Moving Forward:  Raising the Minimum Wage
& Tackling Long-Term Unemployment


Last week saw two important developments on issues NELP has championed to make work an anchor of economic security for all workers. 

FIRST . . . 

In his State of the Union address, President Obama urged Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per houran increasingly urgent priority as new job growth continues to be concentrated in low-wage industries.  Most immediately, the president announced that he will issue an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 for employees of federal contractors.  It will apply to all new contracts, will benefit hundreds of thousands of workers, and represents a huge victory for workers and their allies who have long urged the federal government to take a “high-road” approach to contracting.  

NELP’s reports on federal contracting helped lay the foundation for this reform:

 

Taking the Low Road

NELP’s 2013 survey of 567 workers in federally-contracted service jobs found that nearly three in four earn less than $10 an hour.  Twenty percent of these workers reported depending on Medicaid for health care, and 14 percent rely on food stamps to meet their family's food needs.  Fully 56 percent reported having trouble paying their monthly bills.
 

Taking the Low Road

The Road to Responsible Contracting

This 2009 report looked at states and localities that adopted contracting policies similar to the president’s proposed executive order.  It found that these policies reduced the hidden public costs of low-wage work, while delivering better-quality services for taxpayers and encouraging more decent-paying companies to enter the bidding process.
 

The Road to Responsible Contracting

Check out the press coverage of the issue, including the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, ABC News, NPR, and the Rachel Maddow Show.  Congratulations to the Good Jobs Nation campaign and to all who have worked to improve wages for low-wage federal contract workers!  The next step:  Congress must follow suit by raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10.  Learn more at www.raisetheminimumwage.org.

. . . .

SECOND . . .  

On Friday, NELP's executive director, Christine Owens, joined scores of business and labor leaders, workforce development partners, and non-profit representatives at a White House convening focused on expanding job opportunities for the long-term unemployed and eliminating hiring discrimination against them.  NELP has been a national leader in highlighting the disturbing practice of requiring applicants to have a job in order to get a job, and our just-released report describes solutions to this vexing Catch-22:

 

Tackling the Long-Term Unemployment Crisis

This report lays out nine actions that the administration, business leaders, and Congress can take to help put long-term job-seekers back to work.  NELP has urged the administration to direct federal agencies to adopt model hiring policies and to support local initiatives that prepare and place long-term unemployed workers into good jobs.  On Friday, the president announced action on these and other ideas. 
 

Tackling the Long-Term Unemployment Crisis

Hiring Discrimination Against the Unemployed 

Our 2011 paper showed that it had become routine practice for companies and staffing agencies to openly discriminate against unemployed workers in job postings and screening procedures.  The report focused greater national attention on the issue and spurred a number of jurisdictions to enact laws prohibiting this kind of exclusion. 
 

Hiring Discrimination Against the Unemployed

Federal legislation outlawing discrimination against the unemployed—the Fair Employment Opportunities Act of 2014—was reintroduced last week by Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).  We are urging Congress to promptly pass this important legislation. 

NELP will keep up the fight for fair wages and opportunity for all who wish to work, but we need your help.  Please support NELP! 

 

Donate to NELP.



This email was sent to: %%EMAIL%%    twitter  facebook

To unsubscribe, go to: %%UNSUBSCRIBE%%.