Explore our content

All types | All dates | All authors
Low-income

Pages

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:02pm
Thu Apr 30

Economic Experts Make The Case For A $12 Federal Minimum Wage

Experts from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) argue that the U.S. economy could well afford a federal minimum wage increase to $12 an hour by 2020 — a proposal that could impact nearly 38 million workers.

EPI researchers make their case for a $12 minimum wage in a report released Thursday, the same day the new “Raise the Wage Act” was introduced to Congress by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) and U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA,3).

Under the Raise the Wage Act, the federal hourly minimum wage would go up gradually from the current figure of $7.25 to $12 by 2020. Raise the Wage Act proponents are taking to social media Thursday afternoon for a “Twitterstorm” using the hashtags #RaiseTheWage, #12by2020 and #1FairWage.

“If you go to work and work hard for 40 hours a week, you should not be living in poverty in America,” said U.S. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), who joined Murray and Scott in introducing the bill. “The Raise the Wage Act will increase wages for 38 million workers — more than one in four — and lift millions out of poverty. In Illinois alone, 1.6 million workers — 28 percent of the state’s workforce — will see an average increase in wages of $3,200 a year. That helps families get off government support programs and give them more money to spend and put back into our economy.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:23pm
Thu Apr 23

‘Right-To-Work’ Laws Could Pull Down Worker Wages By 3.1 Percent

Statewide “right-to-work” policies drive down worker wages for both union and nonunion members by 3.1 percent, finds a new report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington, D.C. think tank.

That means full-time, year-round workers living in right-to-work states earn, on average, $1,558 less annually than similar workers in states without such regulations, according to the report.

EPI researchers used demographic, cost-of-living and labor market controls in calculating their findings.

“It’s abundantly clear that right-to-work laws are negatively correlated with workers’ wages,” report co-author and EPI senior economist Elise Gould said in a statement. “Our model uses widely-agreed upon variables, and holds up under a series of tests to ensure that the model is sound and not being skewed by the inclusion or exclusion or particular variables or estimate technique.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:58pm
Wed Apr 22

Rauner Budget Would Be ‘Catastrophic’ For Illinois Higher Ed System, Report Finds

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget proposal seeking to slash higher education spending by $387 million next fiscal year “would have direct and devastating effects on individual campuses” and students, according to a new report.

The report by Young Invincibles, a Millennial research and advocacy group, notes that Illinois has already cut higher education funding spent directly on students by $500 million over the past five years.

If approved, Rauner’s plan to further reduce higher education spending by 31 percent in the 2016 fiscal year, beginning July 1, “would be catastrophic” for the state’s higher education system and Illinois students who have “already been pushed past the breaking point by disinvestment in higher education,” the report reads.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:37pm
Mon Apr 20

Report: 2014 Wall Street Bonuses Were Double The Earnings Of 1 Million Low-Wage Workers

recent report from the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) reveals that Wall Street employees received $28.5 billion in combined bonuses last year.

That works out to be double the collective annual earnings of the more than one million full-time U.S. workers who made the federal minimum wage in 2014. At the national level, the hourly minimum wage is $7.25.

The $28.5 billion in bonuses was spread out among 167,800 Wall Street bank employees, according to the Washington, D.C.-based think tank.

“The size of the [2014 Wall Street] bonus pool was 27 percent higher than in 2009, the last time Congress increased the minimum wage,” reads the report, “Off the Deep End: The Wall Street Bonus Pool and Low-Wage Workers.”

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:44pm
Fri Apr 17

Report: Irregular Work Scheduling Affects 17 Percent Of U.S. Workers

Unstable work schedules impact at least 17 percent of the U.S. workforce, with low-wage workers facing irregular shift times the most.

That’s according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington, D.C. think tank. The report, “Irregular Work Scheduling and its Consequences,” is based on General Social Survey data.

Ten percent of U.S. workers have “irregular and on-call work shift times,” combined with another 7 percent “who work split or rotating shifts,” according to the research.

Low-wage workers are among the most prone to having unstable schedules, which are associated with longer average hourly workweeks in some occupations. Employees in low-wage industries often have little control over their schedules, the findings showed.

According to the report, irregular scheduling is most common in the following industries: retail trade; finance, insurance, real estate; business, repair services; personal services; entertainment, recreation; and agriculture.

Quick Hit
by Aaron Cynic
5:23pm
Wed Apr 15

A Look At The Morning Fight For 15 Protests In Chicago (VIDEO)

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.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:05pm
Mon Apr 6

Report: Rauner’s Proposed Right-To-Work Zones Would Weaken Illinois Economy

A new study by two local labor and economic experts examines the potential economic impact of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s proposed right-to-work zones, if they were adopted in half of the state’s counties. According to the report, local right-to-work regulations would likely weaken the Illinois economy, as they would “encourage free-riding, lower worker earnings, and reduce state and local tax revenues.” 

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
1:13pm
Thu Apr 2

Chicago Fast Food Workers Call McDonald’s Wage Increase A ‘Slap In The Face’ (VIDEO)

Chicago fast food workers and their allies from Action Now protested Thursday in response to McDonald’s announcement that it will soon raise wages, but only for some employees.

Pages