The Consolidated Edison Lockout: FPI Testimony

July 25, 2012. Testimony presented to the New York Assembly Standing Committees on Labor, Energy and Corporations, Authorities and Commissions. In sum: Con Ed’s lockout of its skilled workforce is unnecessarily putting the people of New York City and Westchester County at risk of serious electric, gas and steam outages. Con Ed’s actions jeopardize the incomes of thousands of hourly-paid workers and the business activity and viability of small businesses throughout the regional economy. Given the slow recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-2009, we simply cannot afford to have the plug pulled on our economy, public health or the shrinking middle class. This is an entirely avoidable catastrophe that can and should be averted by our elected officials.

Report: NYS gets A for effort, D for equity in education spending

July 24, 2012. A story by Daniel P. Bader, Utica Observer-Dispatch.

NY’s min-wage job cost

July 24, 2012. A story by Carl Campanile, New York Post.

Communities in Crisis: Jones, Kink and Mauro Talk Budget Cut Impact

July 23, 2012. The financial struggles faced by local governments have let to layoffs and other cutbacks. But some argue that the problems cannot by solved by cuts alone. Liz Benjamin of YNN’s Capital Tonight interviews Nikki Jones of the Alliance for Quality Education, Michael Kink of Strong Economy for All, and Frank Mauro of FPI.

Is Paid Sick Leave Good for Business?

July 20, 2012. An article by Caroline Winter, Bloomberg Businessweek.

Advocates Push for Paid Sick Leave in New York

July 20, 2012. A digest by Maggie O’Neill, citytowninfo.com.

Unemployment returns to recession level

July 19, 2012. Job gains for the city were not enough to prevent the unemployment rate from hitting double digits, according to state data released Thursday. An article by Daniel Massey, Crain’s New York Business.

Hudson Yards and New York’s love-hate relationship with Mayor Bloomberg

July 18, 2012. A story by Joan Gralla, Reuters Macroscope.

Critics say the developers – The Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group Inc – should not be tapping taxpayers’ wallets, but should instead be relying on their own deep pockets.

Argues James Parrott, chief economist for the Fiscal Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank whose funding comes primarily from foundations but which also gets some support from unions:

“This represents the culmination in the evolution over the past 30 years of city business subsidies, first to manufacturing, then commercial in the outer boroughs, then Lower Manhattan commercial, then to ‘smart buildings,’ and now to prime mid-town commercial properties in already heavily subsidized areas … This is the first of what could be several mega-subsidy deals in the Hudson Yards area in the years to come. A testament to the ever-growing influence of the real estate sector.”

‘Day of Action’ for workers

July 16, 2012. An article by Lisa Colangelo, New York Daily News.

James Parrott of the Fiscal Policy Institute used some stark statistics to paint a picture of low-wage New York.

The number of New Yorkers making less than $10 an hour jumped from 16.4% in 1990 to 18.5% in 2010.

But when you take into account the size of the city’s workforce, the number of workers making less than $10 an hour increased by 42%, Parrott said.

While higher-wage jobs have been disappearing, lower-wage jobs – such as retail positions and home health aides – are on the upswing.

Parrott said since mid-2008 – the start of the recession – low-wage sectors have added over 100,000 jobs.

On the other hand, middle-wage sectors (jobs where people make between $45,000 and $75,000 a year) lost a net of 42,000 jobs. Higher-wage sectors lost 11,000 jobs.

FPI’s immigration research cited: The White House Blog

July 12, 2012. Blogging from the White House, Jason Furman and Danielle Gray of the National Economic Council mention FPI’s June 2012 report on immigrant small business owners in their post Ten Ways Immigrants Help Build and Strengthen Our Economy.

America is a nation of immigrants. Our American journey and our success would simply not be possible without the generations of immigrants who have come to our shores from every corner of the globe. It is helpful to take a moment to reflect on the important contributions by the generations of immigrants who have helped us build our economy, and made America the economic engine of the world.

How do immigrants strengthen the U.S. economy? Below is our top 10 list for ways immigrants help to grow the American economy.

  1. Immigrants start businesses. According to the Small Business Administration, immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a business in the United States than non-immigrants, and 18 percent of all small business owners in the United States are immigrants.
  2. Immigrant-owned businesses create jobs for American workers. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, small businesses owned by immigrants employed an estimated 4.7 million people in 2007, and according to the latest estimates, these small businesses generated more than $776 billion annually.
  3. Immigrants are also more likely to create their own jobs. According the U.S. Department of Labor, 7.5 percent of the foreign born are self-employed compared to 6.6 percent among the native-born.
  4. Immigrants develop cutting-edge technologies and companies. According to the National Venture Capital Association, immigrants have started 25 percent of public U.S. companies that were backed by venture capital investors. This list includes Google, eBay, Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems, and Intel.
  5. Immigrants are our engineers, scientists, and innovators. According to the Census Bureau, despite making up only 16 percent of the resident population holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, immigrants represent 33 percent of engineers, 27 percent of mathematicians, statisticians, and computer scientist, and 24 percent of physical scientists. Additionally, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy, in 2011, foreign-born inventors were credited with contributing to more than 75 percent of patents issued to the top 10 patent-producing universities.
  6. Immigration boosts earnings for American workers. Increased immigration to the United States has increased the earnings of Americans with more than a high school degree. Between 1990 and 2004, increased immigration was correlated with increasing earnings of Americans by 0.7 percent and is expected to contribute to an increase of 1.8 percent over the long-term, according to a study by the University of California at Davis.
  7. Immigrants boost demand for local consumer goods. The Immigration Policy Center estimates that the purchasing power of Latinos and Asians, many of whom are immigrants, alone will reach $1.5 trillion and $775 billion, respectively, by 2015.
  8. Immigration reform legislation like the DREAM Act reduces the deficit. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, under the 2010 House-passed version of the DREAM Act, the federal deficit would be reduced by $2.2 billion over ten years because of increased tax revenues.
  9. Comprehensive immigration reform would create jobs. Comprehensive immigration reform could support and create up to 900,000 new jobs within three years of reform from the increase in consumer spending, according to the Center for American Progress.
  10. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that even under low investment assumptions, comprehensive immigration reform would increase GDP by between 0.8 percent and 1.3 percent from 2012 to 2016.

As a nation of immigrants, we must remember that generations of immigrants have helped lay the railroads and build our cities, pioneer new industries and fuel our Information Age, from Google to the iPhone. As President Obama said at a naturalization ceremony held at the White House last week:

The lesson of these 236 years is clear – immigration makes America stronger. Immigration makes us more prosperous. And immigration positions America to lead in the 21st century. And these young men and women are testaments to that. No other nation in the world welcomes so many new arrivals. No other nation constantly renews itself, refreshes itself with the hopes, and the drive, and the optimism, and the dynamism of each new generation of immigrants. You are all one of the reasons that America is exceptional. You’re one of the reasons why, even after two centuries, America is always young, always looking to the future, always confident that our greatest days are still to come.

We celebrate the contributions of all Americans to building our nation and its economy, including the generations of immigrants.