Jobs, Wages & Income

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 wage levels, particularly between New … (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 Multi-State (read more)

New York City Social Services Workforce

April 3, 2014. In doing research and analysis of the New York City social services workforce, a preliminary chart pack was assembled that includes:

  1. NYC Contract Budget for Social Services
  2. Demographics of Private Social Service Workforce
  3. NYC Social Services Sector: Annual Earnings by Occupation
  4. Social Services Wages & Hours
  5. Social Services Workers: Family Income Relative to Poverty Status
(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 situation … (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 the … (read more)

New report confirms New York’s profound income polarization

February 19, 2014. A new report from the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) that presents data on income distribution trends for all 50 states from 1917-2011, confirms an analysis of income trends in New York that the Fiscal Policy Institute initially published in 2010. The report, by economists Estelle Sommeiller and Mark Price, builds on a groundbreaking study by economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanual Saez in 2003 that used data from income tax returns to document rising inequality in … (read more)

Why New York State Should Let Cities and Counties Enact Higher Local Minimum Wages

February 14, 2014. While New York’s economy is gradually recovering, far too many workers still earn very low wages. Pay for the typical New Yorker has not kept up with inflation, and the majority of new jobs being created in New York and nationally are in low paying fields. As communities in New York struggle with these serious economic challenges, other states have empowered localities to respond by adopting higher local minimum wages. From California to Maryland, growing numbers of … (read more)

Testimony at the New York City Council Education and Women’s Issues Committees

February 11, 2014. James Parrott testified before the New York City Council Education and Women’s Issues Committees on Feb. 11, 2014, on the subject of Mayor deBlasio’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten and After-School Proposals. Parrott supported the notion that there should be a dedicated funding stream to pay for these proposals financed by an increase in the top rate on the City’s personal income tax. He examined the proposed increase in historical perspective, reviewed the issue of migration in response to local … (read more)

New Report Examines Shale Drilling Impact

November 21, 2013. Drilling in the six states that span the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations has produced far fewer new jobs than the industry and its supporters claim, according to a report by the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative, a group of research organizations tracking the impacts of shale drilling that includes the Fiscal Policy Institute.

The Marcellus and Utica shale formations span six states: New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia. Natural gas development in these … (read more)

The Taxpayer Costs of Low-Wage Fast Food Jobs in New York State

October 16, 2013. Fast food jobs are by far the biggest source of job growth in New York State and New York City in this recovery and over the past decade. But, with a median hourly pay of only $8.90 an hour in NYC, this growth in fast food jobs is one of the reasons that poverty has risen sharply during the recovery.

NYC has a record number of working poor—one out of every 10 workers in NYC works, … (read more)