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 October 16, 2014
- 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.
- 116 Million Full-Time Workers in America Doing the Work of 136 Million People - 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.
- Woman with 4 Jobs Dies While Napping in Car - 'This is someone who tried desperately to work and make ends meet.' Police said no foul play was suspected. But paying someone wages so low that she barely has time to sleep, let alone get gas, is quite foul.
- The Changing Face of Temporary Employment - The work of temping has changed vastly - today 42 percent of temporary workers labor in light industry or warehouses. And there are more of them. The number of workers employed through temp agencies has climbed to a new high - 2.87 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they represent a record share of the nation's work force, 2 percent.
- Fast-Food Workers Challenge Stereotypes, Globalize Question of Fairness - Over the last two years, fast-food protests have grown in size, expanded in participation and spread around the United States, and more recently, the globe. Workers' demands include a "living wage" of $15 an hour and freedom to organize. The median earnings for fast-food workers during 2009 and 2011 was $18,564, about $500 less than the median income for child caregivers.
- The Rise of Gender Capitalism - Investing with a gender lens can create financial and social impact by increasing women's access to capital, promoting workplace equity, and creating products and services that improve the lives of women and girls.
- JANET YELLEN: JOB MARKET NOT RECOVERED - The U.S. job market has improved over the past year, but it is still not fully recovered.
- Joblessness not due to skills gap, experts say - While economists think it is always appropriate to have job training available, they are quick to add that job training will not solve the systemic problems that are causing high unemployment rates in either the region or the country.
- How the Largest Worker Owned Co-op in the US Lifts People Out of Poverty - New York City is going-in a big way-for worker-owned cooperatives. Inspired by the model of CHCA and prodded by a new network of co-op members and enthusiasts, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council allocated $1.2 million to support worker cooperatives in 2015's budget. According to the Democracy at Work Institute, New York's investment in co-ops is the largest by any US city government to date.
- President Obama Signs Executive Order on Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces - The Executive Order requires prospective federal contractors to disclose labor law violations within the last three years. The order-which will go into effect for new contracts beginning in 2016-addresses wage and hour, safety and health, collective bargaining, family and medical leave, and civil rights protections for employees of government contractors. This order prohibits companies with contracts of $1 million or more from requiring their workers to enter into mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements for workplace harassment or civil rights complaints, thereby ensuring that employees can get their day in court. The Executive Order also requires contractors to give their employees information about their paychecks so they can make sure they are getting paid what they are owed.
- Poor Parents Need Work-Life Balance Too - Having no control over your work schedule means your boss controls not only how much you're paid but how much time you spend with your kids. Labor advocates are calling for workplace policies that give workers more stable schedules and more control over their hours. Now Washington may step in with legislation to check the volatility of the daily grind.
- Managers are nearly twice as likely as service workers to get paid time off - The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data on the percentage of workers with access to paid vacation time. Seventy-seven percent of American workers have access to paid vacation, with those in management professions most likely to have this benefit. Only 55 percent of those in the service industry get paid vacation days.
- Workers Speak Out Against Work Schedule Abuse and Retaliation - Roughly 2.5 million other American women working in low-wage jobs who are at the mercy of their employers for consistent work, and so, for consistent pay. As corporations have become more powerful (without unions to keep them in check), workers have become more vulnerable to these kinds of scheduling practices - none so more than women, who are overrepresented in low-wage work.
- Cuomo Convenes Wage Board For Tipped Workers - The state Department of Labor on Thursday was directed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to convene a wage board in order to recommend potential changes to the state's minimum wage for tipped workers. The governor's power to convene the board is one that minimum wage supporters have long pointed to as a way for Cuomo to shore up the current wage laws.
- Advocates, Tipped Workers, Seek Pay Increase from Cuomo Wage Board - Advocates for a higher minimum wage are urging for better wages for workers who rely on tips. Governor Cuomo has promised to create a committee to consider raising the minimum rate for the workers, and the groups say they have evidence that an increase is needed.
- U.S. Teenagers Really Don't Know the Value of a Dollar - A majority of U.S. 15-year-olds can recognize a bill for services, but they struggle to understand most financial concepts, from taxes to financial savings, according to the results of a new financial literacy exam, part of the Program of International Student Assessment.
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