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Economic Growth

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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:45pm
Thu Nov 3, 2016

Report: Racial, Class Inequality A 'Dual Penalty' On Black Workers' Wages

Wage growth among African-American workers has taken a double hit since 1979 due to the growing black-white wage gap and overall wage stagnation, according to a new paper from the Economic Policy Institute. 

The left-leaning think tank finds that median hourly wages for black workers "could be 87 percent higher in the absence of racial and class inequality."

Researchers examined the 1979 to 2015 time period, during which "overall median wages did not track productivity growth and racial wage gaps did not close, but instead widened."

"This kept wage growth for black workers much, much lower than it would have been otherwise," the report adds.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:20pm
Mon Oct 10, 2016

African Americans Make Less Than Whites At All Education Levels, Report Finds

New research from the Economic Policy Institute shows that African-American workers earn less than their white counterparts regardless of educational attainment. Progress Illinois looks at the report and gets reaction from the Chicago Urban League.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:16pm
Fri Sep 23, 2016

Report: Income Inequality Is Worse For Black Workers Today Than In 1979

Racial wage gaps are wider today than in 1979 due largely to discrimination and growing income inequality, according to new research from the Economic Policy Institute.

The average wage gap between black and white workers was 18.1 percent in 1979, with the gap widening to 26.7 percent in 2015, the left-leaning think tank reports.

Rutgers University economist William M. Rodgers III co-authored the report with Valerie Wilson, director of EPI's Program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy.

"We've found that racial wage gaps are growing primarily due to discrimination -- and other unmeasured and unobserved characteristics-- along with rising inequality in general," Rodgers said. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:58am
Thu Sep 8, 2016

Experts: Federal Reserve Is 'Past Due' For New Monetary Policy Framework

An overhaul of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy framework may be needed in order to achieve a "full employment future."

Economic experts make that argument in a new paper for the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

The CBPP report explored alternatives to the Fed's current practices. The goal was to examine the proposals' potential effectiveness in promoting full employment, particularly "the strong and sustained labor market conditions that boost living standards and career trajectories across the income distribution and contribute to broad prosperity," the paper reads.

Carola Binder, assistant professor of economics at Haverford College in Pennsylvania and Alex Rodrigue, a Haverford College math and economics major, co-authored the CBPP report. They wrote about their research in an op-ed for the Huffington Post.

"The Fed's monetary policy is not entirely to blame for the problems associated with labor market slack- weak demand, chronically low or negative inflation, slow growth, stagnating wages, and rising inequality - but it could be part of the solution," the op-ed reads. "That will require more than just fine-tuning, however; it will require a new framework for monetary policy. We aspire for a future characterized by full employment: consistently strong labor market conditions that enable workers across the income distribution to bargain for higher wages."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:48pm
Thu Aug 11, 2016

Chicago Urban League Unveils 10-Year Blueprint For Dismantling Structural Racism

The Chicago Urban League released a 10-year blueprint Wednesday to undo structural racism in the city and create more equitable education, employment and economic development systems for African-American residents living in the most disadvantaged communities.

Chicago Urban League officials released the plan as the organization commemorates its 100th anniversary.

"Our vision is that by 2026, residents of every community area in Chicago will have access to the services and supports they need not just to succeed, but to really thrive as members of the greater Chicago community," said Stephanie Schmitz Bechteler, vice president and executive director of the Chicago Urban League's Research and Policy Center.

"The league's 10-year plan is a focused effort that lays out our commitment to making racial equity a reality. When this happens, it sets the stage for a stronger African-American community and that, in turn, makes a stronger Chicago."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:13am
Wed Jul 6, 2016

Job Barriers Facing Ex-Prisoners Could Cost U.S. Economy At Least $78 Billion

U.S. economic growth suffers when former prisoners and convicted felons are locked out of the labor market, a new study shows.

Employment barriers faced by former offenders resulted in the estimated loss of 1.7 million to 1.9 million workers in 2014, reducing the overall U.S. employment rate by almost 1 percentage point, according to the report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

That translates into a $78 billion to $87 billion loss in annual gross domestic product (GDP) for the United States.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:06pm
Thu Mar 3, 2016

Can Unions Affect The Economic Mobility Of Children? One Recent Study Says Yes.

Progress Illinois takes a look at the findings of a Center for American Progress study showing that "economic mobility and union membership go hand in hand." 

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