The rate of unemployment in the United States has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, and CBO projects that it will remain above 8 percent until 2014.
In analysis of a number of tax and spending policies designed to increase output and employment in 2012 and 2013, CBO found the largest increases in employment per dollar of budgetary cost would be produced by:
Lawmakers could aim to reduce unemployment by:
Such policies could be implemented using mechanisms ranging from federal block grants to direct federal operation. But they would probably not have a significant effect on unemployment over the next two years because of the difficulties of scaling them up in that span of time. Nonetheless, by reducing the extent of unemployment and long-term unemployment in the future, they might have longer-term benefits.
Correction: On October 2, 2014, CBO reposted this report with a correction to Table 1--transposing the values in the rows on marital status.