Labor markets

Low Wages, No Bargain: Retail Jobs in New York City

December 22, 2008. The outlook for the 2008 holiday shopping season is bleak. Despite more shoppers in the stores, looking for steep discounts, profits are down. And corporate owners aren’t the only ones getting hurt. The retail sector has long been an important part of the local economy – and is more critical than ever given the ongoing retrenchment of the financial sector. But jobs in retail too often fail to support the American dream, as shown by demographic information … (read more)

Brooklyn Labor Market Review – Fall 2008

September 12, 2008. Commissioned by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, this review finds that Brooklyn will experience a weaker labor market, and slower wage and income growth in 2008 and through the first half of 2009. However – attesting to the diversity and resiliency of Brooklyn’s economic base – the borough’s job decline will be far less than New York City’s, just as in the previous slowdown of 2001-2003. Read the report >>(read more)

Film Study Misinterpreted

March 9, 2008. A letter to the editor by FPI deputy director and chief economist James A. Parrott, The Hartford Courant.… (read more)

The Cost of Affordable Housing Construction in New York City

February 14, 2008. Testimony presented by FPI chief economist James Parrott to the Assembly Committee on Housing. Significant fiscal costs arise from the rampant practice in affordable housing construction of illegally misclassifying workers as independent contractors or off the books. Also, paying prevailing wage can actually decrease costs, by attracting more productive workers. Testimony >> (read more)

Building Up New York, Tearing Down Job Quality: Taxpayer Impact of Worsening Employment Practices in the New York City Construction Industry

December 5, 2007. In this report FPI finds that construction of affordable housing in NYC is tainted by sub-standard jobs. There is a huge underground economy with rampant employment abuse and tax non-compliance. Workers, taxpayers and honest employers pay the price – $489 million in 2005 and are likely to reach $557 million in 2008 – as construction employment practices deteriorate in New York City. And 50,000 construction workers (one in four) are employed off the books or as so-called … (read more)

The Underground Economy in New York City’s Affordable Housing Construction Industry

April 15, 2007. This examination of  the affordable housing construction industry reveals evidence of a huge underground economy in which thousands of workers are paid off the books or misclassified as independent contractors. The results include widespread employer evasion of payroll taxes and social insurance premiums, and the undercutting of wage and benefit standards.

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More Than a Link in the Food Chain: A Study of the Citywide Economic Impact of Food Manufacturing in New York City

February 13, 2007.  In an effort to understand the impact of food manufacturing on other sectors in the NYC economy, the Mayor’s Office of Industrial and Manufacturing Businesses commissioned the New York Industrial Retention Network (NYIRN) to study the sector; NYIRN enlisted FPI to conduct the formal economic impact analysis. Report >>(read more)

New York State Workers’ Compensation: How Big Is the Coverage Shortfall?

January 25, 2007.  (Includes addendum of February 5, 2007.) Between 500,000 and a million New York workers who should have workers’ compensation coverage do not, and the system’s revenues are $500 million to $1 billion lower than they should be. Fragmented responsibility for enforcement has allowed employers to provide unemployment insurance but not workers’ compensation coverage to some workers; in other cases employers misclassify employees as consultants to keep them out of both systems. Report >>(read more)

New York’s Big Picture: A Report to the New York Film, Television and Commercial Initiative

August 8, 2006. FPI worked with researchers from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and City and Regional Planning Department on this study of New York’s film, television and commercial production industries. Among the findings: Including direct, indirect and induced effects, the total value added by these industries in New York was an estimated $13.1 billion in 2005, considerably higher than previous estimates of the film sector’s impact. Report >>(read more)

The New York City Construction Labor Market

April 2006. This labor market profile was prepared by the Fiscal Policy Institute for the NYC Employment and Training Coalition and NYC Workforce Investment Board. Among the findings: New York City construction employment, now about 250,000 workers, is likely to expand considerably over the next five years. Construction workers residing in the city are overwhelmingly male, and nearly 63 percent of construction workers are non-white. They earn a median wage of $14.90. Read the report >>(read more)