Will auto manufacturing jobs of the future be good jobs, or will highly profitable automakers continue driving a race to the bottom? It depends on what we do now to confront anti-union employers and weak labor laws across the South and Midwest. Join us Tues., Nov. 9, at 4:00 p.m. ET. Register for the webinar
Critics of the Build Back Better Act are now trying to claim it will add to the nation’s debt. That is false. The bill will be fully paid for with tax revenues, stresses EPI’s Josh Bivens in a Twitter thread.
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The economic damage done by COVID-19 in the U.S. was amplified by decades of policy choices leading up to it. To counter the damage, we need visionary policies that will help us not only revive our economy but also live up to the constitutional and moral commitments this country was founded on. Read the article
EPI State Economic Analyst Julia Wolfe explains what preemption is, how preemption is frequently abused by states, and how this abuse hurts workers and their families in cities across the country. Watch the video
Meanwhile, the United States, like all nations, is struggling to recover from job losses, income losses and business losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the Economic Policy Institute reported that a $2 trillion-dollar investment in clean energy, energy efficiency, and infrastructure in various states would help economies recover and rebuild in ways that do not exacerbate climate change. Clean-energy investments would generate, for example:
Myth No. 1: the productivity/pay gap. Progressives, including at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, assert that the gap between productivity and inflation-adjusted hourly compensation has been widening since the mid-1970s. However, this calculation deflates hourly compensation with the consumer price index, which long has been recognized as upwardly biased. Doing so weighs misleadingly on real hourly compensation. The gap narrows using the personal consumption expenditures deflator, a more accurate measure of consumer prices.
At the same time, anywhere from 36 million to 60 million Americans are subject to noncompete agreements, according to an Economic Policy Institute estimate. Noncompete agreements prohibit employees from going to work for a competitor within a certain time frame after leaving their job. Specific circumstances vary by contract, but generally, a noncompete is still valid even if an employee is fired from their job.
“Some places have gone to try out what it means to actually be a high-road employer,” Heidi Shierholz, president of the Economic Policy Institute, said. “Reduced turnover, higher productivity, higher morale — through all that stuff you recoup the cost of the increased pay.”
The Economic Policy Institute argues that the “unceasing growth of wage inequality that undercuts wage growth for the bottom 90% reaffirms the need to place generating robust wage growth for the vast majority and worker power at the center of economic policymaking.”
To Kate Bronfenbrenner, the director of labor education research at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, these targeted tactics feel like punching down in an already unfair fight. Although a 2017 study from the Economic Policy Institute found that 48% of nonunionized Americans “would join a union tomorrow” and a separate 2020 Gallup poll found 65% of Americans favor unions, union membership is on the decline.