Women's Economic Equity
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#POWHERList: Raise the Volume on Economic Equality (Video) - The first Women's Equality Wednesday Google Hangout "#POWHERList: Raise the Volume on Economic Equality" with panelists Beverly Neufeld from NYS PowHER, Ellen Bravo from Family Values @ Work and Ana Oliveira from The New York Women's Foundation. Follow below for a highlight of tweets from during the conversation.
WOMEN AT WORK: A HISTORY
Updated November 13, 2017
- This is the hidden financial cost of being an LGBTQ American in 2017 - Whether or not you’re married, navigating the already-tricky obstacle course of a career often comes with additional hurdles if you are gay, transgender or gender nonconforming: 28 states still lack protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, and research suggests nearly 1 in 10 workers have left jobs because of unwelcoming cultures. There are quantifiable gaps in employment rates and pay based on sexuality. And for LGBTQ women or people of color, income and employment challenges may widen already large wage gaps driven by gender or race.
- America's Wealth Gap Is Bigger Than Ever - The median upper-income family (those who make more than $127,600) now holds 75 times the wealth of the median low-income family (those who make less than $42,500), according to an analysis of the data by the Pew Research Center. In 2007, top earners were worth 40 times as much. In 1989, the multiple was 28. The Top 1% now holds 38.6% of the nation's wealth, up from 33.7% in 2007. The bottom 90% now holds only 22.8% of the nation's total wealth, down from 28.5% in 2007.
- New state regulations target on-call scheduling - The rules are meant to address something called “on-call scheduling,” in which companies give employees little or no advance notice on whether they are expected to work.The practice is most commonly used in the retail and restaurant industries. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who this fall asked the Labor Department to study the issue, praised the proposal. Advocates had said it was needed to protect lower-paid workers, who often cannot meet educational and childcare schedules, or take additional jobs, when work obligations shift suddenly.
- Sexual Harassment Is Becoming a Serious Investment Risk - As more women speak out, shareholders are starting to pay attention.
- Rethinking Educational Access - The scale of automation-driven job loss will only increase. We can expect whole industries to vanish. For example, in 29 states, the most common job is truck driver. Driverless trucks can be expected to take most of those jobs and eliminate the much of the need for the restaurants and services that support drivers as well. Even in industries not at risk, the skills and knowledge required to perform existing jobs are continually changing. The half-life of knowledge is getting shorter and shorter, demanding both updating and raising skills just for a worker to stay in place. The point is this: our conception of access to education can no longer focus only on young people and preparation for life. We need to expand our vision to include reskilling and upskilling Americans across their lifespan.
- The Most Horrifying Provisions Hidden in the House Republican Tax Plan - Many of the most extreme tax increases come in the form of eliminated tax credits or deductions buried deep in the text of the bill—and ignored by lawmakers and the media. With tax increases affecting groups ranging from seniors and people with disabilities, to families facing costly medical bills, to immigrant children, to people with student loans—to name just a few—the bill is a virtual laundry list of tax increases on populations who are often struggling to make ends meet.
- How many families actually own half-million dollar homes? - Nationwide, only about 6 percent of new mortgages are valued at over $500,000, according to a report by the United for Homes campaign, a group that advocates for reforming the MID and making housing more affordable for low-income families. That figure is based on an analysis of mortgages issued in the United States between 2013 and 2015. If your mortgage is over $500,000, in other words, you're already in the top tier of American homeowners.
- Opportunities for minority and women owned businesses in New York - There are billions of dollars in state contracts that are going to be available to minority and women owned businesses, or MWBE's, in New York State, according to Lourdes Zapata, Executive Director of Minority and Women's Business Development at Empire State Development. "We closed out the last fiscal year, 20116-17 at 27.2 percent, which translated to over 2.2 billion dollars in state contracts that went directly to MWBE firms throughout the state of New York, and we're really proud of that," she said. "Twenty seven is not thirty percent, so we continue our efforts to make sure that all qualifying women and minority owned businesses throughout the state, number one, are aware of the opportunities, number two, get engaged with our state agencies and authorities, and number three, and probably the most important, are aware of the Governor's commitment to the MWBE community and small business community in the state."
- Workplace incivility: The silent epidemic - Workplace incivility is taking over our organizations, professional relationships and everyday interactions. According to Dr. Jia Wang, associate professor of human resource development, understanding why incivility happens and how to address it starts with awareness. When incivility happens and it affects enough employees, it can impact productivity and, eventually, an organization's bottom line. Uncivil acts, also termed microaggressions, have been cited as a major cause of employee turnover, poor workplace climate and job dissatisfaction.
- Controller DiNapoli warns of 'triple threat' to N.Y. finances - The declining revenues combined with looming cuts to federal aid and an already-projected budget gap of $4.1 billion for the 2018-19 pose “serious fiscal challenges” to the state in the coming months, DiNapoli said. "Projected budget gaps, weaker than expected personal income tax collections and cuts to federal programs combine for a triple threat of budgetary risks," DiNapoli said. "Any federal funding reductions not already assumed in the Financial Plan could force difficult decisions regarding the funding of important programs and services."
- Savings rate hits lowest point since financial crisis as Americans take on more risk - The savings rate in September fell to 3.1%, according to Commerce Department data released Monday. That's the weakest level since December 2007, just as the U.S. economy was entering the worst of the financial crisis amid the Great Recession. The August savings rate was 3.6%. As the downturn's effects back then ate into economic activity, consumers pushed their money into mattresses and reduced debt, which hit a historic peak of 13.2% of disposable income in the fourth quarter of 2007, the same time savings had bottomed. Over the years, savings hit its peak of 11% in December 2012 and has been tailing lower since.
- New York Is the 10th Worst Megacity for Women's Economic Equality - New York has been placed in the top 10 worst megacities for women in terms of economic opportunity, according to a new survey ranking the world’s metropolises for their sexism. The research, conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, explored 19 of the world’s biggest megacities and ranked them based on how safe they are for women, as well as the level of access to healthcare, education and economic opportunities. In the overall ranking, New York (the only U.S. megacity studied) came out worse than London, Paris and Moscow, as well as Tokyo, Shanghai and Manila, Philippines.
- Rising Rents Are Pushing More Tenants Past the Breaking Point - Rents have increased rapidly across U.S. housing markets as the share of renting households has risen faster than the number of new units. Now, in a survey published Thursday by an apartment-listing service, nearly one in five respondents reports struggling to make the monthly payments. Among households earning up to $30,000 a year, 27.5 percent failed to pay the rent in full in at least one of the past three months. Among those earning $30,000 to $60,000, it was 14.8 percent. Even of those making more than $60,000 a year, it was 8.8 percent. The share of households considered rent-burdened--meaning they spend more than 30 percent of their income on debt--ticked down in 2015 but is still historically high. Forty-one percent of renters, meanwhile, said it was hard to find affordable housing near their jobs, according to data from an August survey published by Freddie Mac.
- Congress budget vote jeopardizes $72B NY tax break - A budget plan approved Thursday by the U.S. House opens the door for a sweeping tax overhaul that could cut a $72 billion tax savings for New Yorkers. The concerns over the loss of the tax deduction led seven of New York's nine GOP House members to vote against the budget. Only western New York Rep. Chris Collins and Southern Tier Rep. Tom Reed voted for it.
Cuomo has vowed to sue the federal government if the measure becomes law.
- Is $100,000 middle class in America? - In America, an income of $59,000 a year (before tax) is smack dab in the middle, according to the U.S. Census. But it's not that simple. There is no exact definition of middle class, and a deep look at the data shows a wide variety of individuals could be part of it, depending on where they live and how big their family is. The middle class in San Francisco is not the same as it is in Peoria, Ill. For example, $100,000 goes a lot further in Lee County, Kentucky than in San Francisco County, California. The bottom line is: $100,000 is on the middle-class spectrum, but barely: 75 percent of U.S. households make less than that.
- Wall Street wins big as Senate votes to roll back regulation allowing consumers to sue their banks - Vice President Pence cast a tie-breaking vote late Tuesday to block new regulations allowing U.S. consumers to sue their banks, handing Wall Street and other big financial institutions their biggest victory since President Trump's election.
- Trump Prioritizes Tax Cut for Multimillionaires over Child Care for Working Families - The White House recently released a tax reform proposal that would repeal the estate tax, among other provisions. Repealing the estate tax would result in $240 billion in tax cuts for millionaires over the next 10 years. These cuts will only reach the wealthiest 0.2 percent of Americans. The $240 billion in tax breaks for the wealthy could help the families of 4.2 million young children under age 5 pay for an entire year of child care. The table in this column demonstrates how many children could receive child care assistance in each state in 2021 if President Trump and his congressional allies choose child care assistance over tax breaks for the wealthy. In NYS, it would mean 248,000 children!
- This Is How Much Average Americans Will Pay for Trump’s Tax Cuts for the 1 Percent - President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are stepping up efforts to push a tax plan designed to benefit the wealthy. The plan makes vague and unspecific overtures when it comes to provisions that could benefit working- and middle-class taxpayers, but it is crystal clear about the benefits it would bestow on rich individuals and wealthy corporations. For example, the plan removes taxes on extremely wealthy estates, slashes the top income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, and abolishes the alternative minimum tax. New analysis by the Center for American Progress underscores the sacrifice that could be required in this tax plan. If the bottom 99 percent of households footed the bill for Trump’s tax breaks for the top 1 percent, it would cost each household an average of $1,370 more in 2027.
- NYC bill would give workers claiming domestic abuse paid leave - New York City employers would need to grant paid time off to workers who claim to be victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse or other “family offense matters,” according to legislation passed Tuesday by the City Council.
- What Really Helps Women Succeed at Work? Access to Birth Control. - A new poll out from Small Business Majority surveyed more than 500 female entrepreneurs and found that more than half of the women (56 percent) say that access to birth control and the ability to decide if and when to have children allowed them to advance in their careers and start their businesses. Women-led small businesses are one of the fastest-growing segments of the economy, projected to create about one-third of all new jobs between 2010 and 2018.
- In Great American Blackout, millions go dark due to unpaid bills - Utilities are disconnecting more households as President Donald Trump moved to end $3.4 billion in federal energy-bill help for the poorest Americans. Congress voted to reinstate the funding, but the administration has yet to release the money. “It’s indicative of an economy that’s still recovering,” said Katrina Metzler, executive director of the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition in Washington. “Underemployment is still common, and many families live paycheck to paycheck.”
- How Cities Can Do Better Than the Fight for $15 - It’s time for cities to reverse a shrinking workforce and build resilience in the face of climate change. As we head into election season for municipal offices, candidates running for local city councils and mayor’s offices need a bold offensive strategy in order to reverse a shrinking workforce, growing pools of contingent workers who are vulnerable to volatile and low wages and reduced work hours, and to curb persistent labor market discrimination.
- The 13-Hour Rule - Last night The New York State Department of Labor posted emergency regulations urging that home healthcare providers continue being paid for a 13-hour day in cases where that worker is providing 24-hour live-in care. The guidance was consistent with the Labor Department’s 2010 policy which reasoned that in essence, workers should not be paid for the time they are sleeping and eating, even if one is sleeping and eating somewhere not of their choosing in order to provide care.
- Stalled wages It’s nine years since the recession, so why are employers still stingy with raises? - Payroll data collected by the research group Akron and the D.C. chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management found that local companies increased average salary budgets by about 3 percent between 2016 and 2017. Companies say they expect to do the same next year. That’s about the same increase that companies offered in the years immediately after the recession. Raises tend to be much smaller than they were before the 2009, when average salary budgets in the area went up by about 4 percent every year. The slow pace of payroll growth has continued to puzzle economists, who say plunging unemployment rates, surging stocks, a shrinking labor force and stable federal spending should be prompting employers to allocate more to payroll.
- Global Economy’s Stubborn Reality: Plenty of Work, Not Enough Pay - Even as job markets are tight in many major economies, low unemployment is failing to spur robust increases in wages, leaving workers angry. “Generally, people have very little leverage to get a good deal from their bosses, individually and collectively,” says Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-oriented research organization in Washington. “People who have a decent job are happy just to hold on to what they have.”
- ATM fees rise for 11th year in a row - This year marks the 11th consecutive annual increase in bank ATM fees for customers using out-of-network machines, according to a new Bankrate.com report. Over the past decade, such fees have risen 55 percent. The average cost of such a transaction is now over $4.50. ATM fees aren’t rising due to overwhelming demand. In fact, it’s the opposite. “It keeps getting easier to avoid the fees, and people are transitioning away from cash,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst. “With fewer people making out-of-network ATM withdrawals, the cost of maintaining that network is being spread over fewer transactions.”
- Counting the Under-Counted Populations - Common Cause New York is shedding light the problems that lead to communities being under-counted in the Census. According to a report recently released by the organization, New York City has one of the highest hard-to-count populations. That's because low income neighborhoods, communities of color, or areas with a lot of renters are harder to count. The issue does also spread upstate, particularly for people living in rural areas. The discrepancies can be so great, that while the National Center for Farmworker Health reported over 100,000 farmworkers and their families living in New York State in 2011, the state only estimated about 60,000. Susan Lerner from Common Cause explains the impact this has on the state.
- Trump tax plan slams NY, ends state and local tax deduction - New York ranked second among all states for the amount it residents deducted for real estate, income and other state and local taxes, totaling about $68 billion per year, according to the most recent IRS statistics. The Trump tax proposal cuts itemized deductions that average $1,844 per taxpayer here in St. Lawrence County.
- Top 10% Now Own 77% of American Wealth - As President Donald Trump and the Republican Party unveiled their “cruel joke” of a tax plan that would provide an enormous boon for the rich disguised as a “middle class miracle,” an analysis by the People’s Policy Project (3P) published Wednesday found that the top 10 percent of the income distribution now owns a “stunning” 77 percent of America’s wealth while those in the bottom 10 percent are “net debtors,” owning -0.5 percent of the nation’s wealth. Overall, Bruenig concluded, “[t]he median family in every racial group remains worse off than they were in 2007.”
- Department of Labor looks at "on-call" scheduling in new regulations - The state department of labor is holding hearings on worker scheduling issues as it drafts new regulations. In particular, the agency is looking at what's known as "on-call" or "call-in" scheduling, where workers have to be available to come in but may not end up getting any hours. It lets employers avoid being overstaffed on a slow day- but it means employees don't always know how much money they'll make each week. The agency says the goal of the hearings is to help strike a balance between the needs of both groups. Ted Potrikus, head of the Retail Council of New York state, explains.
- Minorities and Americans without college degrees showed greatest gains in wealth since 2013, new data says - But even among families headed by someone with a college degree, median net worth for white families is substantially higher at $397,100 — compared with well below $100,000 for black and Hispanic families. “In dollar terms, blacks and Hispanics are continuing to fall further behind,” said Caroline Ratcliffe, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute who focuses on asset and wealth building.
- 10 Tips for Addressing a Hostile Work Environment - A hostile work environment is a form of discrimination and occurs when an employee is subjected to harassment based on a protected trait such as one’s race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation or genetic information. This workplace harassment becomes illegal where the employee is able to demonstrate that the workplace was permeated with discriminatory harassment that is so severe or pervasive as to alter the conditions of the employee’s work environment.
- How the Gig Economy Has Created Permanent Low-Wage Nomads - By her sixties the question loomed: How would she ever afford to stop working? She had spent most of her life living paycheck to paycheck, with no savings to speak of. Her only safety net, Social Security, was perilously thin. What would retirement look like on around $500 a month?
- Target just gave employees a raise — here's what 19 other major retailers pay - Target announced that it would raise its minimum wage above $10 beginning in October, eventually reaching $11 per hour for all U.S. stores. The retailer has already promised to add 100,000 jobs in the coming months and has committed to raising minimum wage to $15 by 2020. Though many of these jobs may be temporary, they provide experience as well as a source of income, and knowing how major stores compare in terms of hourly pay could help you if you're in the market for a job.
- 33 jobs with the worst outlook for the future in NY's North Country - We ranked the 33 job titles with the least expected job growth over 10 years. The information also includes the average salary. #31: Legislators - This job title includes elected officials at the local, tribal, state and federal levels.
- A field guide to jerks at work - The powerful bully. The petty tyrant. The overbearing client. We all know at least one (maybe the jerk is actually us). Here’s how to recognize difficult co-workers — and how to get along better. To help identify the various breeds of difficult co-workers — and how to survive them — we spoke with Sutton, as well as a few other experts on hostile co-workers and toxic bosses he cites in his book. They are our field guides to coping with five types of jerks at work.
- New York court rules for 24-hour pay for live-in aides - A recent decision by the New York State Court of Appeals says in-home care providers must now pay live-in health aides for all 24 hours of a shift, including sleeping and meal times. The decision upholds a previous decision, but contradicts advice given by the Department of Labor, which stated live-in aides should be paid for 13 hours of a 24-hour shift, as long as they are given 8 hours to sleep. The State Association of Health Care Providers says this decision will cause financial strain for providers. Claudia Hammar, the association's president, explains this very complex issue.
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