Experts at the Economic Policy Institute say the U.S. labor market remains difficult for young high school and college graduates, but their job prospects are better than they were for the past several groups of students who graduated in the wake of the Great Recession.
Following Tuesday's official announcement that the Obama presidential library will be built in Chicago, local activists continued their push for a South Side trauma center with a march from Washington Park to the home of University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer. Progress Illinois was there for the demonstration.
The average hourly wage for young female college graduates was a mere $16.56 in March -- just 1.2 percent higher than what was earned by the same demographic at the end of 1989, according to new data released by the Economic Policy Institute.
That's just one of the takeaways from EPI's analysis of wage trends for college and high school graduates, ranging from December of 1989 to March of 2015.
The wage figures -- issued ahead of Friday's jobs report for April -- provide a "glimpse at the future for the graduating class of 2015" and are part of a larger forthcoming EPI report on recent young graduates and the U.S. job market they face.
Progress Illinois provides highlights from Chicago's jam-packed city council meeting, during which Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered remarks about his "turnaround agenda" and aldermen passed a historic reparations package for Burge torture survivors.
Last week, the Illinois Senate passed legislation that would reform school discipline policies. Progress Illinois takes a look at the pending bill, now under consideration in the Illinois House, and the problems it aims to address.
Protesters held an overnight candlelight vigil outside the home of University of Chicago President Robert Zimmer as part of the ongoing campaign for an adult trauma center on Chicago's South Side. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the push for expanded trauma care services in the city.
Research from the Economic Policy Institute shows Illinois is one of only two U.S. states expected to see "significant reductions" in African-American unemployment levels throughout 2015. Still, African-American jobless rates in Illinois and nationwide are still far higher than where they should be, EPI's report argues.
Workers fighting for higher wages and the right to unionize began a series of day-long rallies and speak-outs this morning in what organizers say will be the largest mobilization of low wage workers to date. Coordinated protests by the Fight for 15 movement and its allies are taking place in more than 200 cities in 30 countries with workers from multiple industries demanding a $15 an hour wage and better working conditions.
In Chicago, workers and their supporters rallied at numerous McDonald's locations across the city, beginning with an early morning demonstration that drew 200 at a South Side restaurant location at 8321 S. Ashland. The protests, led by fast food workers, have also drawn home care, child care and airport workers as well as college students, adjunct professors and Brink's armored car and armed security guards.
"I scrap and scrape and stress all day, every day," said Douglas Hunter, a 53-year-old maintenance worker at a McDonald's location on Chicago's West side. Hunter, who has a 16-year-old daughter, has participated in numerous strikes for more than a year. He said low wages contribute to the degradation of neighborhoods.