07/17/2018

News

As Economy Grows, Why Aren’t Wages Rising Faster?

Strain admits that this is just a guess, and finding corroborating evidence is hard. He also usefully lists other theories. With thanks and apologies to him, here’s a summary of his summary. (1) There’s more “slack” in labor markets than standard employment statistics indicate. People who had given up looking for work are re-entering the […]

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In This Economy, Quitters Are Winning

Workers are choosing to leave their jobs at the fastest rate since the internet boom 17 years ago and getting rewarded for it with bigger paychecks and/or more satisfying work. Labor Department data show that 3.4 million Americans quit their jobs in April, near a 2001 peak and twice the 1.7 million who were laid […]

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SF restaurants struggle for balance in prices, service as wage hike arrives

San Francisco restaurateurs have been preparing for the $15 mark and its corresponding fallout for four years. Despite the anticipation for what has finally arrived, many continue to struggle with finding a balance, because tactics such as adjusting service models, cutting staff and raising prices can only go so far. “It’s a catch-22. People need […]

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San Francisco’s Minimum Hourly Wage Bumps to $15 on July 1

The minimum wage in San Francisco increases to $15 an hour July 1 under a ballot measure approved by voters in 2014. San Francisco is the first major city in California to hit the magic $15 mark, but it won’t be the last. Two years ago, California lawmakers approved a plan to increase the state’s […]

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California elected officials get a pay raise

Statewide elected officials and lawmakers in California will be getting a 3 percent raise at the end of the year. The California Citizens Compensation Commission approved the salary increases Tuesday, continuing a pattern of steady increases over the last seven years that adjust for inflation.

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See the 100 highest pensions in the CalPERS and CalSTRS systems

How much does it take to make it into the 100 top-earning CalPERS or CalSTRS retirees? A pension of more than $219,000. CalPERS is the retirement system for most state employees. CalSTRS is the retirement system for most certificated school district employees. Both systems have faced scrutiny for years due to large unfunded liabilities — […]

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Would Sacramento’s proposed sales tax increase go to pensions, salaries

In Steinberg’s mind, a one cent sales tax would be “a true game changer in Sacramento,” as he said in a speech earlier this month. But does City Hall need the tax just to remain solvent? As the costs of pensions and employee salaries increase, the city of Sacramento is forecasting budget deficits beginning next […]

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Bachelor’s degrees for the Class of 2016 by field and gender. Oh, and the overall 25.6% degree gap for men!

The table above shows the number of bachelor’s degrees by major field of study and gender for the College Class of 2016, ranked by the female share of each field (based on recently released Department of Education data here). A few observations: 1. Overall, women earned 57.34% of all bachelor’s degrees in 2016, which means […]

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The Union Effect in California #2: Gains for Women, Workers of Color, and Immigrants

There are multiple reasons for this union effect. Collective bargaining agreements often standardize wage rates across similar occupations doing similar tasks, and establish objective procedures for hiring and awarding raises and promotions. Unions can narrow the wage gap between workers with different skills; they can also increase skill levels by providing high-quality apprenticeships and other […]

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The Union Effect in California #1: Wages, Benefits, and Use of Public Safety Net Programs

Unions have historically played a role in improving wages and benefits by enabling workers to join together to negotiate with employers. Recent research finds a persistent positive effect of unions on members’ wages and household income (Farber et al. 2018). On their own, individual workers have little bargaining power with employers. When bargaining together, workers […]

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Blue-collar blues in the Southern California job market

But arguably the biggest problem facing Southern California is seen in the decline in higher-paying blue-collar jobs, which long provided opportunity for newcomers and working-class people. With an estimated 348,000 industrial jobs, Los Angeles retains the biggest manufacturing workforce in the nation. But industrial jobs are up sharply nationwide, while L.A. has lost 6.8 percent […]

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Inglewood mayor’s campaign worker made $312,000 last year as his assistant

A former campaign worker for Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts lifted her fortunes after following him to City Hall as his assistant in 2011, rebounding from a personal bankruptcy to a position that earned her $312,000 in total compensation last year. Melanie McDade-Dickens, who served as Butts’ office manager during his first campaign for mayor, […]

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The Minimum Wage, Fringe Benefits, and Worker Welfare

This paper explores the relationship between the minimum wage, the structure of employee compensation, and worker welfare. We advance a conceptual framework that describes the conditions under which a minimum wage increase will alter the provision of fringe benefits, alter employment outcomes, and either increase or decrease worker welfare. Using American Community Survey data from […]

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Was the Gig Economy Overblown?

The emergence of the gig economy in the past decade has scarcely changed the U.S. labor market, according to newly released government data. Anyone who has ridden in an Uber, noticed a contractor working alongside them or taken a temp job to make ends meet might say the nature of work is shifting. But new […]

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Jerry Brown has weak argument for ‘large’ prison guard raises, analyst says

Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration has a “weak justification” for the short and sweet tentative contract offer it struck with the state’s union for correctional officers, a new report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office says. Brown is offering a 5 percent raise to the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which would be the best wage increase […]

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