News Brief - October 28

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 | News

Wages

“The Working Poor group knows that it is a political hot potato to call for public policy to improve wages and  benefits and increase training programs to help lift low-wage workers out of poverty.”
That potato would be a lot cooler if you dropped the “poverty” and kept up the inclusive rhetoric. 

Young workers in unions earn $4 more per hour than non-union, study shows
“Even though they’ve done everything right – finished high school and college at higher rates than in the past, young workers have been the hardest hit by stagnant and declining wages over the last 30 years.”

Workers unite for human rights
“The rally called attention to the plight of poverty-level workers who say they lack health care or educational opportunities to improve their job prospects.”

Health Care, Housing

Premiums soar; wages stagnate
“As health care becomes less and less affordable, Georgians face difficult choices in trying to provide health coverage for themselves and their families.”

Report: Energy efficiency key to housing affordability
“As we look at the age of homes and concentrations of low-income households, we see that the very people least able to afford high consumption live in homes built without energy efficiency measures.”

Economy

In race for president, economy passes war and health care as key issue

Keep the playing field level 

“The economic climate has affected us all, regardless of social standing, and if communities are going to survive, we had better start working together to make ends meet.”

Poverty

Task force tries to redefine poverty 

“Poverty is high,” Dillon said, agreeing that the numbers being used to set guidelines don’t take into account people trying to pay utilities on $7 and $8 an hour jobs. “You can’t pay all the necessities to live” on those kinds of wages, he said.“

Then let’s cut the Sympathy Frame, and have a conversation about sufficient wages, and better jobs for everyone.

Campaign offers little on how to aid the poor
”All three are upset that poverty — affecting more than one in 10 Americans — is rarely spoken about on the presidential campaign trail.“
Allow me to direct you back to that whole ‘hot potato’ thing.

Crises on many fronts

”No one knows how to quell the uncertainty. And no one is even talking about the poor.“
Plenty of people are talking about the poor – no one is listening.

Report: Indiana working poor numbers grow
”Investing in job training programs, increasing the minimum wage above the federal wage standard, and initiatives such as paid parent leave for family and medical needs resulted in some states reducing their number of low-income working families, the report said.“  

News Brief - September 5

Friday, September 05, 2008 | News

Benefits

Group pulling Ohio sick leave measure from ballot

Study: Few California Workers Aware of Family Leave Law
And fewer have taken time off. 

Sick and Fired: US Workers Struggle Without Paid Sick, Parental Leave
“A new report finds the United States ranks at the bottom of 21 high-income nations in providing parental leave for workers.”
In spite of the revelation that…
American Workers Overwhelmingly Support Paid Sick Days

How does Swedish parental leave work?
A jealousy-inducing example of “elsewhere.”  
 

Labor Market, Economy, Wages

Struggles for worker justice take on new urgency, intensity
“As we enjoy barbecue picnics and time off from work, we should also remember the most fundamental aspect of Labor Day: honoring workers and their struggles for rights.”

Tough economy worsens struggle for workers, job seekers
It’s a recurrent story – wages aren’t keeping up with inflation, it’s harder to recover from job loss, and job security is fading. It will take better jobs to build the economy we so wistfully remember.

For others, Census data paints a rosier picture:
The Real Economic Scorecard

Let’s Stop Minimizing Minimum Wage
“Two years ago, more than 650 economists, including five Nobel Prize winners, signed a statement saying state and federal minimum wage increases can ”significantly improve the lives of low-income workers and their families, without the adverse effects that critics have claimed.“

Health Care

Cost of caring for Missourians without health insurance impacts everyone in the state

Kids of Stressed, Low-Income Mothers Prone to Weight Problems
Making jobs better – and ensuring that hard work earns a living wage – is not only good for workers, but for the health of their families and communities as well.

Absence makes baby’s brain grow softer: Call for two years paid maternity leave

Education, Housing

Economic Diversity: Why We Measure It
US News ranks colleges according to the economic diversity of their student populations.

Affordable housing hard to come by on coast
Hurricanes: conveniently gentrifying neighborhoods for the wealthy everywhere.

Teen Pregnancy

Teen pregnancy is back in the public eye, with poverty, not Palin, apparently to blame:
Poverty, not sex ed, key factor in teen pregnancy
Cause for Alarm? Understanding Recent Trends in Teenage Childbearing