Many Texans are poor, not because they don't work, but because their work pays too little to raise a family out of poverty. To ensure economic prosperity, Texas public policy must support work, make work pay, and help families build their assets. The most important thing the state can do to enhance economic opportunity is to invest in public education—from early childhood education all the way through higher education.

Recent Labor Market/Wages/UI Publications

Why a Minimum Wage Increase Would be Good for Texas (10/11/2006)
Hundreds of thousands of Texas workers earn the minimum wage ($5.15 an hour) or just slightly above. The minimum wage is a poverty wage. Someone working full time on the minimum wage and supporting just himself would only earn a pre-tax income of $10,712 a year. A minimum-wage worker trying to support his family would need to work multiple jobs and rely on significant public assistance, and even then probably wouldn’t make ends meet.

The State of Working Texas 2006 (09/6/2006)
Every year around Labor Day, CPPP issues a report on the status of the Texas economy in conjunction with the national Economic Policy Institute. This report finds that nearly five years since the 2001-02 recession, the economy has yet to rebound with advances in household income or real wages. In fact, Texas has shown a 6.2% decline in real median household income since 2002. Virtually all demographic groups have experienced this trend, with younger workers and African-Americans especially hard hit. On a positive note, although still above the national average, Texas' unemployment rate continues to decline and Texas is adding jobs at a faster rate than the U.S. as a whole.

Moving Forward: Common Sense Policies to Promote Prosperity for Working Texans (08/30/2006)
Just in time for Labor Day, CPPP is proud to release Moving Forward: Common Sense Policies to Promote Prosperity for Working Texans. The report analyzes the barriers facing low-income Texans and provides nine recommendations to promote prosperity and move the economy forward.

Unemployment Benefits Extended for Those Left Jobless by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (03/9/2006)
On Monday, the President signed legislation extending disaster unemployment assistance (DUA) at least 13 weeks for workers who lost their jobs as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. For those left jobless as a result of Hurricane Katrina, their benefits expired on Saturday, March 4. Most Rita-related unemployment benefits are set to expire on March 25. Thousands of Texans could qualify for these extended benefits.

Study: Texas Leads U.S. in Income Inequality Between Wealthiest and Middle-Income Families (01/26/2006)
For years, there have been reports about the widening gaps between the rich and the poor, but few include a detailed look at income inequality trends in Texas. The study, Pulling Apart, put out by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute, finds that Texas leads the nation in the income inequality between its richest and middle-income families, and has the second widest gap between its wealthiest and poorest.

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