Stockton, California, Retirees Feel Shock of Benefit Rollback

June 28, 2012. An article by Alison Vekshin, Business Week.

Stockton’s approach punishes people with little power to fight back, said Frank Mauro, executive director of the nonpartisan Fiscal Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Latham, New York.

“They’re hurting very vulnerable citizens,” Mauro said yesterday by telephone. “What can a retiree who’s been retired for 10 to 15 years already and is living on a fixed income do?”

Also posted to Bloomberg News and Financial Advisor magazine.

Young New Yorkers hurt by falling wages, high unemployment and a larger share of college costs

June 24, 2012. An article by Catherine Curan, New York Post.

New York City workers ages 21 to 24 saw their median hourly wages drop 5 percent from 2002 to 2011.

Unemployment is so high that workers with a four-year college degree actually saw their wages drop more sharply than workers with less education, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute.

“Individual young adults have done the right thing and gone to college, but are not being rewarded for it in this labor market,” said James Parrott of the Fiscal Policy Institute.

City Controller John Liu’s 1% tax relief solution lifts unfair burden for 99%

June 24, 2012. Progressive plan gives break to low-income families, forces rich to pay fair share and boosts city revenue: A column by Albor Ruiz of the Daily News.

U.S. economy has international flavor

June 24, 2012. An article by Melissa Topey, Sandusky (OH) Register.

Blacks Miss Out as Jobs Rebound in New York City

June 20, 2012. An article by Patrick McGeehan, New York Times. An excerpt:

For months now, New York officials have been highlighting how the city has regained all the jobs lost during the long recession and then some. But by several measures, the city’s recovery has left black New Yorkers behind.

More than half of all of African-Americans and other non-Hispanic blacks in the city who were old enough to work had no job at all this year, according to an analysis of employment data compiled by the federal Labor Department. And when black New Yorkers lose their jobs, they spend a full year, on average, trying to find new jobs – far longer than New Yorkers of other races.

Nationally, the employment outlook for blacks has begun to brighten: there were about one million more black Americans with jobs in May than there were a year earlier, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But that is not the case in New York City, where the decline in employment since the recession began here, in 2008, has been much steeper for blacks than for white or Hispanic residents, said James Parrott, chief economist for the Fiscal Policy Institute, a liberal research group.

One problem, said David R. Jones, the president and chief executive of the Community Service Society of New York, is that blacks were overrepresented in fields that suffered the most in the downturn, including government agencies, construction and manufacturing.

“It’s being in the wrong place in the economy, so the recovery is not trickling down to these workers,” Mr. Jones said.

The Times story was highlighted on The Grio by NBC News, June 21.

South Florida leads nation in immigrant small business owners

June 19, 2012. An article by Marcia Heroux Pounds, Broward/Palm Beach Sun Sentinel.

South Florida has the highest share – 45 percent – of immigrant business owners, of metropolitan areas in the United States, according to a new analysis by Fiscal Policy Institute, a research group in New York.

The study indicates a change since 1990 when the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area was tied with Los Angeles in immigrant business ownership, both at 35 percent, the Institute said.

Business ownership by immigrants is closely linked to large immigrant populations, the Institute says in its study released this month. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan region also has the largest share – 47 percent – of the labor force who are foreign born.

The region eclipses Los Angeles with 44 percent share of foreign-born business owners and 43 percent share of the labor force; and New York with a 36 percent share of immigrant business owners and 36 percent of the labor force.

Immigrant businesses are rooted in ethnic neighborhoods, said David Dyssegaard Kallick, senior fellow of the Fiscal Policy Institute in New York City. He said many of the businesses started by immigrants are the same “bread and butter” operations such as restaurants, grocery stores and other services for their communities.

Kallick said the Fiscal Policy Institute’s study was the first he is aware of that looks at small-business owners that were incorporated, rather than mostly self-employed individuals. Nearly 60 percent of the foreign-born business owners had at least one paid employee.

Rafael Cruz, regional director of the Small Business Development Center in Fort Lauderdale, said the region’s strong ties to South America is a major factor. In recent years, the metro area has drawn foreign investment from Brazilians and Canadians, who not only invest in houses but also in businesses, he said.

Some people who want to stay in the country invest in a business to obtain a visa, he said.

But foreign owners must invest a “substantial” amount, from $500,000 to $1 million in a U.S. business, depending on the visa program, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

People often find that U.S. businesses are simpler to open than in their home country, where ownership is more restrictive, he said.

Budget Breakdown: Watchdog Groups Say Biggest Budget Problems Easy To See, Hard To Tackle

June 19, 2012. At $70 billion, there are undoubtedly cases of waste and inefficiency in the city’s budget. A number of watchdog groups say the biggest budget problems facing the city are easy to identify but difficult to tackle. NY1’s Bobby Cuza filed the following report as part of NY1’s series on the city budget.

Report: One in six U.S. small business owners are immigrants

June 19, 2012. An article by Sheryl Jean, Dallas Morning News.

Annual conference on local government – Sponsored by Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress

June 19, 2012, Newburgh. The program focused on lessons learned from the first year of the state’s 2 percent tax cap, along with the ongoing crisis in public finance. FPI’s Frank Mauro moderated the plenary panel, “The Crisis in Public Finance.” The panel was preceded by a keynote address by Richard Brodsky of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the Finances of the City of Yonkers. Agenda.

One in six U.S. small businesses owned by immigrants

June 18, 2012. An article by Terry Brodie, Toronto Globe and Mail.

18% of small business owners are immigrants, up from 12% 20 years ago

Immigrants to the United States are playing an increasing role in small businesses, with more than one in six such businesses now owned by an immigrant, finds a new study from the Fiscal Policy Institute.

The study found that people born in another country comprise 18 per cent of all small business owners, though they make up 13 per cent of the population and 16 per cent of the labour force.

And that figure is up significantly from 20 years ago, when immigrants made up 12 per cent of small business owners and 9 per cent of the labour force, the study found.

The study found that small businesses with fewer than 100 employees and at least half-ownership by immigrants brought in $776-billion in receipts and employed 4.7 million people, 14 per cent of all those employed by small businesses.

Among other findings more than half do not have a college degree, the most heavily represented immigrant small business owners come from Mexico, India, Korea, Cuba, China and Vietnam,

In general, it said, immigrants from the Middle East, A sia, and Southern Europe have the highest rates of business ownership.

It also found that women born elsewhere are more likely to be business owners than women born in the United States.

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