Employment, Unemployment & Job Quality

New York’s Public Sector Workforce Threatened by Lack of Federal Aid

New York’s public sector workforce is comprised of many of our state’s essential workers: nurses, teachers, firefighters, personal care aides, childcare workers, and more. In total, 24 major occupational groups – defined as having 10,000 or more workers – are part of the sector. A recent economic news release from BLS indicates that over 100,000 public sector workers in New York were laid off from their jobs between February and May of 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic and declining state revenues. Characteristics of New [...]

NYS Unemployment Factsheet for April

New York State’s April 2020 unemployment rate stood at 14.5 percent – up from 4.1 percent in March -and was the state’s largest recorded monthly increase since 1976 when the current record-keeping began. In the seven weeks between March 10 and April 25, 2020, New York State processed over 1.5 million initial unemployment insurance claims from residents, which represents more people than the entire population of the state of Maine. Look for more monthly factsheets covering unemployment in New York State. Read the factsheet here.

Unemployment Insurance Taxes Paid for Undocumented Workers in NYS

May 14, 2020 In the midst of a pandemic, there has been a growing call for undocumented immigrants, who make up five percent of the New York State labor force, to be covered by some form of unemployment insurance. What is often overlooked in discussions of unemployment insurance is the extent to which undocumented immigrants are already part of paying into the existing system, even when they are excluded from collecting benefits. Undocumented immigrants face the same challenges as other workers. It does not serve [...]

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 total filings and represents more [...]

Press Release: Spotlight on New York’s Essential Workers

April 8, 2020 Overlooked, Underpaid and Indispensible Read the report: https://fiscalpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Essential-Workers-Brief-Final.pdf (Albany, NY) Today the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) released a new report spotlighting New York's essential workers who are on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the new analysis, there are 2.2 million “essential workers” in New York State. Twenty-two percent of these essential workers support their families on low incomes, with family incomes of less than 200 percent of the poverty level. Statement from David Dyssegaard Kallick, Deputy Director, Fiscal Policy Institute: “The pandemic has brought [...]

New York’s Essential Workers Overlooked, Underpaid, and Indispensable

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 people get food on the [...]

FPI’s New Report Highlights the Unequal State of New York

For Immediate Release: December 6, 2019 Media Contact: communications@fiscalpolicy.org, 518-786-3156 The Unequal State of New York The Majority of Income is Captured by the Fewest New Yorkers Read the report: The Unequal State of New York click here. (Albany, NY) The Fiscal Policy Institute reports that New York State has the most unequal income distribution in the nation, with the fewest people capturing the greatest share. Not since the “Gilded Age” of the 1920s has our state seen such a vast divide between the highest- and [...]

Press Release: Fair Pay for Farm Workers is Affordable

For immediate release: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 Media Contact: communications@fiscalpolicy.org, 518-786-3156 The new report: "Farm Workers' Overtime Pay is Affordable and Long Overdue" New Report Shows that Fair Pay for Farm Workers is Affordable Our state can end the archaic exclusion of job protections for farm workers (Albany, NY) Today the Fiscal Policy Institute released a new report “Farm Workers’ Overtime Pay is Affordable and Long Overdue” which looks at how giving farm workers the same rights and protection as other workers, including overtime pay for long hours, [...]

Report: Farm Workers’ Overtime Pay Is Affordable and Long Overdue

May 28, 2019. Today the Fiscal Policy Institute released a new report “Farm Workers’ Overtime Pay is Affordable and Long Overdue” which looks at giving farm workers the same rights and protection as other workers, including overtime pay for long hours, would affect farms, farm workers, their local communities and the state. With the end of 2019 legislative session rapidly approaching, the Senate has conducted hearings on The Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act and attention is now shifting to the Assembly. California, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Maryland already include overtime pay [...]

Income Divide Runs Deep

April 7, 2019. This article exposes the state's income gap problem by focusing on Saratoga County which has the distinction of being the fastest growing county but also the one with the greatest income disparity Upstate. Prompted by the Economic Policy Institutes's report "The New Gilded Age," the author Wendy Liberatore quotes their data, checks in with local community homeless and housing providers, and the Rev. Peter Cook, Executive Director for the New York Council of Churches, who detail the hardships that accompany the income disparity. [...]

Letter: Research Shows Higher Minimum Wage Good for Jobs

February 1, 2019. In a short rebuttal in regards to the minimum wage and whether it will negatively impact businesses, the author cites several studies that support the economic viability of enacting a higher minimum wage. In one research study, Dube, Lester, and Reich in a study “Minimum Wage Effect Across State Borders,” studied the effect of one state raising minimum wages while a bordering state did not raise its minimum wages and found no adverse effect on employment. A study by the Fiscal Policy Institute [...]

A Sitcom About The Endangered Path to the Middle Class

January 1, 2018. This article discusses the sitcom, “Kim’s Convenience,” which is a realistic portrayal of the life of immigrants. The article goes on to discuss how the show takes place in Canada and is based on the life of the Kim family who arrived in the country with no language skills, business connections and educational credentials, and they did what so many immigrants in the U.S. and Canada do in real life, start a business. The author highlights that the sitcom is not like so many [...]

Op-Ed: Don’t Jump After Janus: Why Public Workers Should Stick With Their Unions

June 28, 2018. The following op-ed about the Supreme Court ruling on Janus vs. AFSCME written by FPI's senior economist, Brent Kramer; deputy director, David Kallick; and chief economist, Jonas Shaende, was featured in the NY Daily News.  The recent Supreme Court ruling in Janus vs. AFSCME poses a real threat to public sector unions. Traditionally, in New York — as in many other states — everyone covered by a union contract was required to pay either dues or an “agency fee” to support the union’s [...]

Brief: Strong Public Employees’ Unions in New York: Better Pay, Benefits, and Working Conditions for All 

June 27, 2018. By: Brent Kramer, David Dyssegaard Kallick, and Jonas Shaende The Supreme Court’s ruling today about public sector unions puts a significant new barrier in front of unions around the country. Traditionally, in New York—as in many other states—everyone covered by a union contract was required to pay either dues or an “agency fee” to support the union’s work on behalf of all employees. In the Janus decision, the Supreme Court ruled that public-sector employees can’t be compelled to pay for the union’s [...]

Paid Sick Leave is a Good Thing

June 21, 2018. This article discusses the benefits of paid sick leave and how Albany county government can work on expanding paid leave benefits to more county workers. While many employers in Albany County do offer paid sick leave, about 40 percent of employees living in Albany County do not get even a single day of paid sick leave, according to Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, based in Albany. First, there is a need for paid sick days in Albany County. [...]

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