11/30/2022

News

Tech Companies, Labor Advocates, and Think Tankers of All Stripes Call for Sweeping Reforms to the Social Safety Net

That’s what seems to have happened this week around an issue that’s crucial to the growth of new businesses like Uber and Taskrabbit: How to provide benefits to workers who use those platforms to find clients. On Tuesday, a letter surfaced calling for a new social safety net regime that could allow people to move easily from gig to gig without losing the benefits and protections usually contained within the traditional employment relationship. Right now, companies say, it’s difficult for them to offer employment-like perks without running the risk of getting hit with lawsuits.

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The Growing Problem that has Serious Implications for the Poor

For decades, the U.S. government has used the monthly Current Population Survey (CPS) to calculate several of the most important measures of national well-being. The CPS reaches roughly 100,000 households each year and captures important information about poverty and other things. And that’s a problem, because, over time, the survey has become a misrepresentation of what is actually happening.

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Economists are Starting to Warn About the Risk of a New US Recession

A growing chorus of prominent economists and analysts are arguing those dynamics could tip the world — and the United States along with it — into recession within the next two years. The fear is showing up in the recent wild swings in financial markets, rare outside of broader economic downturns. The pace of U.S. job growth has slowed substantially compared to last year. And though the economic expansion has never quite reached many workers, it has actually lasted longer than the post-war average.

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The Big 2016 Minimum Wage Push Just Got a Powerful New Ally

A large California union is seed funding an organization aimed at accelerating such campaigns around the country, seizing on growing public support for raising the minimum wage to heights that just one cycle ago would have seemed like total fantasy.

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Why States with More Marriages are Richer States

According to new research, states with a high concentration of married couples experience faster economic growth, less child poverty and more economic mobility than states where fewer adults are married, even after controlling for a variety of economic and demographic factors. The study, from the conservative American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies, also finds that the share of parents who are married in a state is a better predictor of that state’s economic health than the racial composition and educational attainment of the state’s residents.

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26% of Employers Could Face the “Cadillac Tax” on Health Insurance

A new analysis released this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that just over a quarter of employers that offer health plans would pay the 40 percent tax in 2018 on at least one plan if they don’t make changes. The National Business Group on Health, a nonprofit association of large employers, found that half of its members reported that at least one of their health plans would trigger the tax in 2018. Both groups predicted that the proportion of employers affected would go up significantly over time.

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Puerto Rico Shows the Danger of a High Minimum Wage

One point the report makes is worth considering for policymakers elsewhere in the United States. While labor organizers around the country along with most major Democratic politicians have said the federal minimum wage is too low, it seems clearly too high in Puerto Rico, at 77 percent of per capita income. That puts a lot of people with less education and fewer skills out of consideration for a job.

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The Economy’s Broken Record: Lots of Jobs, but No Raises

But unemployment hasn’t fallen just because some people are getting jobs, and other people are retiring. It’s also fallen because some other people who we’d expect to be working have given up trying to. So-called “prime-age workers” between 25 and 54 years old—too old to be in school, for the most part, and too young to be retired—aren’t working or even looking for work as much as they were before the Great Recession.

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California Could Be On the Verge of a Severe Egg Shortage, and It will Affect the Whole County

Egg prices could jump by as much as 20 percent in California as a result of the the new rules, Dermot J. Hayes, an agribusiness professor at Iowa State University in Ames, told Bloomberg.

The mere anticipation of the change has already driven prices up by more than $0.25 over the past month in California. And that increase comes on the heels of what has already been a pretty unkind year for omelette prices across the country: wholesale egg prices are averaging nearly $2.30 per dozen, up almost 35 percent since the start of the 2014.

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Millenials Can Afford to Become Homeowners–Just Not Where Many of Them Live

Millennials tend to gravitate to certain cities. They’re more likely to live in San Diego than Newark, in Austin than Cleveland, in Washington than Tampa. But these geographic patterns bode poorly for their homeownership prospects: Millennials make up a larger share of the population in many metropolitan areas where they’re least likely to afford the housing.

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Why Larry Summers Sees Danger Ahead for the Economy

Like British Prime Minister David Cameron, Larry Summers sees warning lights flashing on the world’s economic dashboard. Summers, who served through 2010 as President Obama’s top economic adviser and was Treasury Secretary under Bill Clinton, said America should be acting now to shore up its economy, instead of celebrating its status as the healthiest patient in the global economic sick ward.

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Which States have the Highest Levels of Homelessness?

States with high and low homeless rates are all over the country. The highest rates of homelessness among states are in Hawaii (465 per 100,000), followed by New York (399) and California (367).

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The Good News: We’re Back to 2008 Job Levels. That’s Also the Bad News

Unemployment fell from 3.3 to 3.2 percent for people with a bachelor’s degree or more, and from 5.7 to 5.5 percent for those with some college. But it actually rose from 6.3 to 6.5 percent for people with only a high school diploma, and from 8.9 to 9.1 percent for those without one.

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50 Shades of Fed

A Fed following the Taylor Rule would have raised rates by now, and it would not have exposed the nation to inflation risks by buying so many trillions of dollars of bonds and mortgage-backed securities over the past few years, several of the economists at the podium said. One paper presented at the conference, by University of Houston economist David Papell, found that the economy does better when the Fed sticks close to the Taylor Rule or something like it.

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The “1 Percent” Isn’t America’s Biggest Source of Inequality. College Is.

“By Autor’s calculations, if you’d taken all the income gains that flowed to the 1 percent over the last 35 years and redistributed them evenly to everyone else in the economy, that would have delivered an extra $7,100 a year to every household in the bottom 99 percent. That’s a lot of money. But it’s not as much as the growing pay differential between workers who went to college and those who didn’t.

In the last 35 years, he calculates, the so-called college premium – the boost in your paycheck from earning a diploma – increased by $28,000, adjusted for inflation. So if you took that entire increase and redistributed it to non-college workers, you’d be giving them a raise four times the size of the 1 percent redistribution.”

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