Women's Economic Equity
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#POWHERList: Raise the Volume on Economic Equality (Video) - The first Women's Equality Wednesday Google Hangout "#POWHERList: Raise the Volume on Economic Equality" with panelists Beverly Neufeld from NYS PowHER, Ellen Bravo from Family Values @ Work and Ana Oliveira from The New York Women's Foundation. Follow below for a highlight of tweets from during the conversation.
Updated November 18, 2014
- U.S. Men Make Employment Gains - For the first time since 2006, the unemployment rate for men in the United States has fallen below the rate for women - 5.6 percent for men and 5.9 percent for women in October. In the depths of the financial crisis, the rate for men had climbed to as much as 2.6 percentage points above that for women. Of the 12 areas of the private economy shown in the charts, women have added jobs at a slower rate than men in all but three - retail trade, mining and logging, and construction. Women have a small minority of jobs in each of those areas other than retail, though, so those gains do not reflect a lot of hiring.
- Hearing on increase in minimum wage for tipped workers - In New York State, food service workers (waiters, waitresses) receive $5 an hour. Service employees (housekeeping) receive $5.65 in standard hotels and $4.90 in resort hotels. Under legislation signed last year, New York's minimum wage will rise to $9.00 per hour by Dec. 31, 2015. Typically under state law, the tipped minimum wage automatically rises in proportion to the minimum wage, but legislation last year excluded food service workers and service employees in the hospitality and restaurant industry from this adjustment. There are 229,000 tipped workers in New York State, reported the National Employment Law Project.
- Women Outperform Men In Sales But Still Earn Less - According to 2013 research from Xactly, a cloud platform that provides big data insights to companies, women are performing better than men, yet still earning less for the same jobs. Xactly pulled global compensation and performance measures for both men and women, looking at correlations between pay and performance, and found that in sales, 70% of women reached their quotas, while only 67% of men did. However, when it came to commission rates, women earned less for their efforts, making an average of 4.1% commission, compared to their male counterparts' 4.8%. They also received lower base pay on average. Although 3% might seem like a negligible difference, it becomes a significant amount of money for companies dealing with millions of dollars in sales.
- America's dual economy - Wages aren't rising for most Americans. A middle class family is actually bringing home the same income as it did in 1995, and millions of people want full-time jobs but are stuck in part-time positions.
- Red-Leaning States Say Yes to a Higher Minimum Wage - The midterm elections have been rough on Democrats. But they did well on one key issue they've been championing for months -- a higher minimum wage. Voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota join 12 other states and Washington, D.C., all of which have moved in the past two years to raise their state minimums.
- How Core Economic Security Policies Won While Candidates Lost - Historic wins swept the nation as voters backed paid sick day legislation, increased access to affordable childcare, and minimum wage increases for low wage workers. In Massachusetts, and in cities in New Jersey and California, voters backed ballot initiatives guaranteeing paid sick days to nearly 1 million workers. In Seattle, voters approved increased access to affordable childcare. In Arkansas, Alaska, Illinois, South Dakota, and three cities in California, voters approved ballot measures that raised the minimum wage for an estimated 1.7 million workers, the majority of whom are women and mothers.
- Little Opposition Seen in Some Votes to Raise State Minimum Wages - "These groups have noticed that minimum-wage increases can easily pass - they have seen this in the past few years," said John G. Matsusaka, executive director of the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California. "They can't get it through the legislatures in these red states, so they do it this way."
- The Sneaky Ways Employers Are Stealing Our Wages - In Denmark, fast food workers make $20 an hour plus benefits, and the corporations that employ them are still profitable. Why there and not here? The answer is simple and painful: wage theft. In America, corporations are systematically stealing our wages. Virtually everyone in the bottom 95% of the income distribution now suffers from wage theft, including you!
- The incredible decline in young homebuyers - The share of first-time home buyers has dropped to its lowest level in 27 years, highlighting the challenges facing the housing market's stalled recovery, according to an annual survey released Monday by the National Association of Realtors.
- States Are Prioritizing Prisons Over Education, Budgets Show - If state budget trends reflect the country's policy priorities, then the U.S. currently values prisoners over children, a new report suggests. A report released this week by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that the growth of state spending on prisons in recent years has far outpaced the growth of spending on education. After adjusting for inflation, state general fund spending on prison-related expenses increased over 140 percent between 1986 and 2013. During the same period, state spending on K-12 education increased only 69 percent, while higher education saw an increase of less than six percent.
- When It Comes to Worker Protections, We're Still Living in the 19th Century - Workers' compensation policies generally provide reimbursement for lost wages, coverage of medical costs, and, in the case of workers fatally injured on the job, payments to workers' heirs. In contrast to insurance coverage, workers' comp benefits are paid regardless of who is at fault for the injury. When managers lack an incentive to address workplace safety, the likelihood of on-the-job injury skyrockets, as we can see in the ProPublica report on temp workers' injuries.
- Stuck in cycle of debt, domestic violence victims battle banks - In an effort to maintain control, abusers often ruin their victim's credit by racking up credit card debt or overdrawing their bank accounts, said Kim Pentico, a senior economic justice specialist at the National Network to End Domestic Violence. Making matters worse is that banks and credit card companies typically have few procedures in place to help victims repair their credit histories. "It used to be that women leave with the clothes on their back," said Pentico. "Now they leave with the clothes on their back and crushing debt."
- 'Skills gap' threatening to impede economic growth in California - California employers aren't hiring as quickly as they could - but the economy isn't the damper. Bosses are increasingly looking for qualities that many candidates don't have. The so-called skills gap is now threatening to impede economic growth in California, a state that suffered more intensely than most during the recession. More than half of the companies in a new survey said they have struggled to recruit candidates for open positions - especially at the higher end of the wage spectrum.
- 7 things the middle class can't afford anymore - We've ranked a list of things the middle class can no longer really afford. We're not talking about lavish luxuries, like private jets and yachts. The items on this list are a bit more basic, and some of them are even necessities. The ranking of this list is based on affordability and necessity. Vacations, New vehicles, To pay off debt, Emergency savings, Retirement savings, Medical care, and Dental work.
- The tax implications of same-sex marriage - Now that a majority of gay Americans live in places where same-sex marriages are allowed, they have some practical concerns to deal with, like what such unions mean for filing taxes.
- The Forgotten Victims of the Great Recession - Five years after the economy officially went into "recovery," three million people remain among the ranks of the long-term unemployed - jobless for 27 weeks or more. That number is down from its 2010 peak, but as the Economic Policy Institute's David Cooper noted earlier this year, it still "far exceeds pre-Great Recession levels in virtually every state." About a million Americans have been unemployed for two years or longer, and approximately 100,000 have been jobless for at least five years.
- How debt loads are changing for young and old consumers - The kind of debt consumers take on is changing. For instance, student loans accounted for 36.8 percent of the total debt load for consumers ages 20 to 29 in 2014, up from the 12.9 percent reported in 2005, the study showed. Meanwhile, the share of debt due to mortgages shrank over that time period, to 42.9 percent in 2014 from 63.2 percent in 2005, as the number of young people buying homes declined. The share of debt loads from auto loans increased, to 14.1 percent from 11.6 percent in 2005.
- Minimum Wage and Overtime Protections Are Delayed for Home-Care Workers - With numerous states pushing for a delay, the Obama administration announced Tuesday that it would put off enforcement of its plan to extend minimum-wage and overtime protections to the nation's nearly two million home-care workers. Fifteen states have state minimum wage and overtime protections for home-care workers; six others and the District of Columbia require that they receive at least the minimum wage.
- Wage disparity among high-tech workers - Minority tech workers are paid less than their white coworkers, with Hispanic women at the bottom of the pay scale, according to a new study. Predicted average yearly salaries of software developers.
- Income Inequality Causing State Tax Revenues to Stall - A Standard & Poor report shows that as income inequality has grown, state tax revenues have not kept pace. As incomes have stagnated, states are under pressure to keep from cutting education and social program funds - which are at risk due to low tax revenue. "Rising income inequality is not just a social issue," said Gabriel Petek, S&P credit analyst and author of the report. "It presents a very significant set of challenges for the policymakers." A previous S&P study this year reported that widening U.S. income inequality has slowed recovery from the recent recession.
- Economic Recovery Finds Drop in Americans Willing to Donate Time or Money to Community Support - According to a survey by the YMCA, the percentage of Americans planning to volunteer or donate money to efforts in their communities dropped by double digits in the wake of the recession.
- September Job Numbers Come in Better Than Expected - Today the Department of Labor reported that the U.S. economy generated 248,000 jobs in September. The unemployment rate decreased to 5.9 percent, its lowest level in more than six years. Economists expected the unemployment rate to remain at 6.1 percent and a gain of 215,000 jobs, making the official numbers a pleasant surprise. However, wages grew less than expected, highlighting the need for Congress to gradually raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10/hour.
- Job Growth Has Accelerated in 2014 - The unemployment rate is at its lowest in six years, but wage growth remains stagnant. The improving job market does not seem to be pulling people who left the labor force over the last few years back into it. In fact the size of the labor force actually ticked down by 97,000 in September, which in and of itself is too small a number in too volatile a series to make much of, but is part of a longer trend of the size of the labor force holding steady rather than increasing.
- NY unemployment benefits rising to $420 a week - On Monday, the state's maximum unemployment-benefits payment will rise to $420 a week, from $405, the first increase in 14 years. New York will still lag it neighbors. In New Jersey the weekly maximum is $636, and Connecticut's is $594.
- Cuomo: Make 30 Percent Of Contracts MWBE - Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants 30 percent of state contracts to be directed to certified minority and women-owned business, he had initially set the state's MWBE contract target at 20 percent, a goal reached last year. The state has about $8 billion in contractural spending.
- The middle class is poorer today than it was in 1989 - Unemployment has fallen, in part, because so many people have given up looking for work rather than finding it, and there are still millions of part-timers who want full-time jobs. The economy has gotten bigger, but much of that growth hasn't reached the middle class. Median net worth is actually lower, adjusted for inflation, than it was in 1989. Even worse, it's kept falling during the recovery.
- Unemployed women are more likely to quit looking for work than to find it - The jobless rate keeps falling, but that good news keeps coming with a big caveat: a shrinking labor force. Because the unemployment rate only counts people in the labor force - that is, it counts people actively looking for a job as a percent of all people either working or looking for work - it means when people stop looking for work it can deceptively pull the jobless rate down. Around 27 percent of women are leaving unemployment to drop out of the labor force, compared to the nearly 20 percent that move from unemployed to employed. Compare that to men, for whom the figure is around 23.5 percent in both cases.
- Income Inequality 2014: Ahead Of Midterm Elections, Harvard Study Says Americans Grossly Underestimate Inequality - If critics of income inequality are wondering why the growing gap between rich and poor hasn't been a more potent political issue in the upcoming U.S. elections, a study offers some answers: It may be because many Americans grossly underestimate just how unequal the country is. That's one of the key findings of a survey showing the actual gap between CEO and average worker pay in America is more than 10 times higher than the typical American perceives.
- New Poll: Even Most Employers Think We Need a Higher Minimum Wage - A new Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder finds that 62 percent of employers think their state's minimum wage should be increased, and that includes 58 percent of "company senior leaders." Overall, 55 percent of the 2,200 human resource managers surveyed believe the minimum wage should be at least $10 an hour.
- More women at the top, higher returns - Researchers have long found ties between having women on a company's board of directors and better financial performance. Now, a new report from Credit Suisse offers more evidence that a better gender mix among senior managers is linked with better results.
- 1 In 5 Workers Laid Off In Past 5 Years Still Unemployed, Survey Finds - Twenty-two percent of workers laid off in the past five years are still unemployed, according to a new survey.
- Poll of upstate New Yorkers: Our best days may be past - Most upstate New Yorkers are convinced the nation's best economic times are behind it, that future generations will have a less secure retirement, and that job prospects will remain stagnant. Those are among the results of a Siena College research poll on the economy conducted for the Times Union.
- Millions of Americans' Wages Seized Over Credit Card and Medical Debt - Millions of Americans are still grappling with debt they've accumulated since the recession hit. And new numbers out Monday show many are having a tougher time than you might think. One in 10 working Americans between the ages of 35 and 44 are getting their wages garnished. That means their pay is being docked - often over an old credit card debt, medical bill or student loan.
- Here's What Happened When 13 States Raised the Minimum Wage (Hint: Job Growth Didn't Implode) - It's very rare these days to hear any good news about wages of low-income Americans. But Elise Gould, of the Economic Policy Institute, delivered exactly that in a report at the end of August. In 2014, 13 states raised their minimum wages, five through legislation and eight through inflation indexing. Gould compared wage growth for the bottom 10 percent of Americans in those 13 states with the rest of America. In the former, real wages grew 0.9 percent, a non-negligible increase. In the remaining 37 states, real wages declined 0.1 percent. In other words, wage growth for the bottom 10 percent of Americans is entirely attributable to states that increased their minimum wages.
- Employers Steal Three Times More From Workers Than All Robberies Combined - The amount of money employers had to pay because they were found guilty of wage theft is nearly three times greater than all the money stolen in robberies, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). That $50 billion figure dwarfs the $14 billion taken from victims of robberies, burglaries, larcenies, and car thefts in 2012. That's less than a third of the cost of wage theft, according to EPI's estimations.
- Many life milestones are out of millennials' reach - Young Americans are substantially less likely to own homes than their counterparts a generation or two ago, with their homeownership rates reaching record lows this year. About a third of millennials still live with their parents, earning us the irksome epithet "boomerang generation" - a play on "boomer generation," the presumed victim here. Unemployment rates for the youngest adults remain high, and they look far worse when you include people who aren't actually looking for work but still say they want a job. Student loan debt also seems to be weighing on young people's ability to buy, as documented by the economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, among others.
- Wage board appointed by Gov. Cuomo will consider raising pay for tipped workers - Restaurant workers who earn tips are paid a minimum of just $5 an hour, and other hospitality workers who earn tips make $5.65 an hour. The three-member board will start work Monday and could recommend wage increases. Restaurant workers who earn tips are paid a minimum of just $5 an hour - a rate that was not increased when Cuomo and the Legislature last year agreed to raise the minimum wage in three phases to $9 an hour by the end of 2015. Other hospitality workers who earn tips make $5.65 an hour.
- Gender gap is more than just pay - Equality in the workplace might be improving, but there's still a large chasm between men and women. And the gender gap is not just about how much you're paid. Overall, men's company budgets are twice as large as those of women with three times the number of direct reporting staff. That means women are essentially having to do more with less.
- AAUW announced its acquisition of the WAGE Project's signature programs, $tart $mart and Work $mart - AAUW volunteers have already brought $tart $mart to many campuses, and we believe that Work $mart, a salary negotiation workshop for women who are already in the workforce, has the same kind of potential. AAUW looks forward to expanding the delivery of these workshops as part of our work to close the wage gap.
- Young Households Are Losing Ground in Income, Despite Education - YOUNG families are better educated than ever before, but they are earning lower real incomes. The Federal Reserve Board's newly released 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances indicates that the median family headed by someone under 35 years of age earned $35,509 in 2013 dollars. Adjusted for inflation, that is 6 percent less than similar families reported in the first such survey, in 1989.
- Wages for Housework - Housework is a necessary labor for families, but it is largely unpaid, except when others are hired to do it. Families may pay others to cook, clean or take care of their children, but they don't pay themselves. This year, Italy considered a proposal in which the government, or in some cases the husband or partner, would pay wives for this thankless task. And a few years ago, India considered a similar bill. Should the family member who does most of the housekeeping be compensated?
- Hundreds of Fast-Food Protesters Arrested While Striking Against Low Wages - A nationwide protest against low wages in the US fast-food industry culminated in hundreds of arrests on Thursday, as activists stepped up their campaign for higher pay and better benefits for workers at companies such as McDonald's, Burger King and KFC. Protesters in more than 100 cities including Chicago, New York and Detroit took part in sit-ins and marches outside fast-food restaurants, with many conducting acts of civil disobedience designed to get them arrested.
- Wages Dropped for Almost All American Workers in First Half of 2014 - According to new research by the Economic Policy Institute, real hourly wages declined for almost everybody in the U.S. workforce in the first half of 2014.
- Fast-food workers plan nationwide protest Thursday - The campaign to get fast-food workers paid at least $15 a hour resumes later this week. Currently, the median pay for fast-food workers is just over $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year. That's roughly $4,500 lower than the Census Bureau's poverty threshold level of $23,000 for a family of four.
- More Workers Are Claiming 'Wage Theft' - Some federal and state officials agree that more companies are violating wage laws than ever before, pointing to the record number of enforcement actions they have pursued. They complain that more employers - perhaps motivated by fierce competition or a desire for higher profits - are flouting wage laws.
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