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May 5, 2016 | By Ross Eisenbrey | BlogThe White House released a report this morning that illuminates another part of the complex problem of stagnating wages—the rise of non-compete agreements and their spread to low-wage employment.
May 5, 2016 | By Robert E. Scott | BlogWhen the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) was passed just over four years ago, President Obama said that the agreement would support 70,000 U.S. jobs. Things are not turning out as predicted.
May 4, 2016 | By Ross Eisenbrey | Infographic
May 4, 2016 | By Elise Gould | BlogOn 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.
May 4, 2016 | By Will Kimball | ReportA bill before the Baltimore City Council would gradually raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 by mid-2020. It would also ensure tipped workers, such as waiters and bartenders, are eventually paid the full minimum wage, instead of the $3.63 subminimum wage. This proposal would raise wages for 98,000 working people—about 27 percent of all Baltimore workers. Once the minimum wage reaches $15, the average affected worker would earn roughly $4,400 more each year than she does today. Far from the stereotype of low-wage workers being teenagers working to earn spending money, those who would benefit are overwhelmingly adult workers, most of whom come from families of modest means, and many of whom are supporting families of their own.
May 4, 2016 | By Ross Eisenbrey | BlogThe Department of Labor (DOL) is about to release a final rule that will require overtime pay for millions of salaried employees who currently can be required to work long hours for no more pay than they receive for a 40-hour week.
May 4, 2016 | By David Cooper | ReportA proposed ballot initiative would gradually raise the District of Columbia’s minimum wage to $15 by mid-2020. It would also ensure tipped workers, such as waiters and bartenders, are eventually paid the full minimum wage, instead of the $2.77 subminimum wage. This proposal would raise wages for 114,000 working people—about 14 percent of all D.C. workers, and over one-fifth of D.C. private-sector workers. Once the minimum wage reaches $15, the average affected worker would earn roughly $2,900 more each year than she does today. Far from the stereotype of low-wage workers being teenagers working to earn spending money, those who would benefit are overwhelmingly adult workers, most of whom come from families of modest means, and many of whom are supporting families of their own.
May 3, 2016 | By Teresa Kroeger | BlogThere are clear economic advantages for young people with a college degree relative to those who do not pursue and complete a college degree. This often leads pundits to suggest that more education is a solution to the low wages and high unemployment facing non-college educated workers. Yet, while this could be good advice at the individual level, encouraging more people to pursue higher education will do little to address the ongoing wage stagnation experienced by both high school and college graduates.
April 29, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogNeil Irwin wrote a piece on productivity growth in the New York Times that’s making the rounds. It’s a good piece, definitely worth reading.
April 29, 2016 | By Ross Eisenbrey | BlogFor more than two years, the Obama administration has been working on restoring and strengthening working people’s right to receive overtime pay for working more than 40 hours per week. It’s been reported that the salary threshold under which all workers, regardless of their title or responsibilities, will be eligible for overtime will be set at $47,000 a year. While this is slightly lower than DOL’s original proposal, it represents a significant step forward in the effort to boost wages for working people.
April 28, 2016 | By Ross Eisenbrey | BlogOn September 11, 2001, almost 3,000 people died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the airliner crash in Pennsylvania.
News from EPI › Slow growth in the first quarter of 2016 supports the Fed’s decision to keep interest rates low
April 28, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | Press ReleasesThe Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this morning that gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic activity, grew at just a 0.5 percent annualized rate in the first quarter of 2016.
April 26, 2016 | By Hunter Blair | BlogIn the last week, Donald Trump has backed away a bit from his ridiculous ideas to retire the federal debt by selling national assets and has noted his approval of the Federal Reserve’s low interest rate policies in recent years. This may have led some to question whether or not his policy instincts are really all that bad. They are.
April 26, 2016 | By Lawrence Mishel | BlogAn interesting story in the New York Times this morning looks at the effect that job losses from trade have had on people’s political views. It’s no surprise that voters on the losing end of globalization are disenchanted with the political mainstream, as the Times puts it. They have every right to be.
April 21, 2016 | By Dan Essrow | BlogWashington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposal of a $7.50 tipped minimum wage, while better than the current $2.77, continues to enshrine decades-old oppression into our law.
April 20, 2016 | By Ross Eisenbrey | BlogColleges and universities might be facing financial pressures, but if that is a concern, they should perhaps look at the top of their organization, and not try to prevent hardworking post-docs and social workers from getting a raise.
April 20, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogIt's been pointed out to me that yesterday’s blog post about a story by NPR’s Chris Arnold targeted too much ire at Arnold himself rather than the phenomenon he was reporting about. I think that’s probably right, and so I apologize to him for that. I was using Arnold’s story as a jumping off point for a discussion of a larger issue, and should have made that more clear. I do think my larger points about the substance of the topic under debate hold.
New legislation would bring transparency to America’s immigration system and help fight human trafficking
April 20, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogThe Visa Transparency Anti-Trafficking Act would go a long way to bringing a much-needed dose of transparency to our immigration system and drastically improve the quality of public debates surrounding temporary foreign worker programs.
April 19, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogTrade agreements in recent decades have not been simple good-faith exercises in trade liberalization. Instead, they have exposed some American workers to fierce international competition while locking in rules that expanded protections for others.
April 18, 2016 | By Jeff Faux | BlogThis post originally appeared in The Globalist. The presidential primary campaigns of both political parties have exposed widespread voter anger over U.S.
double down on such severe cuts, and yet it couldn’t even get a majority in a Republican-controlled House because it doesn’t call for large enough cuts. Or, to put it just as accurately, it failed because too many in the Republican caucus decided that it wouldn’t do quite enough damage to the economy. That’s the real story here.
April 15, 2016 | By Will Kimball | State Jobs PictureThe Regional and State Employment and Unemployment report for March was released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the data show a continuation of what has been a steady improvement in the economies of most states.
April 14, 2016 | By Richard Rothstein | BlogLast week, the Princeton University trustees announced they were rejecting student protester demands that “Woodrow Wilson” be removed from the names of the university’s School of Public and International Affairs and a residential undergraduate college.
April 14, 2016 | By Hunter Blair | BlogAfter a too-short hiatus, fear-mongering about the debt is back in a big way. TIME magazine is so worried that they’ve taken it upon themselves to not only put out an entire series to remind people that they must still fear the debt boogeyman, but have also allowed the headline story to center on long-debunked ramblings about the glories of the gold standard.
April 14, 2016 | By Tanyell Cooke | BlogThe Verizon workers' strike is an example of how important it is for working people to have the right to stand together and negotiate collectively for fair wages and benefits and safe working conditions. Unfortunately, this right has been severely eroded over the fifty years by policy choices made on behalf of those with the most wealth and power—and this erosion has directly contributed to stagnating wages for the vast majority of workers.
April 14, 2016 | By Hunter Blair | Economic SnapshotWhile the rest of us will dutifully pay our fair share of taxes on April 18th, we should not be surprised if some large multinational corporations in the United States don’t pay any taxes at all this year. The U.S. corporate income tax base has eroded rapidly in recent decades.