State Aids Immigrants with Free Service Centers

March 18, 2013. The New York World writes about the Office for New Americans.

“The idea that that much money could provide services to 4 million immigrants in New York state of course doesn’t make sense,” said David Kallick, a senior fellow at the Fiscal Policy Institute, an economic research organization that has studied the welfare of New York’s immigrants. Nonetheless, Kallick called the Office for New Americans “very much the right idea,” saying it would supplement existing services.

Revised NYS and NYC unemployment rates eliminate the mid-2012 spike and clear up what had been a confused picture

March 18, 2013. Earlier this month the NYS Department of Labor released its annual revisions to the employment and unemployment data. As noted in an earlier blog entry, New York’s private payroll employment growth was revised upward and government employment was revised to show the loss of 59,000 state and local government jobs between December 2010 and December 2012.

In the revised unemployment data for 2011 and 2012 released by the Department of Labor, the unemployment trend replaces what had been a confusing spike in the unemployment rates for NYS to show a more smoothed out picture.

The pre-benchmark and post-benchmark picture is very similar for NYC, although the unemployment rate is higher for NYC.

While it is not unusual in a recovery to see a month or two where the unemployment moves higher as more people resume looking for work as the hiring situation improves. This adds to the labor force count, and if the labor force grows faster than employment in the household series, the unemployment rate would rise. Payroll employment numbers are from a monthly survey of businesses while the labor force and unemployment data are based on a monthly survey of households by the Census Bureau in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

However, in the middle of 2012, the pre-benchmarked NYS and NYC unemployment numbers were showing a fairly steady increase in the unemployment rate that pushed it about 1% higher than the level from the spring of 2011. This was puzzling to economists since NYS and NYC payroll job growth was steady and on a par with the nation during this period. However, as would be expected, the national unemployment rate was showing a steady downward trend while unemployment was reported as rising in NYS and NYC.

We had noted this anomalous situation in our The State of Working NewYork 2012 edition, and reviewed the data in more detail and with comparisons to the trends in other large states in a presentation prepared in the late fall.

The revised labor market data for NYS and NYC show more labor force growth in both 2011 and 2012 and with considerably higher household employment growth in both years. The revised data show unemployment falling fairly steadily in both NYS and NYC for the last several months of 2012.

Peralta Pushes for DREAM Act

March 15, 2013. Assemblymember Jose Peralta talks with Karen DeWitt on WMHT’s New York Now about the New York State DREAM Act, citing the Fiscal Policy Institute’s analysis of the costs and benefits.

How Immigrants Forestall Death of More Than 1 in 3 U.S. Counties

March 15, 2013. The National Journal reports on how immigration has offset a decline in the U.S.-born population.

Without immigrants, many metropolitan regions would have declined; beyond the obvious destinations, namely New York and Chicago (respectively the largest and third-largest), immigrants shored up Detroit, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.

“Immigrants are innovators, entrepreneurs,” said Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder at a recent immigration conference, according to an Associated Press Report. “They’re making things happen.”

A July 2012 report by the Fiscal Policy Institute indicated that immigrants own 18 percent of small businesses in the U.S., up from 12 percent in 20 years.

Immigration Reform Forum in Patchogue

March 13, 2013. A forum in Patchogue on immigration reform, sponsored by the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, at the church that played an important role after the killing of Marcelo Lucero.

A forum on the economic benefits of immigration reform will be taking place at the Congregational Church of Patchogue Monday morning at 10:30 a.m.

…panelists include Congressman Tim Bishop and representatives from Long Island Association, Long Island Federation of Labor, Long Island Farm Bureau, Local 32BJ (SEIU) and Local 1102 (RWDSU).

The forum is being hosted by David Dyssegaard Kaillick of the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Governor Still Refuses to Say Whether He Will Support Funding For NYS DREAM Act in 2014 Budget

March 13, 2013. Albor Ruiz writes in the Daily News about the NYS DREAM Legislation.

Citing a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute that affirms that bachelor’s degree holders pay an additional $3,900 in annual state taxes, the legislators assured Cuomo that TAP funding for the undocumented would more than pay for itself within six years.

“The New York State DREAM Act is the smartest, soundest investment that we can possibly make in workforce development and our state’s future,” the senators said.

Note that about 5,500 undocumented students would benefit from the NYS DREAM Legislation, according to FPI’s analysis. The article mentions 200,000 students in this context; we are looking into what that may refer to.

Job Center Helps Immigrant Workers As They Await Reform

March 13, 2013. An article in the Brooklyn Ink talks about a community jobs center.

Immigration reform could resolve these issues, and also benefit the national economy, if its 1986 incarnation is any indication.

“Immigrants who’d previously been undocumented were able to move to jobs suited to their abilities, invest in education, and increase their wages,” said David Dyssegaard Kallick, a senior fellow at Fiscal Policy Institute. Reform would also create a more level playing field for employers of low-wage workers, he said, some of who lower their business costs by hiring undocumented workers.

But allowing immigrants to meet every demand of the labor market might not be the optimal solution.

“You want some pressure for wages and labor force participation to rise, and pressure to invest in education if there aren’t enough architects or engineers, for example,” Kallick said. “You need a balance.”

$9 with indexing adds hundreds of millions of dollars more in consumer spending and more jobs

March 13, 2013. A report by the National Employment Law Project and the Fiscal Policy Institute shows the dangers of watering down the $9.00 plus indexing minimum wage proposal, which has the backing of most New Yorkers and majorities in both the Senate and the Assembly.  The report details the greater benefits for workers and the state economy from an increase to $9.00 an hour with indexing compared to the proposal for an $8.75 an hour increase without indexing:

  • $9.00 plus indexing would boost the state’s economy by $1.2 billion in the first year. A weaker deal such as $8.75 without indexing would generate $840 million in new economic activity, $360 million less, by contrast.
  • Plus, indexing the minimum each year for the change in the cost of living would also mean an added boost in spending each future year as compared to the $8.75 proposal without indexing.
  • $9.00 plus indexing would support the creation of 10,200 full-time jobs, and more in subsequent years. $8.75 without indexing would generate just 7,300 jobs — 2,900 fewer jobs in the first year.
  • A full-time minimum wage worker would earn $520 less in 2014, $936 less in 2015, $1,352 less in 2016, and approximately an additional $400 less each successive year under a weaker deal such as $8.75 without indexing, than under $9.00 with indexing.
  • An estimated 1.7 million low-paid workers – more than one out of every five New Yorkers – would receive a pay raise if the minimum wage is raised to $9.00 and then indexed.
  • $9.00 plus indexing is a smaller increase (24%) than New York’s last minimum wage boost approved in 2004 (39%).  An increase today comparable to that achieved by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate President Joe Bruno in 2004 would entail raising New York’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

Press Release >>>

“No Irish Need Apply” Couldn’t Stop Them

March 12, 2013. A Fox News online opinion piece linking immigration reform to St. Patrick’s Day.

The Fiscal Policy Institute analyzed data from U.S. Census’ American Community Survey and found that 18% of small businesses in the U.S. are owned by immigrants, up from 12% in 1990.  The latest census figures available show that immigrants comprise 13% of the U.S. population and that the majority of these small business owners do not have college degrees.  In New York, 36% of small businesses are owned by immigrants, including myself.  Miami and Los Angeles have the highest share of immigrant-owned businesses.

DREAMers: Undocumented Unafraid and Unapologetic

March 11, 2013. A Legislative Gazette article about the New York State DREAM Act as it advances in the legislature.

A recent report by the Fiscal Policy Institute found that passing the legislation will reap a large economic benefit to the state as college graduates typically earn an additional $25,000 a year, which, in return, means $3,900 more per year, per student, in state and local taxes.

An analysis by the Fiscal Policy Institute also concluded that the DREAM legislation would increase the cost of the state’s Tuition Assistance Program by $17 million, which represents 2 percent of the current TAP expenditures.

…According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, if the DREAM Act was to be financed through the state income tax it would only cost a typical taxpayer, who has an adjusted gross annual income of $45,000 to $49,999, 87 cents per year, “less than the price of a donut.”

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