On Tuesday, November 1, the Economic Policy Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary of working for America’s workers. At the dinner, EPI presented awards to former Secretary of Labor and EPI co-founder Ray Marshall, Wisconsin labor leaders Kim Hoffman and Mahlon Mitchell, and Nobel Memorial Prize Winner and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.
With over 400 guests, the event also welcomed numerous members of Congress, including Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT), Rep. George Miller (D-CA), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MI), Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), and former Congressman David Obey (D-WI). Respected labor leaders were in attendance as well, including former International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) Lynn Williams, current USW President Leo Gerard, and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry. Also attending were representatives from the Ford Foundation, Public Welfare Foundation, Pete Peterson Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, and the HJW Foundation.
(From Top Left: Jeff Faux, Julianne Malveaux, Paul Krugman; Top Right: Jeff Faux and Lawrence Mishel;
Bottom Row: Ray Marshall)
Upon receiving EPI’s first ever Distinguished Economist Award, Paul Krugman said, “EPI is scholarship on behalf of truth, justice, and a decent country for all of its citizens.”
During the event, EPI also premiered the short video, “EPI at 25: Working for People Who Work for a Living.” Featuring a number of noted economists and policymakers, EPI at 25 provides a glimpse into EPI’s history of championing policies for working people. Watch EPI at 25, Paul Krugman: An Indispensable Man, and more highlights from Tuesday’s celebration.
Disastrously high unemployment remains
This morning’s release of the Employment Situation report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that 80,000 jobs were added in October. This level of growth is not far off the average of the last six months, 90,000. And that is roughly the job growth needed just to keep up with normal growth in the working-age population. At this rate, the labor market will never put the backlog of nearly 14 million unemployed workers back to work. In other words, given the enormous scope of the unemployment problem, this minimal level of job creation will keep us mired in disastrously high unemployment.
—Heidi Shierholz, EPI labor economist
EPI in the News
- Before Tuesday’s festivities, Paul Krugman praised EPI’s work in his New York Times’ piece, “EPIphenomena.” “At this point EPI is the single best source for analysis of labor issues, one of the best sources of macroeconomic analysis, and in general a bastion of humane clarity,” wrote Krugman. “The institute’s success demonstrates just how powerful it is when you combine intellectual integrity with commitment, when you make a point of doing the math right, but also never forget that you stand for something.”
- The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent applauded EPI’s “enormous impact” on the current fight to remedy the income growth disparities “by supplying the data proving the reality of inequality despite nonstop conservative efforts to pretend it doesn’t exist.”
- In a guest commentary for The Nation, “Why Occupy Wall Street Has Left Washington Behind,” EPI research associate Gordon Lafer explained why the Occupy Wall Street protests have motivated so many people to join current economic conversation.
- The American Prospect cited EPI’s research on the numbers of jobs that will be displaced as a result of the passage of recent trade agreements.
- Ebony magazine writer Lynnette Khalfani-Cox cited EPI’s work on the diminishing wealth among African American households.