News on the minimum wage just keeps coming this week, and today’s update is from New York. Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo released his budget for 2013-14, which proposes raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.75 per hour and raising the minimum cash wage for tipped food service workers from $5.00 to $6.03 per hour, effective July 1, 2013. And now a new report from the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) and the National Employment Law Project (NELP) shows that the majority of New York workers who would get a raise under Governor Cuomo’s proposal are women — 845,700 women to be exact.
Today, minimum wage workers in New York earn just $14,500 per year — more than $3,600 below the poverty line for a mom with two kids, and far less than a family needs to be economically secure in a state with a notoriously high cost of living. If Governor Cuomo’s proposal becomes law, women earning the minimum wage would see their annual pay rise by $3,000. Tipped food service workers like restaurant servers — who are about 70 percent women nationwide — could get an extra $2,060 per year. Read more »
In September 2006, the U.S. hadn't been through the Great Recession, there were no iPhones, and the country had only seen one season of "dancing" stars.
September 2006 was also the last time that adult women's unemployment exceeded men's — that is, until LAST month! According to NWLC analysis of today's new jobs data, adult women's (20+) unemployment rate climbed to 7.3 percent in December, 2012. Women's unemployment edged above men's, which at a 7.2 percent rate was unchanged from November:
Monthly Change in Unemployment Rates (November 2012 – December 2012)
Adult Women (20+)
↑0.3 percentage points
Adult Men (20+)
Source: Current Population Survey
The increase in unemployment for adult women overall was driven by new women job seekers who couldn't find work. Read more »
Analysis by the Economic Policy Institute reveals that nearly one million workers will get a raise from these increases. In each state, women are the majority of the workers who will see their wages go up. The impact on women is the largest in Missouri where they are nearly three-quarters of the workers who will benefit from the increased minimum wage. The economies of these states will also benefit — the increase in minimum wages will add nearly $184 million to GDP in 2013.
I have a few stories of my own about disabled adults on SSI, and trust me, they need it. Between 2008 and 2009, I spent a year as a case manager at a homeless shelter in Chicago. In that time, I worked with many guests and clients of the shelter who had mental and/or physical disabilities that prevented them from working. And when you can’t work – it’s hard to have enough income to let you meet basic needs. That’s where assistance programs came in.
One of my clients at the shelter was a man who had been on SSI since he was a child. He had been a part of the program that serves disabled children and had transitioned into the adult program after turning 18. Then in his late 20s, I worked with him as he went through the routine evaluation conducted to check disability status, or check that the person is still in need of SSI. This man wasn’t someone who was trying to cheat the system – he suffered from a mental illness, was unable to work, and as an adult had to continue to prove his need for SSI. His meager SSI check was what paid his rent, bought food, and got him around the city to appointments. Read more »
Did you know that in 2011, Social Security kept 11.7 million women and 1.1 million children out of poverty?
This is just one new fact that we can calculate today thanks to the release of new Census Bureau data that examines a supplemental poverty measure which takes into account the impact of public programs on families' economic security. For more about poverty measurement, see our FAQ.
"Could you please cut out the babble? Would you quit talking about the poor, the vulnerable, the veterans, the old ladies going over cliffs, the hospices, the bedpans? I mean, what the hell? We all know, all of us know, that that's the people you want to take care of."
This Wednesday, the Census Bureau will release new data on poverty, income, and health insurance in the U.S. in 2011. As we get ready to crunch numbers, we thought it would be helpful to take a deeper look at what these numbers tell us – and don’t tell us – about poverty. Here are a few FAQs on poverty and the Census Bureau data.
What does the poverty rate measure?
The poverty rate measures the percentage of the U.S. population with income below the federal poverty threshold, often referred to as the “poverty line,” for their family size (e.g., $22,811 in 2011 for a family of four with two kids). Income is calculated before taxes and includes only cash income such as earnings, pension/retirement income, Social Security, unemployment benefits, and child support payments.
What doesn’t the poverty rate measure?
A number of federal and state benefits that help support lower-income families are not counted as income in the official poverty measure. “Non-cash benefits” like food stamps (SNAP) and housing assistance, and tax benefits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit, do not count as income for purposes of calculating the official poverty rate.
The official poverty measure also does not account for any expenditures, such as those on medical needs or child care, which can be very large for some families and leave them little income to meet other basic needs.
Three new studies provide additional evidence of the importance of early childhood investments for ensuring children’s successful development and future well-being.
A study published in the journal Child Development found that children whose families received child care assistance were able to attend higher-quality child care than children whose families were eligible for, but did not receive, child care assistance. Given that that higher-quality care can help boost children’s growth and learning, this new study shows the importance of helping more low-income families pay for child care so they can afford good options. However, the study also found that the quality of care used by families receiving child care assistance was not as high as the quality of care for families using Head Start and public prekindergarten programs, suggesting that even more can be done to improve families’ access to high-quality care. Read more »
This blog post is a part of NWLC’s Mother’s Day 2012 blog series. For all our Mother’s Day posts, please click here.
My whole life, whenever I would thank my mom for doing something for me (or on those few occasions when I might grumble that she was being a little overprotective), she would always respond, “that’s what they pay me for.”
What she was really saying is that picking me up from school in the middle of the day because I was sick, or helping me with homework assignments, or asking if I was eating enough calcium (yes, Mom) was all part of being a parent. But I know that no one ever paid my mom to mother, even though it is hard and extremely expensive work.
So while there was no motherhood bureau paying my mom for raising her daughters, her employer was paying her a living wage with benefits.
Supporters have asserted that these drastic cuts – which would cripple programs that are vital to low-income women and their families – are necessary to avoid the automatic cuts (known as the “sequester”) scheduled to take effect in 2013 under the Budget Control Act. New revenue from the wealthiest individuals and corporations would be a far better way to replace the sequester, but the bill that passed the House does not ask for one penny from those who could actually afford to contribute to deficit reduction. Read more »