Recent popular demonstrations such as the Occupy Wall Street movement have made it clear that the high levels of inequality in the United States remain a pressing concern for many. While protesters have primarily focused their ire on private financial institutions, the Federal Reserve (Fed) has also been one of … More >
With the release of the (mostly) triennial Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) from the Federal Reserve, it is once again time to look at trends in wealth. The SCF is one of the best sources for data on net worth (assets minus liabilities) in the U.S.
In … More >
As part of his nationwide book tour, French economist Thomas Piketty stopped on campus and in San Francisco last week to speak to overflowing lecture halls. The lecture I attended in San Francisco quickly filled to capacity, and the enthusiasm in the audience was palpable. Piketty’s new book, Capital in … More >
By Annette Bernhardt and Ken Jacobs
Judging by the past three months, 2014 is on track to become the year of local minimum wage laws. Campaigns are under way in Richmond, Berkeley and Oakland to join San Francisco and San Jose in setting a minimum wage higher than state law. These … More >
Now that economic inequality has become a focus of attention – mentions of “income inequality” in the New York Times went up five-fold in the 2010s compared to the 2000s, 200-fold compared to the 1990s – we know a few things about it clearly. For example: American inequality is unusually great among … More >
It was fifty years ago the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place. The demand for a higher minimum wage was part of a package of demands seeking economic justice for workers through government intervention in the labor market. At that time, the wage floor was $1.15 and … More >
The good news this Labor Day: Jobs are returning. The bad news this Labor Day: Most of them pay lousy wages and low if non-existent benefits.
The trend toward lousy wages began before the Great Recession. According to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute, weak wage growth between 2000 … More >
One way to view Detroit’s bankruptcy — the largest bankruptcy of any American city — is as a failure of political negotiations over how financial sacrifices should be divided among the city’s creditors, city workers, and municipal retirees — requiring a court to decide instead. It could also be seen … More >
Suburban poverty is in the headlines again these weeks after the publication of Brookings researchers Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube’s new book, Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, which augments previous empirical work with fascinating case studies. But with the suburban poverty rates hovering around 11 percent, relative to 21 percent … More >