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September 22, 2015 | By David Cooper | Economic SnapshotIn 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.
Job Growth Holds Steady in Most States, but Labor Force Declines Raise Questions about Falling Unemployment
September 18, 2015 | By David Cooper | State Jobs PictureToday’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.
September 18, 2015 | By David Cooper | BlogBetween 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.
September 18, 2015 | By David Cooper | BlogThursday’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.
September 17, 2015 | By David Cooper | BlogDespite an improving economy, the same proportion of Americans is still struggling to make ends meet.
August 21, 2015 | By David Cooper | State Jobs PictureThe 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.
July 21, 2015 | By David Cooper | Economic IndicatorsThe June State Employment and Unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed little change in state labor markets heading into the summer months.
July 14, 2015 | By David Cooper | Briefing PaperRaising 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.
Testimony before the New York State Department of Labor Wage Board: Hearing on Increasing the Minimum Wage in the Fast-Food Industry
June 22, 2015 | By David Cooper | TestimonyThe 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.
June 19, 2015 | By David Cooper | State Jobs PictureThe Bureau of Labor Statistic’s May State Employment and Unemployment report showed most states continued on the generally positive—albeit somewhat unremarkable—track they’ve been on for the past year.
May 27, 2015 | By David Cooper | State Jobs PictureThe 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.
May 13, 2015 | By David Cooper | BlogAn 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.
May 6, 2015 | By David Cooper | BlogIn 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.
Raising the Minimum Wage to $12 by 2020 Would Shrink the Wage Gap between Low-Wage Workers and Typical Workers
May 5, 2015 | By David Cooper | Economic SnapshotOver the past four decades, much of the growth in inequality has come from the declining value of the federal minimum wage.
April 14, 2015 | By David Cooper | Economic SnapshotThe federal minimum wage reached its highest inflation-adjusted value in 1968, when it was worth $9.54 per hour in 2014 dollars.
April 1, 2015 | By David Cooper | Economic SnapshotOver the past 46 years, as lawmakers have failed to adequately raise the federal minimum wage, the gap between wages of the average U.S.
March 27, 2015 | By David Cooper | State Jobs PictureThe 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.
March 17, 2015 | By David Cooper | Economic IndicatorsThis 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.
January 27, 2015 | By David Cooper | State Jobs PictureThe December state employment and unemployment data, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, show that most states closed 2014 on a positive course.
December 19, 2014 | By David Cooper | Economic IndicatorsThis morning’s release of monthly state employment and unemployment numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics was a welcome bit of good news.
December 18, 2014 | By David Cooper | BlogOn 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.
November 21, 2014 | By David Cooper | BlogAs 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.