Labor markets

New York’s Unemployment System Depends on Continued Federal Assistance

May 11, 2020

Following the Great Recession, New York’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund only achieved a positive fund balance for the first time in fiscal year 2016. On January 1, 2020, the balance stood at $2.65 billion, but the fund was nearing insolvency according to a report by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic mitigation began eight weeks ago, over 1.7 million New York residents have filed for unemployment, which is roughly 5 percent of the nation’s … (read more)

Report: Spotlight on NY’s Essential Workers

The coronavirus crisis has put a new focus on “essential workers,”  people who are bringing deliveries to our homes, working in supermarkets and convenience stores, keeping the public transportation system functioning, providing social services and childcare, and working in the healthcare industry.

These essential workers have always played a critical role in keeping our communities running. At a time when many streets are eerily empty, however, we can see all the more clearly who is still out there making sure … (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)

New York City’s Recovery Finally Starts Generating Wage Gains

April 13, 2015. In this report, FPI’s analysis shows that New York City’s recovery is finally starting to generate wage gains.

After years of wage and family income declines since the 2008-09 recession, several signs are emerging of real wage growth in New York City. The three major current government economic data sets all point to fairly widespread and firmly-established wage growth beginning in 2014.

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) average private hourly earnings data show a 2.7 percent
(read more)

Economic and fiscal impacts of proposed consolidations involving 5 postal facilities

November 10, 2014.  The American Postal Workers Union asked FPI to estimate the net economic and fiscal impacts of proposed consolidations involving five postal facilities around the country. The proposed consolidations were part of a nationwide “cost-savings” plan that would have further slowed mail delivery times. One of these involved a proposal to downsize sorting operations at the mail processing center in Newburgh, New York, in the lower Hudson Valley and to consolidate these operations at the Albany processing … (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)

Barriers to Entry: The Increasing Challenges Faced by Young Adults in the NYC Labor Market

May 2, 2013. A new report from JobsFirstNYC and co-authored by James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Fiscal Policy Institute, and Lazar Treschan, Director of Youth Policy, Community Service Society, takes an in-depth look at both the supply and demand dimensions of the job market faced by New York City’s 18- to 24-year-old young adult population. Barriers to Entry: The Increasing Challenges Faced by Young Adults in the New York City Labor Market looks at changes in the city’s … (read more)

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 … (read more)

Good news on private sector jobs front, but recovery would have been even stronger if it were not for government austerity measures.

March 8, 2013. The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL), in its press release yesterday on the latest employment data, emphasized some good news—that New York State has had 17 consecutive months of private sector job growth, and that the state gained an estimated 29,600 private sector jobs in January (on a seasonally adjusted basis.)

Nothing wrong with reporting good news. There was more good news in NYSDOL’s annual payroll employment revision that was also released yesterday. The annual … (read more)

The NYC School Bus Workers’ Strike

February 8, 2013. One of New York City’s biggest challenges is providing a sufficient number of decent job opportunities to enable its citizens to provide for their families and offer hope of a better life for their children. The city’s pronounced income polarization is fundamentally rooted in the job market. Economic and labor market changes over the years have severely limited the availability of good jobs that provide reasonable health and retirement benefits. These changes, which threaten the survival of … (read more)