A record percentage of small business owners say they are raising pay for their workers, according to the latest monthly jobs report from the National Federation of Independent Business, based on a survey of 10,000 of the group’s members. A seasonally adjusted net 35 percent of small businesses say they are increasing compensation. “They are increasing compensation at record levels and are continuing to hire,” NFIB President and CEO Juanita Duggan said in a statement accompanying the report. “Post tax reform, concerns about taxes and regulations are taking a backseat to their worries over filling open positions and finding qualified candidates.”
A Monmouth University survey conducted earlier this month found that 34 percent of the public approves of the tax reform passed by Republicans late last year, while 41 percent disapprove. Approval has fallen by 6 points since late April and disapproval has slipped 3 points. The percentage of people who aren’t sure how they feel about the plan has risen from 16 percent in April to 24 percent this month.
Other findings from the poll of 806 U.S. adults:
- 19 percent approve of the job Congress is doing; 67 percent disapprove
- 40 percent say the country is heading in the right direction, up from 33 percent in April
- Democrats hold a 7-point edge in a generic House ballot
The U.S. Treasury has approved the final group of opportunity zones, which offer tax incentives for investments made in low-income areas. The zones were created by the tax law signed in December.
Bill Lucia of Route Fifty has some details: “Treasury says that nearly 35 million people live in the designated zones and that census tracts in the zones have an average poverty rate of about 32 percent based on figures from 2011 to 2015, compared to a rate of 17 percent for the average U.S. census tract.”
Click here to explore the dynamic map of the zones on the U.S. Treasury website.
Axios breaks down how monthly premiums on benchmark Affordable Care Act policies have risen state by state since 2014. The average increase: $481.
A new analysis by the Urban Institute finds that if the Affordable Care Act were eliminated entirely, the number of uninsured would rise by 17.1 million — or 50 percent — in 2019. The study also found that federal spending would be reduced by almost $147 billion next year if the ACA were fully repealed.