Los Angeles Planning to Hike the Minimum Wage for Hotel Employees

Just when I thought the granola state could not get any nuttier, here comes a city-council approved plan (to be subject to a final procedural vote and the mayor’s signature), to hike the minimum wage for employees of large hotels to $15.37 an hour.  The law would apply to hotels with 300 or more rooms […]

What’s In a Wage?

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its quarterly report (June 2014) on the cost of employee compensation.  The average hourly wage for U.S. workers in the private sector was $21.02.  Broken down: The average hourly wage for private sector full-time workers in all industries was $24.04.  For part-time workers it was $12.37. The average […]

More Evidence: Unemployment Benefits Hurt the Unemployed

In an earlier post, I highlighted a study from the Federal Reserve concluding that the extension of unemployment benefits through December 2013 may have prolonged unemployment. Several previous studies over the past decades have suggested this same effect of unemployment benefits.  To add to the body of evidence, a study just released from the House […]

Headlines That Are Not Screaming “Economic Recovery!”

Working Part Time – But Not by Choice (St. Louis Fed) 36 Percent of Adults Lack Retirement Savings, Including Many 65 or Older (Los Angeles Times) Five Years of Weak Wages (ABC News) From April to July 2014, the number of employed youth 16 to 24 years old increased by 2.1 million to 20.1 million […]

Finally! A Proposal That Would Foster Entrepreneurship in Texas

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is running for governor in this fall’s election, has proposed a measure that would eliminate occupational licensing for jobs that do not directly impact the health and safety of consumers. Of all the proposals designed to help poor and lower-income people, this one deserves major kudos. It does not […]

The “Stop Disability Fraud Act of 2014″

Yesterday, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security introduced a bill to combat Social Security Disability fraud.  Yay!  The “Stop Disability Fraud Act of 2014” is a result of some very high-profile cases involving massive disability fraud rings, and the fact that a record 11 million (see my […]

If the Trustees’ Reports Hold Such Great News, Why Where They Not Released Until Now?

Because the news in them is not that great.  Consider: Social Security (OASDI).  Total unfunded liabilities into the infinite horizon are $24.9 trillion.  (To learn more about unfunded liabilities, read the NCPA piece by Laurence Kotlikoff.)  This includes Social Security, Supplemental Security and Disability.  Including the “trust fund” as a liability (and it is since it […]

Surprise! Washington, D.C. is Still the Worst Place for Teens to Find Employment

Townhall’s Political Calculations found that Washington, D.C. tops the list for the worst teenage employment/population ratio in the United States.  Based on their chart, it appears that only 15 percent of D.C. teenagers age 16 to 19 are actually working, and they have taken the lead with dismal statistics for many years.  Keep in mind […]

Yes, State Taxes Matter

A recent study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University found that, unsurprisingly, states with higher taxes have lower economic growth, even when controlling for a variety of factors including a state’s population growth, educational attainment, and value of natural resources.  One of the study’s findings?  A one-percent increase in the average tax rate […]

New Fed Study On Unemployment Benefits

If the North Carolina experience with unemployment benefits was not convincing enough for naysayers, a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis finds that the expiration of unemployment benefits in December 2013 may have reduced unemployment in early 2014.  No surprise here, but worth noting.