continue to earn less than men in nearly all occupations, but this is more pronounced in fields that predominantly employ men and in professions with a comparable mix of men and women. The largest pay gap is within the finance and sales professions.

Overall, women are also more likely to be employed in lower-paying jobs.

Women's Earnings By Occupation

The data highlighted above comes from a recently released detailed table from the American Community Survey. It looks at the gender pay gap for more than 300 occupations. ….

School Spending Per Pupil Increased by 3.2 Percent, U.S. Census Bureau Reports

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Press Release, Release Number: CB18-TPS.28, May 21, 2018

The amount spent per pupil for public elementary-secondary education for all 50 states and the District of Columbia increased by 3.2 percent to $11,762 during the 2016 fiscal year, according to new tables released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The increase in spending in 2016 was due in part to the increase in revenue across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In 2016, public elementary-secondary education revenue, from all sources, amounted to $670.9 billion, up 4.6 percent from the prior year. This is the largest increase since 2007.

Other highlights include:
Of the 50 states, New York ($22,366), the District of Columbia ($19,159), Connecticut ($18,958), New Jersey ($18,402) and Vermont ($17,873) spent the most per pupil in 2016. California (9.8 percent), Washington (7.4 percent), Hawaii (7.0 percent), Utah (5.8 percent) and New York (5.5 percent) saw the largest percentage increases in current spending per pupil from 2015 to 2016. To see the top 10 school districts by current spending per pupil, see the graphic Top 10 Largest School Districts by Per Pupil Current Spending.

Within public school systems, Mississippi (14.6 percent), Arizona (13.8 percent), South Dakota (13.5 percent), New Mexico (13.5 percent) and Montana (12.4 percent) received the highest percentage of their revenues from the federal government, while public school systems in New Jersey (4.1 percent), Connecticut (4.2 percent), Massachusetts (4.4 percent), New York (5.1 percent) and Minnesota (5.3 percent) received the lowest.

For U.S. States, A More Positive Tone Emerges For Fiscal 2019 Budget Process; Can It Last?

Source: S&P Global Ratings, May 1, 2018
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With the economy settling into the mature phase of its nearly nine-year expansionary cycle, the approaching fiscal 2019 budget picture for U.S. states is more sanguine than it has been in several years. Not only are revenue collections in most states higher than at this point in 2017, tax receipts are also surpassing fiscal 2018 budget estimates.

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Credit Conditions: U.S. State And Local Government Are Experiencing An Upswing, But New Risks Could Threaten The Momentum
Source: S&P Global Ratings, April 26, 2018
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With economic growth accelerating, credit conditions across the U.S. state and local government sector continue to firm. The current expansion, which was already entering the mature phase of the cycle, received additional support in the form of federal fiscal stimulus (tax cuts and increased spending) in recent months.

Level U.S. State Debt Reflects Long-Term Management Strategies And Affordability Concerns
Source: S&P Global Ratings, May 14, 2018
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Despite elevated credit pressures in fiscal 2017, state debt levels for the most part stayed constant. Although we anticipate more positive credit conditions heading into fiscal 2019, we think it is unlikely that there will be a significant uptick in debt levels.

Between A Budget And A Hard Place: The Risks Of Deferring Maintenance For U.S. Infrastructure

Source: Anne Selting, S&P Global Ratings, May 15, 2018
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State and local governments are deferring maintenance on critical infrastructure assets they own and operate. Due to a lack of standardized reporting, it’s difficult to quantify the extent of the maintenance backlog, but it could be significant. ….

Assessing The Value Of 40 Years Of Local Public Expenditures On Health

Source: Jonathon P. Leider, Natalia Alfonso, Beth Resnick, Eoghan Brady, J. Mac McCullough, and David Bishai, Health Affairs, Vol. 37 no. 4, 2018
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The US public and private sectors now spend more than $3 trillion on health each year. While critical studies have examined the relationship between public spending on health and health outcomes, relatively little is known about the impact of broader public-sector spending on health. Using county-level public finance data for the period 1972–2012, we estimated the impact of local public hospital spending and nonhospital health spending on all-cause mortality in the county. Overall, a 10 percent increase in nonhospital health spending was associated with a 0.006 percent decrease in all-cause mortality one year after the initial spending. This effect was larger and significant in counties with greater proportions of racial/ethnic minorities. Our results indicate that county nonhospital health spending has health benefits that can help reduce costs and improve health outcomes in localities across the nation, though greater focus on population-oriented services may be warranted.

Affordable Care Act’s Cadillac Tax Could Affect One-Fourth Of Workers With Employer Health Coverage By 2025

Source: Mark J. Warshawsky and Michael Leahy, Health Affairs, Vol. 37 no. 4, April 2018
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From the abstract:
The excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans (known as the Cadillac tax) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is an important part of the law’s attempt to control rising health care costs. Analysts using different data sources have come to divergent estimates of how many people would be affected by this tax. We used the National Compensation Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is better suited to this analysis because of its law-relevant details on employer-provided health benefits. Our research clarifies an important area of empirical uncertainty, thereby informing the debate about the ACA and its proposed replacements. Our base estimate of impact, 12 percent of workers participating in employer-provided health plans in 2020, lies in the middle of other estimates, but it is considerably more comprehensive, accurate, and delineated by worker characteristics (region, number of employees at the firm, industry, occupation, and so on) than others. Workers affected at the highest rate include those in education occupations and high-income workers, while those in industries involving manual labor and public safety are affected at some of the lowest rates.

United Way ALICE Project

Source: United Way, 2018

The United Way ALICE Project provides a framework, language, and tools to measure and understand the struggles of the growing number of households in our communities that do not earn enough to afford basic necessities, a population called ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed).

Scroll down to view the percent of households in each state – and county – that lived below the ALICE Threshold in 2016. The ALICE Threshold is the bare-minimum economic survival level that is based on the local cost of living in each area.

Hover over the U.S. map below to view state data, click on any state to see a county-by-county analysis of financial instability, and scroll further to compare all states.

Social Security and Saving: An Update

Source: Sita Slavov, Devon Gorry, Aspen Gorry, Frank N. Caliendo, Public Finance Review, First Published May 2, 2018
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From the abstract:
Typical neoclassical life-cycle models predict that Social Security has a large and negative effect on private savings. We review this theoretical literature by constructing a model where individuals face uninsurable longevity risk and differ by wage earnings, while Social Security provides benefits as a life annuity with higher replacement rates for the poor. We use the model to generate numerical examples that confirm the standard result. Using several benefit and tax changes from the 1970s and 1980s as natural experiments, we investigate the empirical relationship between Social Security and private savings and find little evidence to support the predictions from the theoretical model. We explore possible reasons for the lack of strong empirical findings.