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Minimum wage marks grim milestone 

This week marks the 12-year anniversary of the last time the federal minimum wage was increased—to $7.25 an hour. Since July 2009, when the $7.25 minimum went into effect, it has lost 18% of its value. In its 83-year history, the federal minimum wage has never been left to stagnate for so long. Read why it’s so important to raise the wage now

Minimum wage expert and Economic Policy Institute economist Ben Zipperer explains why we need to raise the wage to $15, eliminate the $2.13 tipped minimum wage, and automatically increase the wage with inflation. Watch the video here
Test your knowledge: The minimum wage
How much do you know about the history of the federal minimum wage? About current state minimum wages? Take the quiz 

When did your state last increase its minimum wage? 
In the absence of federal action, many states and localities have raised their own minimum wages. Where does your state (or city or county) stand on the minimum wage? Explore the interactive map 
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What were talking about

What defines a recession? How they happen and how the economy recovers
“Things have been very, very hard, but people aren’t losing their jobs because people don't have the money to spend,” Heidi Shierholz, EPI’s director of policy and a senior economist, tells Teen Vogue. “By and large, people have the money to spend, but it's been the virus that's been keeping people from spending. And that's why as the vaccine is coming [out], we're getting fast job growth.” Read the article 
We need to value workers’ safety more highly
Workers’ rights and safety violations result in significantly lower fines than violations of financial and corporate law. This is characteristic of a system that undervalues workers. Moreover, these fines for egregious, often inhuman labor violations aren’t true deterrents—they simply represent the cost of doing business for these employers.  Read the blog post
EPI’s wage-theft research cited during Wage and Hour Division Administrator nomination hearing
“According to the Economic Policy Institute, Americans lose three times more in wage theft than they do in street robberies, bank robberies, gas station robberies and convenience stores robberies all combined. Think about that. That money that’s been stolen by their employers,” said U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) during David Weil’s nomination hearing for the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division’s Administrator. Listen to the full hearing
We must not consign another generation to substandard K–12 education
Millions of students across the country continued to suffer the aftereffects of the Great Recession for almost a full decade after the onset of the economic downturn. Policymakers must do more for our children in the aftermath of the pandemic recession. Read the blog post

Upcoming webinar

The roots of wage suppression
On Thursday, July 29, at 4:00 p.m. Eastern, a panel of experts will discuss the findings of a recent EPI report, Identifying the Policy Levers Generating Wage Suppression and Wage Inequality, and explore what policy changes are needed to combat wage suppression. Register for the webinarRead the report
Using consumer laws to protect workers from corporate fraud and misconduct
Hosted by the Economic Policy Institute, Harvard Labor and Worklife Program, National Consumer Law Center, and Towards Justice, this webinar will provide a lively discussion among advocates, attorneys, academics, and current and former government officials about how consumer laws can be used to protect workers and address corporate abuse in the labor market. Register here
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What were reading

Not just a wave, but a movement: Journalists unionize at record numbers
In the past decade, workers at news publications have launched more than 200 union drives, and over 90% of them have been successful. Read the article
 

The publishing industry is overwhelmingly white. Could unions be the answer?
Duke University Press is known for publishing groundbreaking intellectual work that reimagines the world, but it seems management at the storied publishing house has failed to cultivate a workplace in which staff of color move up the ranks. Read the article

How Diversity Shapes Economic and Policy Solutions
Fanta Traore leads The Sadie Collective, an initiative that focuses on mentoring and increasing representation of Black women in economics. For Pew’s “After the Fact” podcast’s latest season, “Race and Research,” Traore discussed her career journey and how her organization is working to enhance diversity in the quantitative sciences fields. Read the article

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