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Posted inUS

Gender wage gap widens even as low-wage workers see strong gains

Last week, we released the latest State of Working America Wages Report, which highlighted historically fast real wage growth for low-wage workers between 2019 and 2022. Even after taking into account higher inflation, the 10th percentile hourly wage grew 9.0% over that three-year period, significantly faster than at an equivalent point from any other business cycle […]

Posted inCalifornia

Jennifer Sherer: California’s FAST Recovery Act is a victory for fast food workers and a model for state labor policy

This week’s Senate passage of the California FAST Recovery Act, AB257, marks a historic breakthrough for workers and state labor policymaking with far-reaching national implications. As EPI and the National Employment Law Project noted in a statement endorsed by forty organizations earlier this year, AB257 “is important for workers across the country and for shaping the future […]

Posted inUS

The teacher pay penalty hit a new high in 2021

August 16, 2022 – The relative teacher weekly wage penalty between teachers and their non-teacher counterparts grew to a record 23.5% in 2021, according to a new Economic Policy Report. This gap in pay, when adjusted for education, experience, and demographic characteristics, has been worsening over time, hurting students in public education by undermining teacher retention […]

Posted inUS

New EPI report finds workers of color have been especially hard hit by manufacturing job losses associated with globalization 

Washington, D.C., January 31, 2022 – A new EPI report finds that the loss of U.S. manufacturing jobs has been particularly devastating for Black and Hispanic workers and other workers of color.  Between 1998 and 2020, Black workers experienced the loss of 646,500 good manufacturing jobs. This represents a 30.4% decline in total Black manufacturing […]

Posted inUS

Report: Unions are not only good for workers, they’re good for communities and for democracy

A new EPI report documents the correlation between higher levels of unionization and a range of economic, personal, and democratic well-being measures. In the same way unions give workers a voice at work, with a direct impact on wages and working conditions, unions also give workers a voice in shaping their communities. Where workers have this power, […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Economic Policy Institute: Yes, the Build Back Better Act is fully paid for

November 2, 2021 – EPI director of research Josh Bivens took to Twitter to refute critics’ most recent claim that the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) is only “fully paid for” due to accounting gimmicks. The claim, Bivens stresses, is “bad economics,” adding that BBBA is indeed fully paid for. Read the full Twitter thread here.  […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Josh Bivens: Abolish the debt ceiling before it commits austerity again

In a political system beset by many stupid and destructive institutions, the statutory limit on federal debt might be the worst. The debt limit: Measures no coherent economic value. The measure of debt it targets is not inflation-adjusted, would perversely make the debt situation look worse if there was a reform to Social Security that closed that program’s long-run actuarial imbalance, […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Thea M. Lee: Economic Policy Institute applauds passage of the American Rescue Plan

March 10, 2021 – Today, without a single Republican vote, Congress passed a sweeping $1.9 trillion relief and recovery package that will provide crucial support to millions of working families; dramatically reduce the race, gender, and income inequalities that were exacerbated by the crisis; and create the conditions for a truly robust recovery once the […]

Posted inUS

Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 would give 32 million workers a raise

March 9, 2021 – A new EPI report finds that the Raise the Wage Act of 2021, which phases in a $15 minimum wage by 2025, would raise the earnings of 32 million workers—21% of the workforce. The report also shows how many workers would benefit in each state and congressional district, revealing that 24 million workers—75% of those who would have received a raise—are […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Heidi Shierholz: President Biden inherits a weak labor market due to inadequate COVID-19 response

This morning, the Department of Labor (DOL) released some of the last unemployment insurance (UI) claims data of the Trump era. That means this release helps us understand the economy President Biden just inherited. Here’s what it shows. Another 1.3 million people applied for UI benefits last week, including 900,000 people who applied for regular […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Heidi Shierholz: First UI claims of 2021 are still higher than the worst of the Great Recession

There was an armed insurrection at the U.S. Capitol yesterday in which the police were complicit in a way that has everything to do with structural racism. Structural racism has also meant that Black and Latinx working people are experiencing a disproportionate health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The UI data released this morning show a labor […]

Posted inOp-Ed

Heidi Shierholz: Unemployment insurance claims continue to climb

December 17, 2020 – Another 1.3 million people applied for Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits last week, including 885,000 people who applied for regular state UI and 455,000 who applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The 1.3 million who applied for UI last week was an increase of 63,000 from the prior week. This was the second week […]

Posted inUS

Report: Corporate power and legal challenges have exploited weaknesses in labor law for over fifty years

December 10, 2020 – A new report by EPI’s Unequal Power project shows how employers have exploited weaknesses in U.S. labor law and routinely resisted workers’ efforts to form unions, thus stripping large numbers of workers of their freedom to join unions and benefit from collective bargaining. The report illustrates how employers escalated their resistance to union organizing in […]

Posted inUS

EPI: Congress must urgently provide $3 trillion of fiscal relief to stop the economic bleeding and build a strong recovery

November 30, 2020 – A new policy memo by EPI Director of Research Josh Bivens recommends Congress provide debt-financed fiscal support of $2 trillion between now and the middle of 2022, and then continue support on the order of $400 billion annually between then and the end of 2024, with a slow phaseout of this aid thereafter. […]

Posted inUS

Investment in infrastructure and clean energy would create at least 6.9 million good jobs

October 20, 2020 – A new report by EPI Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research Robert Scott, data analyst Zane Mokhiber, and research assistant Daniel Perez examines the economic output and employment implications of a two-pronged strategy for rebuilding the economy around high-wage jobs and American manufacturing. The authors find that rebalancing trade by expanding exports, […]

Posted inUS

Union workers are paid 11.2% more, have greater access to health insurance and paid sick days than their nonunion counterparts

September 7, 2020 – A new report by the Economic Policy Institute discusses the importance of unions and workers’ collective action in establishing an equitable economy, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. The authors find that unionized workers earn on average 11.2% more in wages than nonunionized peers (workers in the same industry and occupation with similar education […]

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