“There is something very odd that it took Donald Trump’s candidacy to have a lot of people discover that there is a working class out there that is hurting and needs help—and Larry [Mishel] and EPI have been the conscience of this city for a long time in calling people’s attention to the condition of American workers, and we are grateful to you.”
E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post
In 2016, EPI increased its reach as a go-to source for the print media, with The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal turning to EPI’s research on a weekly basis. EPI was cited nearly 1,500 times by influential news outlets including The Atlantic, Bloomberg, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NPR, Marketplace, USA Today, and Politico. EPI was able to shape the narrative on many key issues in 2016, including economic narrative for the 2016 election, the stagnation of workers’ wages over the past decade, the economic arguments for raising the minimum wage, the economic arguments for a bold child care solution, the role of the Federal Reserve, overtime pay, and more.
EPI research is widely reported.
EPI research reached a wide audience in 2016:
- On December 15, 2016, EPI released Mass incarceration and children’s outcomes by EPI research associates Leila Morsy and Richard Rothstein. The report draws a connection between mass incarceration and the racial achievement gap in schools. The report was featured in articles by The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Fusion, The 74, and Michigan Public Radio.
- On December 6, 2016, EPI released Still falling short on hours and pay, which finds that over six million Americans are involuntarily working part time. The paper received media coverage from a variety of outlets including The Washington Post, The Sacramento Bee, CBS Moneywatch, Pacific Standard, In These Times, and The Associated Press.
- On November 30, 2016, EPI released Exploring the consequences of charter school expansion in U.S. cities by Rutger’s professor Bruce Baker, which finds the growth of charter schools has increased inequality in education. The paper received sizable media coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer, New Republic, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Politico.
- On October 20, 2016, EPI released What is the gender pay gap and is it real?—which outlines the ways in which the gender wage gap is measured and shows that—even when adjustments are made for factors like education, experience, and race—women are paid less than men. The report garnered a wide range of media coverage since its release, including stories in CBS Moneywatch, Rewire, VICE’s Broadly, New York Magazine, and The American Prospect. The paper was accompanied by the gender pay gap calculator and an updated women’s economic agenda, which was released at an event featuring Latifa Lyles of the Department of Labor, Sarita Gupta of Jobs With Justice, Heidi Hartmann of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, and Anna Louie Sussman of The Wall Street Journal.
- On September 20, 2016, EPI released Black-white wage gaps expand with rising wage inequality. In the report, EPI’s Valerie Wilson and Rutgers University professor William M. Rodgers III write that racial wage gaps in 2015 were larger than they were in 1979. The report finds that racial wage gaps are growing primarily due to discrimination, along with rising inequality in general. The report received top-tier media coverage including from NPR, Marketplace, The Associated Press, Reuters, CNN Money, The Root, New York Magazine, TIME, Ebony, Glamour, and many more. On September 27, EPI hosted an event with the authors of the report along with Harvard economist Richard Freeman, Dorian Warren of the Roosevelt Institute, and Tanzina Vega of CNN.
- On August 30, 2016, EPI released a new report, Union decline lowers wages of nonunion workers, by Jake Rosenfeld, Patrick Denice, and Jennifer Laird. The report received widespread media attention in August and September 2016 from national, local, and online media outlets, including stories in The Atlantic, USA Today, Huffington Post, and Politico, as well as in a column by E.J. Dionne Jr. of The Washington Post. The report also garnered television and radio attention, including pieces in CBS Moneywatch, PBS Newshour, and Marketplace.
- On August 9, 2016, EPI released The teacher pay gap is wider than ever by Sylvia Allegretto and Lawrence Mishel. The report garnered substantial media attention in August 2016 including stories in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and Bloomberg. The report also received television and radio attention, with Mishel appearing on Marketplace and C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.
- On July 28, 2016, EPI released A financial transaction tax would help ensure Wall Street works for Main Street, which finds that a financial transaction tax (FTT) would result in a combination of increased tax revenue and decreased waste from a bloated financial sector. The report received sizable media coverage in Summer 2016, including articles in Wall Street Journal Pro, Tax Notes, Politico, Forbes, Bloomberg BNA, and The Hill.
- On July 20, 2016, EPI released “Women’s work” and the gender pay gap, which argues that women’s pay is determined by a variety of societal factors that both guide women into lower-paying fields and depress their pay regardless of their occupation. The report garnered media attention from outlets such as The Atlantic, Marketplace, The American Prospect, and Rewire.
- On June 16, 2016, EPI released Income inequality in the U.S. by state, metropolitan area, and county by Estelle Sommeiller, Mark Price, and Ellis Wazeter. The report received national and local attention from outlets such as The Washington Post, NBC News, MarketWatch, The New York Times and The Boston Globe. Mark Price also discussed the paper on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal.
- On April 6, 2016, EPI released It’s time for an ambitious national investment in America’s children by Josh Bivens, Emma García, Elise Gould, Elaine Weiss, and Valerie Wilson. The report garnered attention from national, local, and online media outlets, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Boston Magazine, Business Insider, TIME, and ATTN.
- On March 3, 2016, EPI released The State of American Retirement chartbook by Monique Morrissey. The chartbook garnered widespread media attention, including articles in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, The Nation, CNN Money, and Slate.
EPI experts appear frequently on radio and television.
In addition to media coverage of EPI’s research, EPI experts have been featured on television and radio news segments on outlets including CNN, C-SPAN, PBS Newshour, CNBC, and Bloomberg.
EPI experts influence policymakers and shape the economic narrative.
The following are highlights of EPI’s impact on economic policy conversations in 2016:
- On February 5, 2016, EPI received the 2016 Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Partner of the Year award at the Progressive Congress Strategy Summit in Baltimore. An EPI Policy Center analysis of the CPC fiscal 2017 budget shows that the CPC’s proposal would boost GDP by 3 percent and create 3.6 million jobs over the first two years through restoring fairness to the tax code and investing $565 billion to spur job creation.
- On June 9, 2016, EPI’s President Lawrence Mishel delivered testimony before the Democratic National Convention Platform Drafting Hearing. Click here to watch testimony. Click here for a transcript of Mishel’s remarks.
- When Donald Trump cited EPI trade research in June 2016, EPI President Lawrence Mishel shot back with a statement saying that “Trump’s latest take on trade is a scam.” Mishel pointed out that Trump supports the traditional corporate agenda of tax cuts for corporations and the rich—and noted that Trump has neglected to acknowledge the Republican Party’s leading role in disempowering workers over the last four decades. Mishel’s response was featured in The Washington Post and The American Prospect.
- In July 2016, EPI’s Robert Scott critiqued Donald Trump’s use of EPI research in a USA Today column, writing that Trump’s claim that “the negotiation of great trade deals is the quickest way to bring our jobs back” is just wrong.
- Vice President Joe Biden cited Union decline lowers wages of nonunion workers in his Labor Day weekend speech in Warren, Ohio:
“The Economic Policy Institute just put out a 57 page report that wonks like me end up reading… Here’s the conclusion of the paper: If organized labor was as strong today as it was in 1979, the whole country would be doing better.” Watch the video.
The vice president also tweeted out the report.
- Hillary Clinton also cited Union decline lowers wages of nonunion workers in her Labor Day speech in Cleveland, Ohio:
“Just last week … (a) study came out, that confirms what we already knew. When more workers are in unions, wages are higher, and not just for union members, but for all workers.” Watch the video.
- In August 2016, the EPI Policy Center sent an email asking subscribers to encourage Congressional leaders to reject Rep. Kurt Schrader’s Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act, which would delay the Department of Labor’s new overtime rule. With the help of Daily Kos, the campaign resulted in more than 850 calls to Congress. Click here to view the call center and script.
- In September 2016, EPI’s Vice President Ross Eisenbrey and Senior Economist Robert Scott were named to Politico’s “Top 50” list of the most influential individuals in 2016. Click here to read Politico’s piece about Ross Eisenbrey’s leadership on overtime reform. Click here to read how Robert E. Scott directly challenged Donald Trump’s use of Scott’s research on trade agreements.
- In November 2016, Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Penn.) cited EPI research on wage stagnation during the Joint Economic Committee’s hearing on the U.S. economic outlook with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
- On December 1, 2016, EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey spoke at an overtime press conference on Capitol Hill with Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and many others.
EPI provides vital tools for organizational allies
We get our research into the hands of those who use it through a wide network of researchers and scholars at top universities, our Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), and strong partnerships with similarly committed foundations, unions, and advocacy organizations. In 2016, we added 59,377 engaged individuals to our email list, growing it by 71 percent, to end the year at more than 142,000 subscribers.
Here are some of the groups we worked with in 2016:
ACLU /AFL-CIO / Alliance for American Manufacturing / Alliance for Justice / Alliance for Retired Americans / American Constitution Society / American Federation of Teachers / Americans for Financial Reform / Americans for Tax Fairness / American Sustainable Business Council / Blue Green Alliance / Business for a Fair Minimum Wage / Center on Budget and Policy Priorities / Center for American Progress / Center for Community Change / Center on Economic and Policy Research / Center for Law and Social Policy / Center for Popular Democracy / Center for Progressive Reform / The Century Foundation / Centro de Derechos del Migrante / Change to Win / Coalition on Human Needs / Demos / Family Values @ Work / Farmworker Justice / Fight for $15 / Food Research and Action Center / Good Jobs First / Good Jobs Nation / Global Policy Solutions / Global Workers Justice Alliance / Institute for Women’s Policy Research / International Labor Recruitment Working Group / Jobs With Justice / Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights / Make it Work Campaign / MomsRising / MoveOn.org / NAACP / National Council of Jewish Women / National Council of La Raza / National Domestic Workers Alliance / National Education Association / National Employment Law Project / National Employment Lawyers Association / National Guestworker Alliance / National Partnership for Women and Families / National People’s Action / National Women’s Law Center/ Oxfam America / Progressive Congress / Public Citizen / Restaurant Opportunities Centers United / Service Employees International Union / Social Security Works / The Century Foundation / The Fairness Project / United Auto Workers / United Food and Commercial Workers / Washington Center for Equitable Growth / Working America / Working Families Party
EPI’s unique partnerships with these organizations are essential to our continued success. Our partners help to disseminate and draw attention to our work, which gives us a much larger impact on the policy process. Indeed, these partnerships have helped make possible all the political achievements noted here.
In addition, EPI equips its local, state and national allies with accessible data and accompanying technical assistance for their campaigns to increase wages and boost living standards for low- and middle-income workers. In 2016 and the first six months of 2017, EPI produced state-by-state numbers for local and state activists, including:
- The number of workers in each state who would get a raise if a $15 federal minimum wage is enacted;
- The number of jobs that would be lost in each state if the ACA is repealed;
- Monthly state unemployment numbers by race and ethnicity;
- The number of households in each state that can afford child care;
- Breakdowns of income inequality by state and metropolitan area;
- Wages lost to wage theft in the ten most populous states; and,
- Retirement income losses by state each year due to advisors who conflict of interest (the problem the now-delayed “fiduciary rule” would address).
EPI also maintains and updates its Family Budgets Calculator, which is used by advocates working a range of social and economic justice issues. The Calculator continues to be the most popular piece of content on EPI’s web site.
EPI also provided data directly to:
- The Four successful ballot campaigns to increase the minimum wage last November;
- The successful campaigns to make work schedules fairer in New York City, Seattle and San Jose; and,
- The successful fight to stop the so-called Right to Work law in New Hampshire.