09/25/2018

News

Employers Choose Bonuses Over Raises

U.S. employers are boosting benefits—including bonuses and vacation time—at a faster pace than salaries, a move that gives them more flexibility to dial back that compensation if the economy turns sour. The cost of benefits for private-sector employers rose 3% in June from a year earlier, while the cost of wages and salaries advanced 2.7%, […]

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The New Wave of Local Minimum Wage Policies: Evidence from Six Cities

This report advances the discussion of high local minimum wages by using both event study and synthetic control methods, and by expanding our analysis to the effects in six cities that were early movers: Chicago, District of Columbia, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and Seattle. At the end of 2016 (the last year in our […]

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Unions enjoy big clout, but membership declining

The 2016-18 legislative session, which ended last week, provided more proof of the symbiotic relationship between California’s labor unions and the Legislature’s Democratic majority. While they didn’t get everything they wanted from the Legislature, unions – particularly those representing state and local government workers – won far more skirmishes than they lost. The record was […]

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NFIB Small Business Jobs Report

Small business plans to create new jobs and job openings hit a 45-year high in August, but owners still struggled to fill their open positions, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report, released today. After posting significant gains in filling open positions in July, it slowed slightly in August, perhaps due to fewer qualified applicants. Hiring […]

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U.S. Worker Productivity Rose in Spring at Best Pace Since 2015

U.S. worker productivity rose this spring at the best quarterly pace in more than three years, newly revised numbers confirmed, though growth from a year earlier was more subdued. The productivity of nonfarm workers, measured as the output of goods and services for each hour on the job, increased at an annualized and seasonally adjusted […]

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Fruit Fly Infestation In Sacramento Will Disrupt Region’s Farmers

Jensen says the county first detected this particular fruit fly in late July through routine trap monitoring. The pest’s presence has now triggered a quarantine by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. It extends over an area of 123 square miles, covering a swathe of the city of Sacramento and a sliver of Yolo […]

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California lawmakers approve bill to require corporate boards to include women

Citing a lack of diversity in corporate boardrooms, state lawmakers on Thursday sent the governor a bill that would require women to be included on the boards of directors of firms headquartered in California. The bill would require that publicly held corporations headquartered in the state include at least one woman on boards of directors […]

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Fewer Californians than residents nationwide favor raising teacher pay

The plight of teachers in the half-dozen states who went out on strike over wages last spring resonated across the nation. A near-majority of people now favor raising teachers’ pay — a significant increase over a year ago — according to a poll by the education journal Education Next. An exception, though, is California — […]

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The Zero-Sum Economy

And yet, despite all this, measured productivity growth across the developed economies has slowed. One possible explanation, recently considered by Andrew Haldane, chief economist of the Bank of England, is that while some companies rapidly grasp the new opportunities, others do so only slowly, producing a wide productivity dispersion even within the same sector. But […]

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Gas tax projects prompt Jerry Brown’s pay raises for California highway engineers

Gov. Jerry Brown’s last contract with the state’s highway engineers includes some sweet perks aimed at retaining the longtime road designers, planners and project managers who’d be charged with executing work funded by the gas tax he backed last year. Brown struck a two-year agreement with Professional Engineers in California Government that includes general wage […]

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U.S. Worker Productivity Improves at Best Pace in Three Years

U.S. worker productivity accelerated this spring at the best pace in more than three years, a possible sign stronger business investment is giving workers the tools they need to boost output. The productivity of nonfarm workers, measured as the output of goods and services for each hour on the job, increased at an annualized and […]

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California unions win another pension lawsuit. Will their streak continue?

The state Supreme Court last Thursday struck down one of the biggest efforts yet to force California public employees into 401(k) plans, giving unions another win in their effort to protect defined benefit retirement plans from elected leaders who want to rein in pension costs. The court sought to write a narrow decision, finding that […]

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Rising U.S. Consumer Prices Are Eroding Wage Gains

A humming U.S. economy is pushing inflation up to levels that the central bank considers healthy. But there’s a downside: Americans’ paychecks are barely keeping up. Consumer prices rose 2.9% over the past year, a rate last exceeded in late 2011, the Labor Department said Friday. Core prices—those outside of volatile food and energy-related expenses—climbed […]

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Jobs Go Unfilled as the Economy Expands

Unfilled jobs are piling up in the transportation, retail and business-services sectors as workers become scarce in the fast-growing economy. The number of available jobs grew by nearly 750,000 this spring, compared with a year earlier, according to Labor Department data released Tuesday. There were 6.7 million job openings on average in the three months […]

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Sacramento Tax Increase Proposal Represents Statewide Trend

The Sacramento City Council vote to place a tax increase on the November ballot is representative of what we’ll see around the state in many localities: a call for more taxes to maintain basic services when in reality the money is needed to meet pension obligations. In one sense the argument that the money is […]

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