Wages

Third and State This Week: Confusion About Voter ID, Payday Lending in the Senate and Poverty-wage Jobs

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new report on the Voter ID Law, a bill to legalize high-interest payday lending now before the state Senate, poverty-wage jobs in Pennsylvania, and much more!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On voter ID, Sharon Ward blogged about a new report from the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center on confusion surrounding the new law among PennDOT staff and voters alike. You can check out PBPC's full report here.
  • On payday lending, Mark Price wrote about legislation before the Senate to legalize payday loans with annual interest rates of 369%. He also explained that the writer of a letter to the editor in the Patriot-News supportive of the bill forgot to mention her group represents payday lenders.
  • On economic development, Mark Price wrote about local incentives in a Tennessee town intended to lure web developers.
  • On poverty, Mark Price reported that about 24% of Pennsylvania workers earned poverty wages in 2011.
  • On monetary policy, Mark Price highlighted two views on what the Federal Reserve can do to boost the economy. 
  • On education, Mark Price shared an Allentown Morning Call column offering a midterm report card on Governor Corbett's education policies.
  • And in a Friday Funny, we bring you an article by the satirical newspaper The Onion on how voter suppression in Pennsylvania isn't as fun as it used to be. 

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

A Look at Poverty-Wage Jobs in Pennsylvania

In this year's State of Working Pennsylvania, we explored the prevalence of poverty-wage jobs in the commonwealth. 

We define poverty-wage jobs as those paying hourly wages that would not be sufficient for a full-time (40 hours a week), year-round (52 weeks) worker to earn an income greater than the poverty line for a family of four with two children. 

Third and State This Week: PA Jobs Advantage Recedes, Supreme Court Has Voter ID Concerns, Poverty Remains High and the Manufacturing Jobs Score

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the shrinking (and now disappeared) advantage Pennsylvania had over the national unemployment rate, concerns voiced by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court over the Voter ID Law, the "manufacturing jobs score" by presidential administration, new data on poverty in Pennsylvania and much more. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Stephen Herzenberg fact checked a recent assessment of the Corbett administration's jobs record, and Mark Price blogged about the August jobs report showing that the advantage Pennsylvania had over the national unemployment rate has disappeared.
  • On jobs and manufacturing, Stephen Herzenberg shared a commentary he co-authored with Colin Gordon of the University of Iowa on the "manufacturing jobs score" by presidential administration since 1948. 
  • On voter ID, Chris Lilienthal wrote about the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's decision to send the legal challenge to the law back to the Commonwealth Court — and the concerns voiced by the court about the law's implementation.
  • On poverty, Chris Lilienthal highlighted media reports on new Census data on poverty in Pennsylvania and in major metro regions of the state. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center also put out an overview of the new Census data on poverty, income and health insurance.
  • On hunger, Jamar Thrasher blogged about how more colleges and universities are opening food banks for students who can't afford their next meal.
  • And in Morning Must Reads this week, Mark Price highlighted news reports on Hershey's plan for a $300 million manufacturing plant and on Occupy Wall Street one year later.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Morning Must Reads: A Bittersweet Investment By Hershey

The Hershey Company today unveils plans for a new $300 million investment in a state of the art manufacturing facility here in the midstate. This is sweet news or, as David Wenner explains, bittersweet news.

Third and State This Week: State of Working PA, New Online Sales Tax Rules & Honoring Work on Labor Day

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the State of Working Pennsylvania, new rules that will close an online sales tax loophole (at least a little bit), new budget guidelines for 2013-14, honoring work on Labor Day, and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price wrote about layoffs in the Pittsburgh School District and the Keystone Research Center's State of Working Pennsylvania report that came out this week. The Keystone report concludes that Pennsylvania and the nation need a new policy direction to lift up working and middle-income families.
  • On state tax policy, Michael Wood blogged about a rule change that will level the playing field somewhat between online retailers and bricks-and-mortar stores by requiring retailers like Amazon, with a physical presence in Pennsylvania, to collect sales tax on online purchases.
  • On state policy, Jamar Thrasher highlighted news reports on new 2013-14 budget guidelines from the Corbett administration and a new type of voter ID introduced this week.
  • And in honor of Labor Day, Mark Price highlighted a few commentaries honoring work and calling for a middle class-friendly economic policy.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Morning Must Reads: Honoring Work and Calling for a New Middle-Class Friendly Economic Policy

It is almost here, Labor Day weekend. That means family parties, celebrations and, of course, reverence for the holiness of work that ALSO affords us what workers in the last century called bread and roses. In that spirit, Rick Bloomingdale has an excellent op-ed this morning celebrating the creation of the middle class in this country and calling for a new direction in economic policy.

Midday Must Reads: College Grads Compete with Outsourcing, Face Debt

Recent college graduates seeking jobs are finding more competition from across the globe. American companies are cutting costs and raising revenues by employing international workers, Nancy Folbre, a University of Massachusetts economics professor, explains at the New York Times' Economix Blog.

Third and State This Week: Challenging Conventional Wisdom on Payday Lending & Time to Raise the Minimum Wage

This week at Third and State, we blogged about a new report challenging the conventional wisdom on payday lending, the third anniversary of the last increase in the minimum wage, public policy that shrinks the economy, bizarre claims about income inequality and much more.

  • Jamar Thrasher wrote about a Pew Center on the States report showing that payday lending is less frequent in states with restrictive laws and that borrowers tend to use payday loans for recurring expenses — not just emergencies.
  • Intern Alan Bowie blogged about the third anniversary of the last increase in the minimum wage and how it has not kept pace with the rising cost of living.
  • On income inequality, Mark Price shared a Paul Krugman column catching the Tax Foundation making a bizarre claim about income inequality.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price highlighted an insightful Q&A with Professor Peter Cappelli of the Wharton School of Business on his new book Why Good People Can't Get Jobs, and wrote about the danger of public policies that shrink the economy.
  • Finally, on the Marcellus Shale, Mark Price highlighted a Patriot-News column eviscerating the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for using suspect job numbers in a Marcellus gas public relations campaign.

More blog posts next week. Keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Three Years and Counting on the Minimum Wage

In 1960, George Lesauvage of the National Restaurant Association was making the case against increasing the federal minimum wage. “Wages, of course, in the restaurant industry are low for several reasons,” he said. “One of the most important is the fringe benefits that a restaurant worker gets in the form of free meals which in terms of value to the employee are most significant. Another fringe would be free uniforms.”

Wow, free uniforms. He forgot to mention free restrooms!

Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Payday Loans

A few months ago, I ran into a neighbor from my old neighborhood in Pittsburgh, East Liberty, a largely black, low-income neighborhood. She was telling me about taking out a payday loan to help cover some of her bills.

According to a new report from the Pew Center on the States, many of the people who turn to payday loans are a lot like my neighbor — just trying to make rent, buy food or keep the lights on. 

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