There’s much sympathy today among Americans for the issues unions have raised around corporate greed and the ever-increasing disparity between CEOs’ salaries and those of average workers; many people feel it in their own lives. CEOs earned 344 times the salary of the average workers in the United States in 2022, up from 21 times in 1965, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
Not everybody thinks the chipmakers visa is a good idea. Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at Howard University who is also a research associate at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, pointed me to Bureau of Labor Statistics data that U.S. employment in manufacturing of semiconductors and electronic components had fallen 49 percent from its 2001 peak by January 2021, when Biden took office. Despite the hubbub about a manufacturing renaissance, it has risen only 5 percent since, indicating to Hira that there are plenty of Americans with industry experience available for hire.
“I think it’s a bad approach to create just another alphabet soup visa program instead of fixing the ones we have,” such as the H-1B, the L-1 and the E-2, he said. Daniel Costa, an attorney who is the director of immigration law and policy research at the Economic Policy Institute, added that the figure of 10,000 visas appeared to be plucked from the air.
He said one study by the Economic Policy Institute suggests that in the realm of agriculture employment, employers have a roughly 1 in 100 chance of being investigated, although more than 70% of those who are investigated are found to have committed violations.
Overall, the retail industry appears to be healthy with employment having remained steady since January though softer than last year. Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said, “We have recovered more than the number of jobs that were lost in the pandemic when millions of people lost their jobs.”
Gould said one explanation for the hiring this year may be that employers, particularly in retail, are more likely to keep staff on in this tighter labor market because it has been harder to attract and retain employees.
“It’s possible that employers over the last few months and over the last year are holding on to workers because they don’t want to have that business of trying to find workers when they need them. And so it’s possible that you’re not seeing that same pickup because they’re already staffed up to some extent in some of those jobs,” she said. “… It’s too early to tell really.”
When low-wage workers get sick and miss a day of work, they might have trouble covering their electricity bill. If they miss five days of work, that cuts into their food budget. And eight missed days could be the equivalent of a month’s rent.
That’s according to a recent report from the Economic Policy Institute looking at access to paid sick leave among low-wage workers. The share of low-wage workers who can earn paid sick leave has doubled over the last decade, largely thanks to state- and local-level paid sick leave mandates, according to the report. These policies typically grant workers an hour of paid leave for every 30 to 40 hours worked, according to the report’s co-author Hilary Wething.
Paid sick leave mandates ensure workers “don’t have to make the impossible choice between showing up to work sick or losing pay,” Wething said.
The Economic Policy Institute estimates that the 7% rule would save the average Minnesota family with an infant $10,401 per year, freeing up 32,444 more Minnesotans to work to support their family, and generate $3.7 billion in new economic activity.
Daniel Costa, director of immigration law and policy research at the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., said the United States had increased reliance on seasonal farm workers with H-2A visas to carry the load in plant and animal agriculture.
However, he said, the federal government hadn’t established protections to shield workers in the farm program from egregious exploitation.
“Migrant workers who are recruited to the United States to fill job openings should also have certain rights,” he said. “They should have the right to leave an abusive or law-breaking employer without fearing retaliation and deportation.”
Similarly, data from the Economic Policy Institute found wage disparity has significantly increased over time: CEOs were paid 344 times as much as a typical worker in 2022, up from an average pay ratio of 21 to 1 in 1965.
Richard Rothstein, whose 2017 book, “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America,” documented how federal, state and local policies explicitly created racially homogenous neighborhoods, told Stateline that merely removing racist covenants won’t address current housing disparities. He described the covenants as “the least important of these policies affecting systemic barriers in housing, especially after they lost enforcement power.”
But Rothstein, a fellow at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, praised the Washington bill as “a justifiable measure to restore harm done through those covenants.”
An Economic Policy Institute report also cites how unionized workers secured enhanced safety measures, premium pay, paid sick time and a say in the terms of furloughs or work-share arrangements to save jobs during the pandemic.
The Economic Policy Institute: Their blockbuster report uncovered that over the past two decades major H-2B employers have stolen $1.8 billion from workers.
EPI’s researcher and the damning report’s author, Daniel Costa, turned out to be prescient. Costa wrote that, despite its shameless exploitation of workers, and its consistent failure to add worker protections to the program, the H-2B program is “growing.” Lo and behold, at 4:08pm, Friday, November 8, DHS Secretary Alejando Mayorkas’ DHS doubled the H-2B program.
“The mismanaged integration of the United States into the global economy has devastated US manufacturing workers and their communities,” the Economic Policy Institute wrote last year, referring to the wave of globalization between 1998 and 2021.
Some proponents of the Biden administration’s latest proposal also wrote the Trump-era rule was “woefully inadequate.” Several commenters in support of the new rule pointed to an analysis from The Economic Policy Institute that estimates that the current salary threshold of $35,568 “captures just 15% of the full-time, salaried workforce.”
Over 100 organizations, including Social Security Works, the Alliance of Retired Americans, and the Economic Policy Institute, signed a joint letter Wednesday expressing fears that the bill would cut down on revenue dedicated to Social Security and argued that since the trust fund has no borrowing authority from the federal government, it does not contribute to the nation’s current debt level.
Aside from the difficulty of tracking who’s moving to South Dakota and who’s actually applying for open jobs in a state with one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation — state metrics say South Dakota is No. 1 in this category, while Economic Policy Institute’s third-quarter state unemployment data shows South Dakota is tied for third — lawmakers were also curious about the funding of the campaign.