Table V.B2: Additional Economic Assumptions
Well I am back and working on a new project in anticipation of the release of the 2015 Report this late Spring. The project involves extracting the Tables and Figures from the Social Security Trustees Report, in this case the 2014, and having them individually web accessible as spreadsheeets or images or both. This first attempt is to present the Table that has projections for Unemployment going forward both over the short run and in ultimate terms. Since this is mostly a test of concept I will just let people see if they can actually access the data. I would point out however that under the Intermediate Cost Alternative (i.e. standard and supposedly median projection) Unemployment for 2014 was projected at 6.9% and then staying above 6% until 2017 after which it would settle quickly to 5.6% in 2020 and ultimate 5.5% by 2025. When we turn to the more optimistic Low Cost Alternative (which in toto would have Social Security self-fund under current formulae) we see that even there 2014 UI was set to be 6.7% in 2014 and 6.1% in 2015 before settling fairly quickly to ultimate 4.5%.
Now what does it mean that actual UE in 2014 came in under both Intermediate and Low Cost and projects to do the same in 2015? Well hard to say, in order to make some judgement you would have to look at all the economic and demographic variables in Tables V.A1-A4 and V.B1-B2 over the ten year window while keeping an eye on ultimate numbers and then examine the various Sensitivity tables for each of those variables. And what would help with that is someone compiling all those Tables and Figures into individual files as opposed to just linking to a ginormous HTML or PDF of the whole Report. Of which this is a sample. Comments on either the project or the unemployment numbers welcome in Comments.