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ENEWS: Legislative Agenda-Making & Economic Disparities

Date Published: 12/18/2020

Author: Erin Wilson

Dec. 16 Blueprint Blastoff 

Thank you to everyone who came to either or both of our Blueprint Blastoffs! We appreciate the time and input you gave us, and we are in the process of consolidating your notes and top priorities to be incorporated into a draft of our 2021 legislative agenda. Once that’s pulled together, we’ll send it out to all of you, so keep an eye out for that coming into your inbox sometime around the beginning of January. If you missed yesterday’s Blastoff, you can find a recording of it here

New EPI wage data

In a post from the Working Economics blog, Lawrence Mishel and Jori Kandra of the Economic Policy Institute discussed updated wage data that exhibit what is probably not surprising to many— wage growth for the top 1% but decreased wages for the bottom 90%. 

“In every period since 1979, wages for the bottom 90% were continuously redistributed upward to the top 10% and frequently to the very highest 1.0% and 0.1% … For last year, 2019, the data show a continuation of the trend of annual wages rising fastest for those in the top 10% while those in the bottom 90% saw below-average wage growth. However, within the top 10%, wages rose faster for those in the 90th–99th percentiles than for those in the top 1%,” the blog post says. 

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis event 

At the end of November, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, in partnership with other Federal Reserve Banks, held the second virtual event in their Racism and the Economy series, this time focusing on disparities in employment. The event examined the U.S. labor market’s history of racial inequity, looked at “occupational segregation,” and discussed solutions to these inequities. The keynote speaker was Valerie Wilson, director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy. You can read the summary of it here and watch the video here. If you’re interested in the next virtual installment of the FRB’s Racism and the Economy series, focused on education, you can learn more and register here

Quote:

“This unceasing growth of wage inequality that undercuts wage growth for the bottom 90% reaffirms the need to place generating robust wage growth for the vast majority and worker power at the center of economic policymaking.” — EPI Working Economics blog post


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