According to an analysis by EPI’s Janelle Jones, unemployment dropped in 35 states in the fourth quarter of 2016, yet the African American unemployment rate exceeds the white unemployment rate in every state where black unemployment rates can be computed. The black unemployment rate was highest in the District of Columbia (13.0 percent). The white unemployment rate was highest in West Virginia (5.3 percent), which has had the highest white unemployment rate for seven consecutive quarters.
Valentine’s Day marks one of the busiest days of the year for American restaurant workers, but it may not mean more money in their pockets after a hard night’s work. Forty-two states and the District of Columbia have a separate lower minimum wage for tipped workers, making it harder for workers to receive a decent day’s pay. In a new article, EPI’s David Cooper highlights how the lack of a federal minimum wage hurts tipped workers.
In a new policy memo, EPI Labor Counsel Celine McNicholas outlines the ways in which secretary of labor nominee Andrew Puzder fails to live up to the standards set by previous labor secretaries. According to McNicholas, Puzder has opposed or criticized a number of labor policies that help working people, including the federal minimum wage, overtime pay, and paid sick leave.
Reuters quoted EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey in a story on conservative Iowa lawmakers’ attempts to limit the powers of public-sector unions to negotiate for state and local employees. Eisenbrey likened the Iowa measure to efforts in other jurisdictions to overrule minimum-wage increases and to push for lower wages for construction workers on state projects.
"Iowa lawmakers champion bill to limit public-sector unions"