The investments and social insurance expansions provided for by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and Congress’s $3.5 trillion (over 10 years) budget reconciliation bill will boost productivity and provide key relief to family budgets in coming years. Read the report
Rapid technological change, new market dynamics, and global action to mitigate climate change is driving a historic shift toward electric vehicles in the automotive sector. Smart policy can transform this industry upheaval into a new beginning for U.S. producers and the rebuilding of a foundation for good jobs.Read the report
Increasing the federal minimum wage from to $15 an hour would benefit nearly 2 million direct care workers who provide long-term health and personal care services and supports to the elderly and people with disabilities. Read the report
In the emerging cannabis industry, it remains to be seen whether cannabis jobs will be good jobs or whether cannabis workers will be subject to the same harmful practices inflicted on workers in similar industries. The ability to unionize will be key. Read the report
Heidi Shierholz, an economist with the Economic Policy Institute, argues there isn’t a labor shortage outside of the hospitality and leisure industries. The classic sign — rising wages — is confined to that sector and, even with a boost in pay, leisure and hospitality have only risen to their pre-pandemic levels, she says. In a survey by One Fair Wage, more than half of respondents say they considered leaving their restaurant jobs due to low wages and tips.
The Economic Policy Institute’s Shierholz says there won’t be any real realignment of the economy without massive policy changes, including raising the minimum wage and rate of unionization.
“There’s a ton of evidence that employers of low- and middle-wage workers have had the power to suppress workers’ wages, and that dynamic has been growing for decades,” she says. “We can pay our lowest paid workers more. Instead, the minimum wage is 30 percent less than it was in 1968.”
The Economic Policy Institute reports that “from 1978 to 2020, CEO pay based on realized compensation grew by 1,322%, far outstripping S&P stock market growth (817%) and top 0.1% earnings growth (which was 341% between 1978 and 2019, the latest data available).” It adds, “In contrast, compensation of the typical worker grew by just 18.0% from 1978 to 2020.”
Black-white wage gaps are large and have grown larger in the last 20 years, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
That wage gap was 26.5% in 2019, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The gap has remained between 18% and 22% for workers with high school education, college degrees and advanced degrees.
The EPI report found that white workers are paid more than Black workers at almost every education level, including those with advanced degrees. For example, college-educated white workers earn an average of $35.90 an hour while Black workers at the same education level earn only $27.81.
Childcare has always been an issue and now we are forced to reckon with its direct economic and social impact. Research by the Economic Policy Institute estimated that “an investment that capped child care expenditures at 10 percent of family income could increase overall women’s labor force participation enough to boost GDP by roughly $210 billion”.
Anotherrequirementfor a company hiring H-2B visa labor is to show a shortage of available workers. However, according to an EPIreport, the U.S. economy shows no sign of labor shortages in the industries that often use H-2B visas. DOL data in the report shows about 5 million unemployed workers in occupations with H-2B approvals.
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Background Briefing with Ian Masters |
August 27, 2021