By Area of Research:
Broader, Bolder Approach to Education Relaunch: Join us as educators, policymakers, and scholars call for an education agenda focused on mitigating the impacts of poverty on students and schools
February 23, 2016 | EventsIn 2008, the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education (BBA) and its signatories called for a policy agenda that acknowledged poverty as the major root cause of disparities in education and advanced strategies to mitigate its impacts.
February 11, 2016 | By Valerie Wilson | Economic IndicatorsEven as the recovery moves ahead slowly, conditions vary greatly across states and across racial and ethnic groups.
February 11, 2016 | By Ross Eisenbrey | BlogDozens of Republican members of Congress and two Democrats—Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Brad Ashford (D-Neb.)—have signed a letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez about the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed rule on overtime pay for salaried employees, calling on him “to reconsider moving forward with this rule as drafted.” Oddly, a good part of the letter complains about provisions that are not in the proposed rule “as drafted.” The signers should be thanking the secretary, rather than complaining.
February 11, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | Audiohttp://www.epi.org/files/2016/radio-2016-01-29-josh-bivens.mp3From time-to-time, EPI contributes segments for broadcast on Workers Independent News. In February 2016, EPI Communications Director Liz Rose interviewed Research and Policy Director Josh Bivens.
February 11, 2016 | By Elise Gould | Audiohttp://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.
February 10, 2016 | By Ross Eisenbrey | BlogNothing better illustrates why workers need a strong enforcement effort from OSHA than trenching violations, such as putting workers into ten-foot deep trenches in loose soil without shoring the sides or protecting them with a metal trench box. Year after year, two to three dozen workers are killed when trench walls cave in, burying them in tons of dirt and rock, crushing their lungs. A single cubic yard of soil can weigh up to 3,000 pounds, and a worker caught by a cave-in can die even when his heads is not buried.
February 10, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogThe stakes in how we interpret recent signs on weak productivity growth are huge. If productivity growth is simply a given, and cannot be boosted by further efforts to close the aggregate demand shortfall, this means we’re actually much closer to full employment than otherwise, and, it means that the level of wage growth consistent with a fully healthy economy is closer to 3 percent than 4 percent. And since wage growth is now running around 2.5 percent, we’re getting close to this long-run wage target and hence close to hitting the inflation barrier—that is, crossing the line into economic overheating that will cause prices to rise faster than the Fed’s 2 percent target.
February 9, 2016 | By Elise Gould | BlogThis morning’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report came in pretty much in line with other economic indicators that suggested a solid finish the 2015 labor market. Most notably, the hires and quits rates saw small upticks in December, a positive sign for an economy continuing to recovery.
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.
Despite seemingly stable U.S. trade balance, rapidly growing trade deficits in non-oil goods could lead to American job losses
February 5, 2016 | By Robert E. Scott | BlogMost U.S. goods trade consists of manufactured products. In 2015, manufacturing constituted 86.9 percent of total U.S. goods trade, and 94.3 percent of total trade in non-oil goods. Because manufacturing is such a large employer, rapidly growing trade deficits in non-oil goods are a threat to future employment in this sector.
February 5, 2016 | By Josh Bivens | BlogNominal wages for American workers rose by 2.6 percent in the 12 months ending in December 2015. Over the same time, prices have risen just under 0.7 percent (held down mostly by falling oil prices). This mean that real (that is, inflation-adjusted) wages have grown 1.9 percent in that year. Since it is this real, not nominal, wage-growth that influences living standards, shouldn’t we be perfectly happy with this constellation of wage and price inflation? Not really, for a number a reasons.
February 5, 2016 | By Elise Gould | Jobs PictureAlthough payroll employment came in much lower than expected and lower than the strong finish to last year, today’s jobs report is a sign that the economy continues to recover.
February 4, 2016 | By Elise Gould | BlogWe’ve seen solid growth in employment over the past couple of years, and the unemployment rate has come down dramatically, but by any reasonable definition we are still not that close to genuine full employment. So, what is full employment?
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.
January 29, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogA recent story from NPR’s Dan Charles titled “Guest Workers, Legal Yet Not Quite Free, Pick Florida’s Oranges,” provides a crucial glimpse into what it’s like being a guestworker in the United States. As the title suggests, it’s not pretty. The headline is probably using the word “free” as a double entendre: guestworkers are not free in the sense of the free market, nor in the sense of someone who has personal freedom and agency; i.e., is not a slave.
January 28, 2016 | Working PaperSocial Security is the nation’s most successful anti-poverty program and it remains a fundamental pillar of the American economy—one that is critical to the long-term economic security of today’s young people.
January 28, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | BlogThe Supreme Court is reviewing President Obama's decision to defer the deportation of unauthorized immigrants who are the parents of children who are either U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, have resided in the United States for at least five years, and are not a DHS enforcement priority for deportation and update and expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, which to date has provided deferred action to over 660,000 persons who entered the country as young people without authorization. Combined, over five million persons could be eligible for deferments out of a total unauthorized immigrant population of 11 million.
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.
January 28, 2016 | By Ross Eisenbrey | BlogPresident Obama has announced a package of reforms to repair some of the damage done in recent years to the unemployment insurance system and to provide more help to workers at risk of losing jobs—incentives for employers to retain workers, more income support for job losers, and more help getting retrained and back to work. Reforms are needed, and most of the president’s proposals are obviously helpful.
January 28, 2016 | By Ross Eisenbrey | Economic SnapshotEmployees are much less likely to win in mandatory arbitration than in federal court: employees in mandatory arbitration win only about a fifth of the time (21.4 percent), whereas they win over one-third (36.4 percent) of the time in federal courts.
January 26, 2016 | By Elise Gould | BlogThis Friday is the anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a reminder that a significant pay gap still exists between men and women in the United States.
14 states raised their minimum wage at the beginning of 2016, lifting the wages of more than 4.6 million working people
January 21, 2016 | By Will Kimball | BlogAt the beginning of the year, 14 states raised their minimum wages, lifting wages for over 4.6 million workers in states across the country. Unlike last year’s increases, the majority of these increases (12) were scheduled increases initiated by legislation or approved by voters through ballot measures.
January 21, 2016 | By Leila Morsy | BlogSince the switch to Flint River water, the number of children in Flint with blood lead levels over 5 micrograms per deciliter has doubled. In some Flint zip codes, the numbers are even higher. And those are only the children we know about. The number of children who are lead poisoned is likely much higher.
January 20, 2016 | By Valerie Wilson | Economic SnapshotAfrican-American workers continued to make notable employment gains in 2015, even as employment growth for whites and Hispanics slowed.
January 19, 2016 | By Daniel Costa | Briefing PaperStagnant or declining wages and persistently high unemployment in the top H-2B temporary foreign worker occupations belie lobbyists claims that a shortage of semi-skilled and unskilled labor calls for expanding the program.
January 14, 2016 | By Lawrence Mishel | BlogAn annotated discussion of the discussion of wages and inequality in President Obama's State of the Union address.
Public-sector workers are paid less than their private-sector counterparts—and the penalty is larger in right-to-work states
January 14, 2016 | By Jeffrey H. Keefe | Economic SnapshotIn right-to-work states, public-sector employees earn 14 percent less in wages than their private-sector counterparts. Factoring in compensation, public-sector employees suffer a 10.4 percent wage penalty compared to their private-sector counterparts.
January 13, 2016 | By Robert E. Scott | ReportThe Trans-Pacific Partnership will likely result in growing trade deficits, trade-related job losses, and downward pressure on wages of the majority of U.S. workers.
January 12, 2016 | By Ross Eisenbrey | BlogIf the anti-union forces win the Friedrichs case and government unions can no longer bargain for fair share agreements, wages will fall in the public sector, and eventually in the private sector as well, since employers in both sectors compete for the same workers and wage demands will decrease.