Employment and Labor Markets

The level of employment has a direct effect on people's well-being and the government's finances. When employment is higher, incomes and federal revenues are higher, while federal outlays for income support programs are lower. CBO analyzes the causes and consequences of unemployment, the effects of the unemployment insurance program, the impact of various policy proposals that might affect employment, and other issues concerning labor markets such as people's participation in the labor force.

  • Report February 18, 2014

    Raising the minimum wage would increase family income for many low-wage workers, moving some of them out of poverty. But some jobs for low-wage workers would probably be eliminated and the income of those workers would fall substantially.

  • Report February 4, 2014

    Since the recession ended in June 2009, employment has risen sluggishly and the unemployment rate has fallen only partway back to its prerecession level. This CBO report discusses the reasons for the slow recovery of the labor market.

  • Report November 28, 2012

    Between 2007 and 2010, unemployment benefits expanded nearly five-fold owing to high unemployment due to the weak economy, and decisions by policymakers to increase the number of weeks for which unemployed workers could receive benefits.

  • Report March 12, 2012

    Small firms both create and eliminate jobs at higher rates than large firms do. Although small firms account for a disproportionate share of net job growth, that greater growth is driven primarily by new small firms.

  • Report February 16, 2012

    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.