In 2014, 48.4 million people (or 15.3 percent of the US population) were in poverty, as measured by the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)—a more sophisticated approach for measuring economic well-being than the official federal poverty line. However, that number would have been significantly higher were it not for government safety-net programs.
Today’s release of state employment and unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that over the summer months, most states remained largely on the same trajectory they have been on for the past year, if not the past several years. The pace of overall job growth nationwide was roughly the same as it was at this time last year, although slightly fewer states added jobs this summer than last.
Between 2013 and 2014, the poverty rate in most states was largely unchanged, according to yesterday’s release of state poverty statistics from the American Community Survey (ACS). While the poverty rate fell slightly for the country as a whole, most of the changes at the state level were too small to signify a meaningful difference. As of 2014, only two states—North Dakota and Colorado—have poverty rates at or below their 2007 values, before the Great Recession.
Thursday’s release of state income data from the American Community Survey (ACS) showed that the gradual improvement in state economies from 2013 to 2014 brought little change in overall economic conditions for households in most states. The ACS data showed a slight increase in median household income for the United States overall and similar modest increases in household incomes in a majority of states—although only a handful of these increases were statistically significant.
Despite an improving economy, the same proportion of Americans is still struggling to make ends meet.
The July State Employment and Unemployment report, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was remarkable only for its consistency: most states added jobs at the same decent pace that has become the norm over the past few years—strong enough to not cause alarm, but too weak to quickly drive down unemployment.
The June State Employment and Unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed little change in state labor markets heading into the summer months.
Raising the federal minimum wage to $12 by 2020 would restore its value to a level that ensures full-time work is a means to escape poverty, and would provide tens of millions of America’s lowest-paid workers with a small yet long-overdue improvement in their standard of living.
The following is the testimony of David Cooper, EPI senior economic analyst, in a hearing before the New York State Department of Labor Wage Board in Albany, N.Y.
The April State Employment and Unemployment report, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed most states are still plodding along with job growth sufficient to slowly bring down unemployment rates.
Applying EPI's family budget thresholds to Census Bureau data on Denver shows that many—indeed, more than 40 percent—of the region’s residents are struggling to achieve economic security. As policymakers in Denver consider measures to raise incomes for area residents, they should be fully aware of just how far many in the community are from this benchmark.
An eye-opening story published last week by the New York Times revealed how manicurists in New York’s booming nail salon industry are subject to brazen exploitation.
This post is crossposted on the National Women’s Law Center’s Womenstake Blog.
Here’s a Mother’s Day gift idea for Congress: Rather than getting mom flowers or chocolate, how about passing a policy that increases economic security for families, injects billions of dollars into communities, and ensures that women and people of color are paid more fairly?
In We Can Afford a $12 Federal Minimum Wage in 2020, Larry Mishel, John Schmitt, and I explain that raising the federal minimum wage to $12 by 2020 is an eminently achievable and worthwhile goal.
Over the past four decades, much of the growth in inequality has come from the declining value of the federal minimum wage.
By every common benchmark, today's federal minimum wage is far below its 1968 value. Raising the federal minimum to $12.00 by 2020 would raise the purchasing power of the minimum wage modestly relative to where it was five decades ago.
It’s a common myth that very low-wage workers—workers who would get a raise if the minimum wage were increased—are mostly teenagers working to earn extra spending money.
The federal minimum wage reached its highest inflation-adjusted value in 1968, when it was worth $9.54 per hour in 2014 dollars.
Over the past 46 years, as lawmakers have failed to adequately raise the federal minimum wage, the gap between wages of the average U.S.
The February State and Regional Employment and Unemployment report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was another sign that the economy is headed in the right direction.
Under federal law, employers of tipped workers are only required to pay their tipped staff a base wage of $2.13 per hour—an amount that has not been raised since 1991—provided that the sum of an employee’s weekly tips plus their base wage equates to an hourly rate of at least the minimum wage.
This morning’s release of January employment and unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows most states began the New Year with relatively strong job growth and continued declines in unemployment.
More than half of Los Angeles families do not earn enough income to attain the modest but secure standard of living defined by EPI’s Family Budget Calculator.
The December state employment and unemployment data, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, show that most states closed 2014 on a positive course.
Over the last few decades, productivity has grown substantially, but the hourly compensation of the typical worker has grown much less, especially in the last 10 years or so.
To understand the growth of income inequality—and the disappointing increases in workers’ wages and compensation as well as middle-class incomes—it is crucial to understand the divergence of pay and productivity.
This morning’s release of monthly state employment and unemployment numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was a welcome bit of good news.
On January 1st, 20 states will raise their minimum wages, lifting the pay of over 3.1 million workers throughout the country.1 New York, meanwhile, will have already raised its minimum wage on December 31st.
As retailers and consumers gear up for the holiday shopping season, it’s a good time to take a closer look at what things are like for the person on the other side of the cash register.