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

The State of Working Texas 2007 (09/2/2007)
The State of Working Texas 2007 is CPPP’s annual Labor Day report on the status of the Texas economy and workforce drawing from various federal and state data sources, with assistance from the Economic Policy Institute. This report analyzes trends in unemployment, wages, and demographics, along with other issues that affect working Texans. On a positive note, unemployment has declined considerably, the gender wage gap has narrowed, and a smaller share of workers is earning poverty wages. On the negative side, Texas continues to lag far behind the nation and even the region on several key indicators, including educational attainment, health insurance, and wage growth.

The Federal Minimum Wage Increase and Texas (07/24/2007)
Today the minimum wage in Texas increased from $5.15 to $5.85 as part of the first federal minimum wage increase in ten years. The minimum wage will increase again to $6.55 in July 2008, with a final increase to $7.25 in July 2009. Texas is currently the only state of the eleven most populous states whose state minimum wage is not higher than the federal standard, and therefore stands to gain the most from the federal increase.

The Federal Minimum Wage and Texas (05/25/2007)
Yesterday Congress passed the first increase in the federal minimum wage in a decade. Under the bill, which is expected to be signed by the President any day, the minimum wage would climb from $5.15 to $7.25/hour over the next 26 months. The first increase would occur 60 days after the bill is signed and would raise the minimum wage to $5.85/hour. It would then increase to $6.55/hour in 2008 and $7.25/hour in 2009. Since Texas' minimum wage is linked to the federal standard, 863,000 low-wage Texas workers earning less than $7/hour (8.5% of the statewide workforce) will see their wages increase.

Testimony on HB 48 (05/16/2007)
Don Baylor provided testimony on HB 48 before the Senate Committee on Finance. HB 48 relates to distributions from the employment and training investment holding fund.

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