The Social Security Trustees' report released today finds the projected shortfall in the financing of Social Security over the 75-year planning period is 2.67 percent of taxable earnings, compared with 2.22 percent in last year's report. By far the largest factor in this change is the Trustees' assumptions regarding the current and future economy, which accounted for nearly half of the total change. In particular, the Trustees revised down their projections of average hours worked. Last year, the intermediate assumption was that average hours would not change over time, while this year they are assumed to fall 0.05 percent per year. Over the 75-year planning period, this implies an eventual fall in hours by about 4 percent. As a result, growth in average annual earnings was similarly revised downward.
For a more in-depth analysis, read our Social Security Byte.