Employment, Unemployment & Job Quality

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. [...]

Congresswoman Velázquez Joins Service Providers In Rally Monday To Oppose Trump Budget Cuts

April 29, 2018. Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and a state-based coalition of diverse service providers met on  Monday on the steps of City Hall in New York to denounce the proposed budget cuts by the Trump administration. The coalition submitted a letter on behalf of nearly 80 service providers asking members of Congress to fully fund these programs and defend them from budget cuts. The coalition includes FPWA, Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New York, Fiscal Policy Institute, Human Services Council of New York, United Neighborhood Houses, UJA-Federation of [...]

Watchdog Groups Call for More Transparency to Economic Development

March 28, 2018. Good government groups are staying optimistic about getting the  "database of deals" included in the state budget to bring more transparency to economic development. Both one-house budget bills included some form of the database, which would track the companies getting tax breaks or other benefits, the number of jobs expected, and whether key benchmarks are being met. A lot of that information is already available, but only if you know where to look. And MRCH guests argue that the opaqueness of the [...]

Watchdog Groups Call for the Governor and Legislature to Pass in the Budget a “Database of Deals” Making Business Subsidies Transparent

March 26, 2018. Reinvent Albany, Citizens Budget Commission and Fiscal Policy Institute today called for the Governor and Legislature to pass a “Database of Deals” in this year’s budget. Both houses’ budget bills included a “Database of Deals” (Part KK in A.9508-B and Part LLLL in S.7508-B ) that are very similar and largely track existing legislation introduced by Assembly member Robin Schimminger and Senator Thomas Croci (A.8175 and S.6613-B). A “Database of Deals” will list all state economic development benefits, including grants, loans or [...]

Human Service Workers Renew Call for Wage Funding

March 14, 2018. The Fiscal Policy Instituted participated in a press event with the Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York coalition yesterday morning in the Capitol. The coalition represents more than 350 nonprofits organizations across New York seeking to adequately fund a higher minimum wage and cost-of-living pay adjustments for the state's contracted human services employees. The press event revolved around the inaugural induction of 38 female human service sector workers into its "Human Services Hall of Fame" as well as pushing legislators and Gov. [...]

A Gender-Wage War Cuomo Fails to Fight

By Michelle Jackson, New York Daily News April 20, 2017 Gov. Cuomo recently announced a comprehensive study of New York’s gender wage gap, including at least four public hearings to develop recommendations for tackling this problem. We appreciate the sentiment, but if the governor truly wants to address this issue, he should start in his backyard — by looking at his own policies of setting wages barely above the poverty line for social assistance workers under contract with New York State. Through these contracts, the state [...]

Capitol Pressroom: Subsidies and sluggish Upstate job growth

March 28, 2017. By Alyssa Plock A collaboration of reporting from Investigative Post, ProPublica, and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism shows that despite billions in subsidies, upstate job growth remains sluggish. Today three guests join Susan Arbetter to analyze the subsidy issue: Jim Heaney, Founder, Editor and Executive Director of Investigative Post, Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, and EJ McMahon, Founder and Research Director of the Empire Center for Public Policy.

Investigative Post: “Job growth across upstate New York remains sluggish despite billions in economic development subsidies”

This is the first part of a series that runs through Thursday. The full lineup of stories, columns and radio interviews can be found here » March 28, 2017 Gov. Andrew Cuomo has sunk a lot of taxpayer money – $25 billion by his estimate – into recharging upstate’s moribund economy. The governor has increased spending on subsidy programs to record levels, launched bold policy initiatives and crisscrossed upstate to announced projects he has frequently described as “game-changers.” “Economic success is shared all across the state. [...]

Report: “Undervalued and Underpaid: How New York State Shortchanges Nonprofit Human Services Providers and Their Workers”

March, 2017. The substantial growth in New York’s nonprofit human services sector has come in response to a host of social, demographic and economic changes. The State and its local governments have turned to nonprofit organizations to provide these critical services; these are public services that serve many populations, including children and those with low incomes striving to enter the middle class. Millions of New Yorkers are directly served, and all New Yorkers reap the benefits of more stable communities when their neighbors are able [...]

Times Union Opinion: Expand tax credit for low-income workers in New York

By Ron Deutsch and Reg Foster, Commentary Published, Albany Times Union 5:25 pm, Wednesday, March 15, 2017 A young woman juggling an entry-level administrative job and classes at a community college; a divorced dad working 40 hours a week as a custodian to help support his two kids; a veteran trying to make a living back home after serving our country overseas: They, and millions of other hard-working Americans, struggle to make ends meet because their jobs pay low wages. In fact, 466,000 workers in New [...]

Minimum-wage bump is good for all; Even businesses in low-paying industries will benefit

December 11, 2016. This op-ed by Lorelei Salas and James Parrott appeared on crainsnewyork.com and in the December 12, 2016 print edition of Crain's New York Business. When the state's minimum wage rises to $11 an hour from $9 on Dec. 31, workers at New York City businesses with more than 10 employees will see the largest percentage minimum-wage increase in 60 years. It will be a welcome and much-needed addition to paychecks for more than 800,000 low-wage workers struggling to make ends meet in [...]

New Census Data Show Improvement in Poverty and Incomes in New York State

September 19, 2016. New York has reason to be optimistic as poverty is declining and incomes are on the upswing, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. FPI notes that there were significant declines in the overall poverty rates for New York State and New York City in 2015 from 2014 (but no other significant year-over-year changes). The New York State poverty rate for 2015 was 15.4%, down 0.5% from 2014 (15.9%) resulting in approximately 90,000 fewer New Yorkers living in poverty. New [...]

New York State Leads Nation in Income Inequality

June 16, 2016. In Income inequality in the US by state, metropolitan area, and county, a new report published by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) for the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), Mark Price, an economist at the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, PA and Estelle Sommeiller, a socio-economist at the Institute for Research in Economic and Social Sciences in Greater Paris, France detail the incomes of the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent by state, metropolitan area, and county. “Great income [...]

Testimony: Proposed $15 Baltimore Minimum Wage

June 15, 2016.  In testimony before the Baltimore City Council, James Parrott, says it would be sound public policy for the City of Baltimore to phase in a $15 an hour minimum wage. Considerable compelling and economically sound research supports the conclusion that businesses can accommodate such an increase. A higher wage floor would generate significant cost savings due to reduced turnover and there is room for modest price increases to ease the adjustment without jeopardizing overall employment levels or profitability. Businesses of all sizes [...]

Heights of Privilege

June 2, 2016. The following article by James Parrott appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of The American Prospect magazine. If you want to learn about the latest manifestations of inequality in urban America, read the real-estate sections of newspapers and magazines and check out the photo spreads on luxury condos in new residential skyscrapers. The palatial size, lavish finishes, and breathtaking price tags of these properties are advertisements of our new Gilded Age. In the area immediately south of Central Park in Manhattan now known as [...]

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