7,647 research outputs found

    Unions and Upward Mobility for African-American Workers

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    This report finds that unionized black workers earn more than their non-union peers. In addition, the data show that unionized black workers are also more likely to have health-insurance benefits and a pension plan

    Inequality as Policy: The United States Since 1979

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    Since the end of the 1970s, the United States has seen a dramatic increase in economic inequality.While the United States has long been among the most unequal of the world's rich economies, the economic and social upheaval that began in the 1970s was a striking departure from the movement toward greater equality that began in the Great Depression, continued through World War II, and was a central feature of the first 30 years of the postwar period. This is not due to chance circumstances but is the direct result of a set of policies designed first and foremost to increase inequality

    Unions and Upward Mobility for Women Workers

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    This report uses national data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) to show that unionization raises the wages of the typical woman worker by 11.2 percent compared to their non-union peers. The study goes on to show that unionization also increases the likelihood that a woman worker will have health insurance and a pension. The study also notes that union membership results in health care and pension gain on par with the gains of a college education

    Is the Unemployment Rate in Sweden Really 17 Percent?

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    This report finds the U.S. unemployment rate would be 13 percent using a methodology frequently cited in critiques of Sweden's "real" unemployment rate. The McKinsey Global Institute's calculations of Sweden's "de-facto" unemployment rate as 17 percent - more than three times the official rate (2004) - has been cited in news publications such as the Financial Times and The Economist. Using McKinsey's approach and unofficial definitions of the "unemployed," CEPR's report calculated that the U.S. unemployment rate for the same year would be 13.8 percent (more than double the official rate of 5.5 percent). If the U.S. prison and jail populations are also included, something that McKinsey did not do in their original study of Sweden, the U.S. unemployment rate would rise to 15.2 percent. A better approach for making international unemployment comparisons is to use the OECD's standardized unemployment rates. For the first quarter of 2007, the OECD measure puts the U.S. unemployment rate at 4.5 percent and Sweden's at 6.7 percent

    Low-wage Lessons

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    Over the last two decades, high -- and, in some countries, rising -- rates of low-wage work have emerged as a major political concern. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), in 2009, about one-fourth of U.S. workers were in low-wage jobs, defined as earning less than two-thirds of the national median hourly wage. About one-fifth of workers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, and Germany were receiving low wages by the same definition. In all but a handful of the rich OECD countries, more than 10 percent of the workforce was in a low-wage job

    The Minimum Wage Is Too Damn Low

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    It is coming up on three years since the last increase in the federal minimum wage -- to $7.25 per hour -- in July 2009. This issue brief looks at how by all of the most commonly used benchmarks -- inflation, average wages, and productivity -- the minimum wage is now far below its historical level

    The Unions of the States

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    This report reviews unionization rates, the size and composition of the unionized workforce, and the wage and benefit advantage for union workers in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia, using the most recent data available and focusing on the period 2003-2009. Pooling data from the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) over that period yields a sample size large enough to look at the experience of even the smallest states

    The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly: Job Quality in the United States over the Three Most Recent Business Cycles

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    This report finds that the US economy has created fewer good jobs in the 2000s than was the case over comparable periods in the 1980s and 1990s. The report analyzed annual data from the March Current Population Survey for the years 1979 through 2006 and shows that while the current business cycle has seen an increase in the share of jobs that pay at least $17 an hour, this gain has been more than offset by a decrease in the share of jobs that offer employer-provided health insurance (down 3.1 percent points) and pension coverage (down 4.9 percentage points)

    Unions and Upward Mobility for Service-Sector Workers

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    This report uses national data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) to show that unionization raises the wages of the typical service sector worker by 10.1 percent compared to their non-union peers. The study goes on to show that unionization also increases the likelihood that a service sector worker will have health insurance and a pension. The report also notes that workers with service jobs benefit as much from unionization as workers with manufacturing jobs

    Health-insurance Coverage for Low-wage Workers, 1979-2010 and Beyond

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    This paper uses data from the Current Population Surveys for 1980 through 2011 to review trends in health-insurance coverage rates for low-wage workers (defined as workers in the bottom fifth of the wage distribution in each survey year). In 2010, over 38 percent of low-wage workers lacked health insurance from any source, up from 16 percent in 1979. The biggest reason for the decline in coverage is the erosion of employer-provided health insurance, either through a worker's own employer or as a dependent on another family member's employer-provided policy. Over the last three decades, the role of public insurance in providing coverage for low-wage workers has increased, though not nearly enough to offset the declines in private insurance. In 2010, about 10 percent of low-wage workers had coverage through Medicaid, double the share in 1979. While a great deal of uncertainty still surrounds the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its likely impact on employers and workers, reasonable estimates based on consensus projections suggest that the ACA will have a substantial positive effect on health-insurance coverage rates for low-wage workers. Even so, the ACA will likely leave an important share of low-wage workers, especially low-wage Latino, African American, and Asian workers, as well as many immigrant workers, without coverage. At the same time, if the ACA is blocked -- in the courts or in Congress -- there is every indication that coverage rates for low-wage workers will continue their long, steady decline
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