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U.S. Economy

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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
4:25pm
Thu Oct 2, 2014

Immigration Reform Activists Protest During Obama's Visit To Northwestern University (VIDEO)

While President Barack Obama spoke about the economy Thursday at Northwestern University, about two-dozen immigration reform advocates protested outside, calling the president the “deporter in-chief.”

“We need to remind the president of the pledge he took to stop deportations,” said Carlos Rosa, an organizer with the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:26pm
Wed Oct 1, 2014

Report: U.S. Temp Work At Record High, More Protections Needed For Workers

The U.S. economy currently has a record number of "temporary help jobs," but many of them fall short in terms of safety and pay for workers, according to a new report on the growth of the staffing industry by the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and the National Staffing Workers Alliance (NSWA).

“The shift towards temp work is creating an economy in which working people who move and produce products for some of our nation’s largest and most profitable corporations are treated like any other input, to be acquired at the cheapest cost,” said the report's co-author Rebecca Smith, NELP's deputy director. “Staffing agencies not only fail to provide livable wages, benefits or job security for their workers, but their influence in an industry can lower standards for all workers in that industry.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:05pm
Fri Sep 5, 2014

Report: Obamacare Curbed Taxpayer Subsidies For Health Insurer Executive Pay

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) sharply reduced taxpayer subsidies last year for executive pay at the nation's 10 largest publicly held health insurance companies, according to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS), a Washington-D.C.-based think tank.

Last year, an ACA provision took effect that put a $500,000 cap on the tax deductibility of health insurer executive compensation. Previously, the companies had a $1 million limit on the deductibility of executive pay from federal corporate income taxes. Now, health insurance companies are allowed to deduct only up to $500,000 in combined performance-based and salary pay per employee each year.

As a result of the deductibility limits under the health reform legislation known as Obamacare, the country's top 10 health insurers saw their collective corporate taxes increase by an estimated $72 million in 2013, according to the report, "Executive Excess 2014: The Obamacare Prescription for Bloated CEO Pay."

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
4:15pm
Thu Sep 4, 2014

Chicagoland Fast Food Workers Strike For Higher Wages; 31 Arrests Made (VIDEO)

Chicago fast food workers escalated their fight on Thursday for a $15 hourly wage and union rights by participating in acts of civil disobedience during a nationwide day of strikes. Progress Illinois was there for today's protests.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:24pm
Wed Aug 27, 2014

Study: Wage Growth Remains Sluggish For Most American Workers

Real hourly wages fell for just about all U.S. workers, including those with a college degree, between the first half of 2013 and the first half of 2014, according to an analysis of new wage data by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The EPI study, "Why America's Workers Need Faster Wage Growth — And What We Can Do About It," looked at the most recent and available wage data by decile and educational attainment.

"The recovery has not been completely jobless for a while now, but it does continue to be pretty much wageless, or at least wage growthless," said EPI economist Elise Gould, the study's author.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:46pm
Tue Aug 26, 2014

New #WEmatter Twitter Campaign Amplifies Women's Economic Security Woes

Organizations and individuals across the country are taking to social media on Tuesday as part of a new campaign to promote policies designed to strengthen the economic security of women and families.

The launch of the social media movement coincides with Women's Equality Day, which marks the anniversary of women winning the right to vote on August 26, 1920. 

Those participating in the campaign are organizing under the hashtag "WEmatter" on Twitter and other social media outlets.

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