Jobs, Wages & Income

New York State Leads Nation in Income Inequality

June 16, 2016. In Income inequality in the US by state, metropolitan area, and county, a new report published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), Mark Price, an economist at the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, PA and Estelle Sommeiller, a socio-economist at the Institute for Research in Economic and Social Sciences in Greater Paris, France detail the incomes of the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent by state, … (read more)

Heights of Privilege

June 2, 2016. The following article by James Parrott appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine.

If you want to learn about the latest manifestations of inequality in urban America, read the real-estate sections of newspapers and magazines and check out the photo spreads on luxury condos in new residential skyscrapers. The palatial size, lavish finishes, and breathtaking price tags of these properties are advertisements of our new Gilded Age. In the area immediately south of … (read more)

Nearly 1 million NYS workers will benefit from new Federal overtime rule

May 18, 2016. FPI applauds the White House and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez in announcing a new federal overtime regulation today requiring overtime pay for most salaried workers earning up to $47,476 a year (or $913 weekly). FPI’s James Parrott stated, “This will benefit an estimated 982,000 New York salaried workers with either additional pay for more than 40 hours a week, or by scaling back the long hours they work each week without any reduction in pay.”

The Washington, … (read more)

A Grand Alliance to Save Our Public Postal Service

May 12, 2016. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is under attack by forces that favor privatization and oppose sensible proposals to invest in expanding its package delivery services and in re-introducing postal banking services that exist in many countries and that were provided in the United States from 1910 to 1966. With the Postal Service’s unparalleled network of post offices in every neighborhood and village in the country, postal banking has the potential to provide affordable, consumer-friendly financial services to … (read more)

Statement on Minimum Wage Announcement

March 31, 2016. The Fiscal Policy Institute is pleased to hear that a deal has been reached on increasing the minimum wage and that New York is on a path to $15 for all workers. This historic decision will provide wage increases to over 3.1 million New Yorkers that need and deserve a raise. Approximately 46 percent of workers benefiting from this increase, those in New York City, will see their wages rise to $15 per hour by the end … (read more)

Upstate-Downstate Wage Differentials are Relatively Small in Low-Wage Occupations

March 24, 2016. For the bulk of low-wage occupations most likely to be affected by a higher minimum wage, wage levels are fairly uniform between upstate and downstate. Phasing in the minimum wage increase over 6 years to 2021 for the upstate areas as opposed to 3 years for downstate provides ample time for upstate businesses whose wage levels generally are 5% to 10% lower than downstate to adjust to the higher wage floor. See the complete brief for further … (read more)

$15 Minimum Wage Would Raise Earnings for 1.1 Million Immigrants

March 23, 2016. In a brief, the Fiscal Policy Institute states that gradually raising the New York State minimum wage from its current level of $9/hour to $15/hour by 2019 in New York City and mid-2021 in the rest of the state would give a much-needed raise to 1.1 million immigrant workers.

In all, there are 3.2 million New York workers who will benefit from the phased-in wage increase, which would on average increase wages by $4,900 per year. These … (read more)

The Retail Sector—New York’s Biggest Low-wage Employer Needs to Provide Higher Wages

March 22, 2016. Among all sectors, retail trade has the most low-wage workers in New York State. Over a half million (555,200) retail workers will benefit from an increase in the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour. These workers make up nearly a fifth (18 percent) of the 3.2 million workers receiving a wage boost, although retail jobs represent one in nine of all New York jobs.

With the phased-in $15 minimum wage floor, 61 percent of all women … (read more)

Proposed EITC Expansion Is No Substitute for Proposed $15 Minimum Wage

March 18, 2016. The state’s EITC is an extremely important benefit to low- and moderate-income working families. There is considerable merit to Assemblyman Kolb’s proposed 50% enhancement to the state’s EITC, raising it form 30% to 45% of the federal EITC. However, the proposal is certainly not a substitute for raising the minimum wage. It is more appropriate to view the EITC and raising the minimum wage as complementary policies. See the complete brief issued jointly by the Fiscal Policy … (read more)

New York Economists Support a Statewide $15 Minimum Wage; Recent academic research shows it’s good for workers, businesses and the economy

March 14, 2016. More than 75 economists from throughout New York State joined together this week to send a message to Albany: a phased-in increase in the minimum wage to $15 by 2019 in New York City and by mid-2021 in the rest of the state is a prudent and much needed policy that would raise the incomes of struggling low-wage workers and boost their spending power without hurting the state’s economy.

The economists’ statement cites a number of academic … (read more)