Thursday, July 20, 2017

Labor

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Jobless Seattle
After looking at what happened in Seattle, there are people that still believe we should pursue the same policy at a national level...

While, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray continues to favor the $15 minimum wage law, as he stated, “Raising the minimum wage helps ensure more people who live and work in Seattle can share in our city’s success, and helps fight income inequality.”

A study conducted by the University of Washington on the other hand, argues: “Using a variety of methods to analyze employment in all sectors paying below a specified real hourly rate, we conclude that the second wage increase to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by around 9 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent. Consequently, total payroll fell for such jobs, implying that the minimum wage ordinance lowered low-wage employees’ earnings by an average of $125 per month in 2016. Evidence attributes more modest effects to the first wage increase. We estimate an effect of zero when analyzing employment in the restaurant industry at all wage levels, comparable to many prior studies.”

“If you’re a low-skilled worker with one of those jobs, $125 a month is a sizable amount of money,” Mark Long, a UW public-policy professor and an author of the report told the Seattle Times. “It can be the difference between being able to pay your rent and not being able to pay your rent.”

Jacob Vigdor, co-author of the study stated, “The goal of this policy was to deliver higher incomes to people who were struggling to make ends meet in the city.”

“You’ve got to watch out because at some point you run the risk of harming the people you set out to help,” Vigdor added.

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Workforce

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases unemployment and workforce figures each month based upon household surveys. The latest report showed that only 62.8% of Americans remained in the workforce. This is 36-year low for the nation.

This number does not include those institutionalized, i.e. in prison, or those in the military.

The number is also deceptive as it includes those who are unemployed and still seeking a job as still being in the “workforce.”

An analysis of the numbers released by the government shows that only a shocking 58% of Americans actually hold a job.

Our analysis includes the 2.3 million Americans currently in prison as 53% are serving time for non-violent offenses.

Including those incarcerated, 251,144,000 Americans have the potential to continue to serve in the workforce.

Of those, 103,857,000 do not hold jobs due to unemployment, incarceration or having simply chosen not to work due to family or personal reasons.

The balance, 147,287,000 Americans are doing all of the work.

However, 4,312,000 of Americans work for the federal government and another 5.2 million work for state governments.

The harsh reality for the American Economy is that 137,775,000 people hold jobs that contribute to the national work product.

Only 54.8% of Americans hold jobs that provide value to the economy.

While federalists will argue that government employees add value to the economy, the balance of the benefit is yet to be proved.

In the meantime, those 137.7 million Americans are providing the federal government with the ability to collect $5.7 trillion in total revenue in 2014.

(Note that this article has been updated to correct percentage errors.)

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