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 December 18, 2014
- Those with Disabilities Earn 37% Less on Average; Gap is Even Wider in Some States - Workers with disabilities who have at least a high school education earn 37 percent less on average than their peers without disabilities, a disparity costing federal and state governments up to $31.5 billion in potential tax revenue, finds an American Institutes for Research (AIR) analysis. Earnings disparities increase with higher educational attainment. Among workers with a high school degree or the equivalent, those with disabilities earned on average $6,505 less than their peers in 2011.
- Why U.S. Women Are Leaving Jobs Behind - As recently as 1990, the United States had one of the top employment rates in the world for women, but it has now fallen behind many European countries. After climbing for six decades, the percentage of women in the American work force peaked in 1999, at 74 percent for women between 25 and 54. It has fallen since, to 69 percent today.While the downturn and the weak economy of recent years have eliminated many of the jobs women held, a lack of family-friendly policies also appears to have contributed to the lower rate.
- Walmart Forced to Pay $188 Million in Class Action Lawsuit Over Wage Theft - The decision, which affects about 187,000 Wal-Mart employees who worked in Pennsylvania between 1998 and 2006, marks the second unfavorable ruling in a week for the retailer, the largest private employer in the United States. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld a 2007 lower court ruling in favor of the workers, who said Wal-Mart failed to pay them for all hours worked and prevented them from taking full meal and rest breaks.
- Where Men Aren't Working - On the whole, however, it's vastly more common today than it was decades ago for prime-age men not to be working. Across the country, 16 percent of such men are not working, be they officially unemployed or outside of the labor force - disabled, discouraged, retired, in school or taking care of family. That number has more than tripled since 1968. Many of them are likely to remain out of work for months or years more, and some of them will never hold a steady job again.
- This Is Why the Middle Class Can't Get Ahead - Only Americans who make less than $23,660 a year are automatically eligible for time-and-a-half pay after working 40 hours a week. Today, that's only 11 percent of salaried workers. In 1975, more than 65 percent of salaried American workers earned time-and-a-half pay for every hour worked over 40 hours a week.
- Chicago Raises Minimum Wage to $13 an Hour - In another victory for low-wage workers, Chicago became the latest city to raise its minimum wage.
- Protesters nationwide call for $15 minimum wage - Marking the second year of a campaign to boost the minimum wage, thousands of low-paid workers and their supporters marched in 190 cities across the nation Thursday, calling for $15 an hour.
- Middle-Class Pay Elusive for Teachers, Report Says - The report, by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a nonprofit group that advocates tougher teacher standards, finds that while teachers in places like Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio, can reach a high salary benchmark relatively early in their careers, teachers in New York City, San Francisco and Fairfax County, Va., must work more than three decades to hit comparable salary levels, when adjusted for the cost of living in the cities. that teachers can reach middle-class earnings early enough in their careers.
- The Incredible Shrinking Incomes of Young Americans - American families are grappling with stagnant wage growth, as the costs of health care, education, and housing continue to climb. But for many of America's younger workers, "stagnant" wages shouldn't sound so bad. In fact, they might sound like a massive raise. Since the Great Recession struck in 2007, the median wage for people between the ages of 25 and 34, adjusted for inflation, has fallen in every major industry except for health care.
- How the Record Numbers of Young People Living With Their Folks Threaten Our Economy - America's young people have been hit so hard by the crappy economy that they can't even get out the door. A study from Pew Research reveals that 36 percent of Millennials -young adults ages 18 to 31 - are camping out with Mom and Dad (this includes college students who come home for breaks). Not since the 1960s have so many young people resorted to couch surfing with the 'rents, a record 21.6 million young adults in 2012. Eventually, the failure to address the catastrophic situation facing young people leads to social unrest. When young adults have tried hard to get work, but find instead not only a lack of jobs, but an array of useless or bought politicians and greedy bankers set against them, they begin to experience rage. This has been observed all over the world, from the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement. When young people have nothing left to lose, they start to lose it.
- Census: Young Americans More Educated, Not Necessarily Better Off Than Parents - Education, employment, and other life experiences for young adults have changed since 1980, but in very different ways in different parts of the country, new Census data show. American young adults are more likely to have attended and graduated college today than in earlier generations, according to a new data analysis by the U.S. Census Bureau-but they are also more likely to be earning considerably less, and living either in poverty or with their parents than they were in 1980. Census researchers found Americans ages 18 to 34 earn $2,000 less per year than earlier generations, after correcting for inflation, though the percentage graduating college has risen from a little more than 15 percent to more than 22 percent since 1980.
- Fast Food Workers Announce Largest-Ever Strike in 150 Cities on December 4 - Fast food workers in at least 150 cities nationwide will walk off the job on Dec. 4, demanding an industry-wide base wage of $15 per hour and the right to form a union. Workers unanimously voted on the date for the new strike during a Nov. 25 conference call, held shortly before the second anniversary of the movement's first strike.
- San Francisco Passes Retail Workers' Bill of Rights - The new rules will require retail chains that have 11 or more locations across the country and employ 20 or more people in San Francisco to provide advance notice of schedules, improve the treatment of part-time employees, and give current workers the opportunity to take on more hours before hiring new people. Employers will have to give their workers at least two weeks' advance notice of their schedules, and if they fail to do so they will have to give those workers additional "predictability pay." Workers also get paid if they're required to be on call but their shifts are canceled. Employers will have to give part-time employees the same starting wage as those working full time in the same position and access to the same benefits.
- America's part-time economy - Part-time workers are far more likely to live in poverty. They are paid less than other workers and often don't receive benefits. It's a bad sign when states have a high percentage of part-time employees in the labor force, especially those working part-time involuntarily because they can't get a full-time job. Eight states, including New York and New Jersey, still have double the number of involuntary part-time jobs since the recession began, according to the Labor Department. And involuntary part-time jobs are actually increasing in places like Florida and Texas.
- Part-time jobs put millions in poverty or close to it - Seven million Americans are stuck in part-time jobs. They are unable to get full-time work and the benefits and stability that come with it. It's a constant struggle for these families and a worrying sign for America's recovery.
- 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.
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