Jobs, Wages & Income

Wage Standards are Key to Reversing the Erosion of Wages and Living Standards in New York City

December 16, 2014. Despite considerable growth in the New York City economy over the past two decades, very little of that growth has trickled down to the average worker and his or her family, according to our new report. Wage standards like the minimum wage and the living wage are critical in ensuring that there is a floor under the job market and that workers are adequately paid. Prevailing wage standards, however, are a key means to ensure that… (read more)

NYC Median Family Income Up for First Time since Great Recession

October 15, 2014. After five years of decline, median family income in New York City rose by 3.5 percent between 2012 and 2013 in inflation-adjusted terms, according to recently-published Census data.[1] This compares with increases of 0.9 percent at the national level and 1.6 percent for all of New York State, including the city.

While the city’s increase far surpassed the nation’s and state’s, median family income in the city was still 5.2 percent lower in 2013 than… (read more)

Hundreds of thousands of low-income families would benefit from a New York minimum wage increase

July 17, 2014. David Neumark’s piece in the July 6 Wall Street Journal (“Who Really Gets the Minimum Wage?”) argues that because some low-wage earners are in high-income families, increasing the minimum wage isn’t a very effective way to reduce poverty. In particular, he cites research to the effect that “if we were to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 nationally, 18% of the benefits of the higher wages (holding employment fixed) would go to poor families [but] 29% would… (read more)

Over one-third of New York City employees are paid less than $14 an hour; workers of color are twice as likely to be low-wage

June 17, 2014. The Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) released a new data brief today showing the sector of employment and race/ethnicity for New York City workers paid less than $14 an hour. On an annual basis, $14 an hour would put a family $1,900 below the $31,039 poverty threshold for a New York City family.

Altogether, 1.2 million New York City workers are paid less than $14 an hour, 36 percent of all public and private wage and salary… (read more)

Testimony to Raise the Statewide Minimum Wage and Allow Localities to Set a Higher Minimum Wage

June 2, 2014. FPI’s James Parrott submitted testimony for the June 2 New York State Senate Labor Committee hearing on several minimum wage-related bills, including five bills that would authorize local governments to enact minimum wages above the statewide level, and one bill that would establish a statewide “living wage” of $15 an hour, indexed to inflation, for certain large employers and chain stores. The FPI testimony reviewed several reasons why it makes sense for New York State to… (read more)

Immigrants and Local Economic Growth: Realizing New York’s Full Potential

May 22, 2014. How can lifting barriers to economic advancement to immigrants also provide a boost to the New York State economy?

In November, 2013, the Fiscal Policy Institute convened a multi-day retreat to discuss this question. Advocates, organizers, service providers, researchers, and people working in policy development joined FPI at the Blue Mountain Center in the Adirondacks for a series of highly engaging conversations. It was a rare and warmly welcomed instance of people coming together to discuss these… (read more)

Testimony on Local Government Minimum Wage Authority

April 30, 2014. In testimony presented before the New York City Council, FPI’s James Parrott reviewed several reasons why it makes sense for New York State to authorize cities and counties to establish higher minimum wage levels than the statewide minimum. Parrott’s testimony cited data showing that there are wide disparities across counties within the state in terms of the local cost of living, and that there is a similar wide disparity in median… (read more)

Case Studies Examine Shale Drilling’s Mixed Legacy

April 11, 2014.  New case studies of the impact of shale gas drilling in Carroll County, Ohio; Greene and Tioga counties in Pennsylvania; and Wetzel County, West Virginia, provide numerous cautionary tales for New York as it considers whether or not to allow Horizontal Drilling and High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing in the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs.

The case studies, which were completed by the Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia organizations that are part of the (read more)

Briefing on Mayor deBlasio’s Preliminary FY 2015 NYC Budget: Initial Progressive Steps, More to Come

March 11, 2014. In his review of NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio’s first budget, FPI’s James Parrott notes the new mayor’s progressive change in direction compared to prior City budgets. Not surprisingly, the major new initiative included in the Preliminary FY 2015 budget is full funding for the UPK/afterschool proposal scheduled for launch in the fall of 2014.

The briefing summarizes trends in state and federal aid, and analyzes projections for tax revenue growth. Parrott describes the municipal labor contract… (read more)

Testimony Presented to the New York City Council Committee on Civil Service and Labor

February 27, 2014. In testimony presented before the New York City Council Civil Service and Labor Committee, FPI’s James Parrott summarized several employment, wage and cost of living trends affecting low-wage workers in New York City. He noted that 37 percent of all wage-earners in the city are paid less than $15 an hour, and that half of all black and Latino workers are low-wage by this measure. Parrott discussed several groups of low-wage workers and suggested policy steps… (read more)