Jobs, Wages & Income

New York’s Poverty Rate Remains High While the National Poverty Rate Continues to Fall

September 30, 1999. Press release:

The new poverty statistics released today by the United States Census Bureau show that  New York’s poverty rate remained high while the national poverty rate continues to fall. The national poverty rate declined for the fifth consecutive year. This year’s decline was particularly large, from 13.3% to 12.7%. At the same time, however, New York’s poverty rate showed no improvement. Actually New York’s poverty rate increased from 16.5% in 1997 to 16.7% in 1998 but … (read more)

Why the Federal and State Governments Should Both Increase and Index Their Minimum Wages

September 1999.  By Frank J. Mauro.

The first minimum wage at the federal level was signed into law in 1938, after several states including New York had enacted their own minimum wage laws. The U. S. Supreme Court had first invalidated such state laws as violating the liberty of contract and then upheld them as a proper exercise of the states’ power to protect the public health, safety and welfare. From the very beginning, such laws protected responsible employers from … (read more)

State of Working New York 1999: The Illusion of Prosperity

September 1, 1999. Prosperity bypasses most New Yorkers. Wages fall, the upstate economy falters, and the ranks of the working poor rise over the 1990s. Press release below.

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Testimony before the Assembly Standing Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry and Assembly Committee on Small Business

May 27, 1999. The Upstate Economy: Testimony delivered by Trudi Renwick, Economist, Fiscal Policy Institute, Utica, New York.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on the economic development challenges facing Upstate New York. I would like to review the economic situation in the State and then talk about three issues that affect the Upstate Economy: STAR, the difficulty of the welfare-to-work transition for people with no paid work experience even in areas with tight labor markets, and the ability … (read more)

Taxpayers Deserve a Fair Shake From Businesses That Receive Government Subsidies

May 25, 1999. Legislators and coalition of statewide organizations urge New York to join national move toward greater accountability in the granting of corporate subsidies. Group press release:

“State and local taxpayers should get their money’s worth from the billions in government subsidies that are given to businesses each year in New York State,” declared the Fair Budget Campaign at a press conference this morning at the Legislative Office Building in Albany. The Fair Budget Campaign is a cooperative project … (read more)

Testimony before the Assembly Standing Committee on Economic Development, Job Creation, Commerce and Industry and Assembly Committee on Small Business

May 11, 1999. The Upstate Economy: Testimony delivered by James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Fiscal Policy Institute, Albany, New York.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify on the economic development challenges facing Upstate New York. The lagging performance of the upstate economies is a serious issue. Weak job growth for an extended period in the 1990s has restrained income growth and the resulting lack of job opportunities has, unfortunately but not unexpectedly, led many people to give … (read more)

Living Standards in New York City: The Foundation of Quality of Life

April 15, 1999. City Project used this brief (available in pdf) for its Alterbudget agenda.

Living Standards in New York City – The Foundation of Quality of Life

Any discussion of quality of life in New York City needs to consider what is happening to living standards. Indeed, a decent income that provides for basic human material needs – shelter, food, medical care, clothing, etc. – should be the starting point for gauging a community’s “quality of life”. In … (read more)

Text of March 16,1999 letter from Nancy L. Johnson sent individually to all 50 governors

March 16, 1999

The Honorable John G. Rowland Governor of Connecticut 210 Capitol Avenue Hartford, CT 06106

Dear John:

Most states have not been spending all the federal dollars that have been allocated to them under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. According to our budget analysts, states have about $6 billion in unspent funds left over from fiscal years 1997 and 1998. My colleagues and I on the Committee on Ways and Means are fighting to … (read more)

H.R.1060: The Distorting Subsidies Limitation Act

March 10, 1999. This legislation, introduced in the U. S. House of Representatives by Congressman David Minge, is based on a plan developed by officials of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota. The legislation is intended to reduce the pressure that states and cities currently face to participate in the “Economic War Among the States” by having the federal government tax away the benefits that corporations receive in the form of state and local government subsidies.

Main Sponsor: U. S. … (read more)

Working but Poor in New York

March 8, 1999. This report from the Fiscal Policy Institute (revised in July 1999) outlines why and how to improve the economic situation of a hard-working but ignored population. Report below; also see press release.

Working but Poor in New York

Table of Contents

  1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Working but Poor in New York
    1. Many New Yorkers Work but Remain Poor
    2. New York’s Poverty Rate Has Remained High While the National Rate Has Dropped Steadily
    3. Most Poor Families Include a
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