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February 9, 2016 | By David Cooper | Economic SnapshotThere are 41.2 million working Americans (nearly 30 percent of the workforce) who receive public assistance—and nearly half of these workers (19.3 million) have full-time jobs. Not surprisingly, these workers are concentrated in jobs paying low hourly wages.
February 3, 2016 | By David Cooper | Briefing PaperHigher hourly wages for low- and middle-wage workers, achievable through a variety of labor-market policies, would unambiguously generate savings in government safety-net and income-support programs—savings that could be used to strengthen and expand anti-poverty programs or make critical public investments to boost productivity and grow the economy.
States heavily reliant on the energy sector had a tough year, but most other states finished 2015 heading in the right direction
January 28, 2016 | By David Cooper | State Jobs PictureAll but seven states gained jobs in 2015, and all but eight ended the year with lower unemployment than in December 2014. The states that lost jobs were almost exclusively states where the energy sector plays an outsized role in the state economy and where falling energy prices have led to cutbacks in oil and gas production.
Raising the New York state minimum wage to $15 by July 2021 would lift wages for 3.2 million workers
January 5, 2016 | By David Cooper | Briefing PaperRaising the New York minimum wage in several steps to $15 would restore its value to a level that ensures full-time work is a means to escape poverty—and would provide more than a third of New York’s workers with a long-overdue improvement in their standard of living.
December 18, 2015 | By David Cooper | State Jobs PictureToday’s State Employment and Unemployment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the picture of state labor market health in November was the same as it has been for months: stable job growth in most states at a rate strong enough to slowly reduce unemployment or at least keep it from rising.
November 20, 2015 | By David Cooper | State Jobs PictureThe state employment and unemployment figures for October, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, were slightly more encouraging than the previous few months.
Waitstaff and bartenders are less likely to be in poverty when they are paid the regular minimum wage
October 21, 2015 | By David Cooper | Economic SnapshotThe poverty rate among servers and bartenders is dramatically lower in states where they must be paid the regular minimum wage than in states where restaurants can pay a base wage less than the full minimum wage.
October 20, 2015 | By David Cooper | State Jobs PictureThe State Employment and Unemployment Report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that job growth in most states has slowed over the past year.
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.