Fiscal Intelligence

Fiscal analysis that enables educators, small business owners, and community organizers to make informed decisions.

Smart Snacks in School

Announced June 27th, this interim final rule is an important component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Initiative. The standards hope to change some staggering statistics: nearly one third of America’s children are at risk for preventable diseases like diabetes and heart disease due to being overweight or obese.



The growth in high- and low-skill jobs, coupled with little growth in the middle-skill groups, has changed the composition of the workforce. The leftmost bars in Chart 3 show the share of U.S. workers in each skill category in 1980 and 2010. While both high-skill and low-skill job shares increased, the lower-middle skill group’s job share shrank. In 1980, nearly half of all workers were employed in lower-middle-skill occupations. Among the occupations in this group, machine operators accounted for 10 percent of the U.S. workforce and administrative support workers accounted for 18 percent.

Cyclical v. Structural Changes (A Jobless Recovery)

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”; title=”Cyclical v. Structural Changes (A Jobless Recovery)” target=”_blank”>Cyclical v. Structural Changes (A Jobless Recovery)</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”; target=”_blank”>Luis Taveras MBA, MS</a></strong> </div>


Cyclical Changes

In a temporary layoff, an employer “suspends” an employee’s job, generally because of slack demand. Both the employer and the employee expect their relationship to resume when economic conditions improve. The employer may even help the employee apply for unemployment insurance benefits so that he or she is more likely to wait out the layoff instead of taking another jobWhen layoffs are temporary, subsequent recalls can take place quickly, fueling fast payroll growth.

Structural Changes

By contrast, a permanent layoff severs the relationship between the employer and the employee. The employer eliminates the job for any of a variety of reasons, including a permanent fall in demand, technological change, reorganization of production, and local or international outsourcing. Even an employer that ultimately decides to fill the job again will need to search for a new employee.

Together with our findings on temporary layoffs, it suggests that the two most recent recessions were more strongly structural than recessions past.