Serious attempts to understand the gender wage gap should not include shifting the blame to women for not earning more. Rather, these attempts should examine where our economy provides unequal opportunities for women at every point of their education, training, and career choices.
After the weakness in payroll job growth the last two months, this month’s Employment Report gives us reason to be optimistic about the future of the economy. Payroll employment grew by 287,000 jobs in June. As I discussed extensively yesterday, this is the kind of job growth that would likely get us to full employment within the next year.
In June, payroll employment grew by 287,000 jobs—an welcome boost after the weakness of the last two months. The June jobs report is the kind we want to see more of.
When looking at payroll employment and assessing the strength of job growth, it’s important to keep these benchmarks in mind. Yes, as we get closer to full employment the pace of monthly job growth should slow a bit. But empirical measures still indicate that we should be hoping for substantially faster job growth than we’ve been seeing in recent months.
Not surprisingly, given the rash of ho-hum economic reports we’ve seen recently, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for April 2016 was underwhelming.
While the pace of job growth is expected to slow as the economy approaches full employment, May’s rate of growth was not even strong enough to keep up with growth in the working age population.
This morning’s jobs report showed that the economy added a disappointing 38,000 jobs in May. While this number is depressed by the 35,000 Verizon workers who were striking during the reference period, even adding those workers back into the mix, the total number of jobs is low compared to recent trends.
Throughout the recovery, any time some particular measure of wage growth seemed to be indicating strong growth, it would attract attention—particularly from those arguing that rate hikes should come sooner rather than later. The latest such measure is an alternative measure of wage growth produced by the Federal Reserve Board of Atlanta. In recent months, their wage tracker has edged up towards 3.5 percent, hitting 3.4 percent in April 2016.
Thank you for holding this hearing and giving me the opportunity to speak with you about the Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016.
Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum seems to dislike a New York Times article calling job prospects for young high school graduates “grim.” Along the way, he directs an odd bit of unprovoked snark at us:
I don’t know how EPI measures unemployment, but the federal government measures it in a consistent way every single month.
The black unemployment rate is typically twice as high as the white unemployment rate, and African Americans are often the last to feel the economic benefits during a recovery.
This morning’s employment situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the economy added 160,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate held steady at 5.0 percent, while the labor force participation rate (LFPR) and the employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) ticked down.
This morning’s employment situation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that the economy added 160,000 jobs in April, which is notably slower than recent months.
On Friday, I’ll be looking for signs of stronger nominal wage growth. As the labor market strengthens one expects upward pressure on wage growth. However, the last 6 months have seen rapid increases in workers returning to the labor force in search of jobs. This inflow could well further delay the date when durable wage acceleration begins.
While young men with a college degree earn an average hourly wage of $20.94 early in their careers, their female counterparts earn an average hourly wage of just $16.58, or $4.36 less than men.
Young high school and college graduates were hit hard in the Great Recession. While young graduates’ economic prospects have brightened in recent years, they still face elevated unemployment rates and stagnant wages. Many groups—including young graduates of color, as well as young high school graduates entering the workforce—face particularly difficult economic realities. This report looks at trends in unemployment, underemployment, and wages of young high school and college graduates to paint a picture of the economy facing the Class of 2016.
Robert Waterman, Compliance Specialist
Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor
Room S–3510, 200 Constitution Avenue NW.
Washington, DC 20210
Re: Proposed Department of Labor (Wage and Hour Division) Rule on Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors (RIN 1235–AA13)
Ambitious investments in high quality child care can narrow the gender wage gap and help boost the economy by increasing women’s labor force participation.
An ambitious national investment in early childhood care and education would provide high societal returns. American productivity would improve with a better-educated and healthier future workforce, inequality would be immediately reduced as resources to provide quality child care are progressively made available to families with children, and the next generation would benefit from a more level playing field that allows for real equality of opportunity.
The best news in the data released in this morning’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey
from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is that hires were up. Hopefully this is a new trend and not a short term blip in the data. We need job openings to keep translating into hires if we want to reach full employment.
Five top female U.S. soccer players made headlines for filing a case against U.S. Soccer for wage discrimination. While this case is high profile, the fact is that the gender pay gap exists across occupations and throughout the economy and that gaps between men’s and women’s pay can add up to a substantial amount over time.
This morning’s employment situation report showed that the economy added 215,000 jobs in March, which is in line with expectations and in line with the trends of the past few months.
I’ll be looking at two particular trends tomorrow when the March Employment Situation report comes out. First, I’ll look at what’s happening with the labor force participation rate, along with the accompanying employment-to-population ratio and the unemployment rate. Second, I’ll continue to look at nominal wage growth, to measure the strength of the recovery’s impact on workers.
In 2015, wages for low-wage workers rose faster in states that increased their minimum wage than in states that saw no minimum wage increase.
This morning’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report has both some optimistic news about the economy and some rather disappointing news (and revisions to the entire historical series).
The main story of 2015 wage trends is that they were very unequal—so much so that the fastest growth in wage inequality between men happened in 2015.
Overall, 2015 saw overall real wage gains driven by a dip in inflation. It also saw a pronounced increase in wage inequality.
http://www.epi.org/files/2016/radio-2016-01-19-elise-gould.mp3From time-to-time, EPI contributes segments for broadcast on Workers Independent News. In January 2016, EPI Communications Director Liz Rose interviewed senior economist Elise Gould.