• Living on the Edge: Economic Insecurity

    The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) has released not one, but two, major research reports today.  Both analyze rising economic insecurity and draw on the findings from a large survey commissioned by IWPR and the Rockefeller Foundation in the fall of 2010. The first report “Women and Men Living on the Edge: Economic Insecurity […]

  • Distress, Not Success

    On January 15, the New York Times ran an interesting piece on older workers.  According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited in the story, the US workforce is a lot older now than it was at the onset of the Great Recession in December 2007.  Total employment of workers under the age of 55 […]

  • Ex-offenders and the Labor Market

    Executive Summary: We use Bureau of Justice Statistics data to estimate that, in 2008, the United States had between 12 and 14 million ex-offenders of working age.  Because a prison record or felony conviction greatly lowers ex-offenders’ prospects in the labor market, we estimate that this large population lowered the total male employment rate that […]

  • Immigration and Labor

    John Schmitt: My view on immigration and how to deal with the labor market challenges is to focus on the labor market rather than to focus on the immigration issue itself.  I think, if we have good, effective national labor standards that guarantee workers at the bottom have the basic minimum wage, they have the […]

  • The Crisis of Poverty in America

    Testimony before the Congressional Out of Poverty Caucus Hearing on “An Emergency Response to the Crisis of Poverty in America,” 30 September 2010. Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak today to the Congressional Out of Poverty Caucus on the poverty crisis facing America. In 2009, the national poverty rate hit 14.3 percent, […]

  • Actually Existing Capitalism

    Michael Norton (of Harvard Business School) and Dan Ariely (of Duke) have released results (pdf) from a series of experiments they did in 2005 on the subject of wealth inequality.  They asked individuals in a nationally representative online panel to (1) estimate the current US distribution of wealth and (2) “build a better America” by […]

  • The Benefits of State and Local Government Employees

    In a recent report, the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) found that state and local government employees pay a wage penalty of about four percent for working in the public sector, relative to those at the same age and education level in the private sector.1  In the “raw” data — that is before […]

  • The Wage Penalty for State and Local Government Employees

    Executive Summary: As recent reports in the media have emphasized, on average, state and local government employees appear to earn more than private-sector workers. But, on average, state and local workers are also older and substantially better educated than private-sector workers.  Half of state and local employees have a four-year college degree or more, and […]

  • Health-Insurance Coverage Rates for US Workers, 1979-2008

    The share of workers with health insurance fell from 93.5 percent in 1979 to 83.3 percent in 2008.  If health-insurance rates in 2008 had remained at their 1979 levels, an additional 12.6 million workers would have had health insurance in 2008.  The main reason for the decline in overall coverage rates was the steep drop […]

  • The Changing Face of Labor, 1983-2008

    The kind of left-wing politics that arises when men in the private sector are the majority of organized labor and the kind that may arise when women in the public sector are the majority of it cannot be the same.  In the core capitalist countries, it is likely to be a Left which has figured […]