Source: Michael Arria, In These Times, December 22, 2017
Florida Republicans are pushing a bill designed to deal the state’s unions a death blow. House Bill 25, which was introduced by Longwood state Rep. Scott Plakon, would decertify any union in which 50 percent of the workers don’t pay dues, thus preventing them from being able to collectively bargain. Despite the fact that unions negotiate for the benefit of all their workers, no employee is forced to pay dues in Florida, because it’s a “Right to Work” state. ….
Source: Simon Lazarus, American Prospect, January 4, 2018
As the Supreme Court gets back to work this Friday, January 5, media coverage of its potentially momentous 2017-2018 term has focused on several high-profile cases that deal with gerrymandering, cell phone privacy, religiously cloaked anti-gay discrimination, and the future of public-employee unions. But one sleeper has received less attention than it deserves. Argued on October 2, this case could strip foundational safeguards in place for over 80 years, essential to ensuring millions of low-wage and non-union workers of their right to fair pay, job security, workplace safety, nondiscrimination, and other guarantees protected by state and federal law. The case gives the Roberts Court, with its newly reconstituted 5-4 conservative majority, a chance to escalate its pro-corporate activism to levels unmatched even by the famously anti-regulatory pre-New Deal Court of a century ago. If the Court reaches the result sought by business advocates, this would, as elaborated by two Seton Hall professors in a 2014 law review article, “effectively end the labor laws.” ….
…. The case—actually three lawsuits, Epic Systems v. Lewis, from Wisconsin; National Labor Relations Board v. Murphy Oil U.S.A., from Alabama; and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris, from California; consolidated by the Court—involves employees’ claims that employers denied them overtime pay and other required benefits, by misclassifying their jobs and other illegal devices. Such claims are anything but rare. On the contrary, one 2009 study showed that in three major U.S. cities, “76 percent of 4,387 full-time low-wage workers in large and small companies across a variety of industries faced unpaid or underpaid overtime and 26 percent reported being paid less than minimum wage.” Court decisions have documented “extensive and systematic wage theft” from workers in construction, garment manufacturing, nursing homes, agriculture, poultry processing, and restaurants…..
Source: Francisco J. Pallares, Richard V. Adkisson, Economic Development Quarterly, Volume 31, Issue 4, November 2017
From the abstract:
Economic developers express concern for both employment growth and employment stability. This study asks whether there is a trade-off between the quantity and reliability of jobs. Does industrial diversification, presumed to lead to more reliable jobs, have an impact (perhaps negative) on overall job growth? Using data from the 50 U.S. states from 2000 to 2013, this study explores the relationships between employment growth and industrial diversification measured in four ways. The results are mixed, suggesting that overreliance on employment in stable industries might retard employment growth but that overreliance on employment in volatile industries does not have a clear positive or negative impact on employment growth.
Source: Beth Han, Mark Olfson, Larke Huang, and Ramin Mojtabai, Health Affairs, Vol. 36 No. 12, December 2017
From the abstract:
We examined national trends in the receipt of specialty outpatient mental health care, using data for 2008–15 from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Between 2008–09 and 2014–15 the number of US adults who received outpatient mental health care in the specialty sector rose from 11.3 million to 13.7 million per year, representing an increase from 5.0 percent to 5.7 percent of the adult population. Among those recipients, however, the annual weighted mean number of visits to the specialty sector remained unchanged. We found increases in both numbers and percentages of adults who received care within the specialty sector across age and sex groups and among non-Hispanic whites, people with Medicare, people with private health insurance, and people with family incomes of $20,000–$49,999. Increases in receipt of specialty mental health care during 2012–15 may be related to recent policy initiatives aimed at reducing financial barriers to care.
Source: Lucy Dadayan, State Revenue Report – Second Quarter 2017, Report #109, December 2017
State and local government tax revenues grew modestly in the second quarter of 2017, although revenues from state and local personal income taxes declined and continued to show significant swings from one quarter to the next. State sales taxes and corporate income taxes also increased in the second quarter, as did state motor fuel taxes, but state sales tax revenues still lagged behind rates of increases in previous economic expansions. Finally, local government property taxes grew, although their rate of growth slowed from recent trends…..
Source: Sarah Crane, Regional Financial Review, November 2017
Legalization has spurred job creation in a number of industries in the production and sales process, as well as generated multiplier effects in related services and the broader Colorado economy. In addition, legal cannabis sales have generated sizable tax revenue for state and local governments.
Source: Bernard Yaros, Regional Financial Review, November 2017
Which U.S. regions would benefit the most from the Trump administration’s spending objectives? This article focuses on the regional impact of shifts in defense spending, veterans benefits, and border security expenditures.
Source: Ryan Sweet, Regional Financial Review, November 2017
How are impacts of natural disasters measured? This paper describes how damages and lost output are calculated and reviews how the economic implications unfold.