Crush Unions and You Crush the Growth in Earnings for Workers

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New analysis by David Cooper and Lawrence Mishel explores differences by state in wage trends and changes in union membership since 1979.

In that time the percentage of workers covered by a union contract fell 21 percentage points (from 35.6% in 1979 to 14.6% in 2012) in Pennsylvania.

Reflections on the One-Day Work Week

At the Keystone Research Center, we closed the office last week except for Friday, Jan. 2, giving our team an extra three days of well-deserved vacation along with the New Year's Day holiday. So we had a one-day work week.

Truth be told, I still came to the office on Monday and then worked at home much of the rest of the week.

Still, the quality of life that resulted from only "having" to come to the office on Friday provided a nice hint of what a world of shorter work time might feel like.

A New Year's Resolution That Lawmakers Should Find Easy to Keep: Increase the PA Minimum Wage in 2015

As we close in on the end of 2014, here's our suggestion for a New Year's Resolution PA lawmakers should make along with losing weight and spending more time with the family: increasing the Pennsylvania minimum wage.

As detailed in our end-of year press release, 20 states and the District of Columbia will raise their minimum wages tomorrow but Pennsylvania will not.

The Empire Strikes Back: Shale Industry Minimizes Potential Severance Tax Revenue, But It's Still More than Impact Fee

Pennsylvania would benefit from switching from its current impact fee to a severance tax. Depending on the estimate, the severance tax could raise two to four times as much revenue as we expect from the impact fee, with this difference growing over time.

President’s Actions on Immigration Will Benefit the Pennsylvania Economy

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Last week President Obama announced that he will use the power of the executive office to shield millions of people from deportation and give them authorization to work.

The President's action is a positive step forward.

Bringing undocumented workers out of the shadows and into the above-ground labor market is good for them, good for the economy and good for us all. Specifically, the president’s actions will bring the following important benefits to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

Pa. 3rd Worst in Student Debt

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Yesterday, the Washington Post reported on the toll student debt is taking on students on a state-by-state level.  Not surprisingly, Pennsylvania is ranked as the 3rd worst in the country with an average student debt burden of $32,528 and an 11.6% student default rate.  To understand what Pennsylvania can do to reverse this trend and help power the economy, read the

New Study Suggests that Low Wages Imperil Future of U.S. Manufacturing and Innovation

Debates about manufacturing wages and jobs require the ability to walk and chew gum at the same time. Let's see if we can do that.

For a half century or more the mantra has been that manufacturing jobs pay better and support a family. But a new report by the National Employment Law Project (NELP), profiled in today's New York Times, shows that  manufacturing wages for production workers have dropped below wages for all private sector workers. NELP also finds that “more than 600,000 manufacturing workers make just $9.60 per hour or less. More than 1.5 million manufacturing workers – one out of every four – make $11.91 or less.”

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