ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: LABOR MARKET/WAGES/UI


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

Strengthening the Texas Unemployment Insurance System (12/17/2008)

Yesterday, CPPP brought together state and national experts to discuss steps Texas could take to strengthen our unemployment insurance system. We were joined by Maurice Emsellem, the Policy Co-Director of the National Employment Law Project.

Presentations given at the event by CPPP's Don Baylor and Mr. Emsellem are now available online.

The State of Working Texas 2008 (12/17/2008)

As the national recession enters a second year, Texas is retreating from a three-year period of economic expansion and broadbased job growth. With jobs and profits harder to come by, Texas will need to respond to the immediate challenges posed by an impending global recession while crafting a more sustainable economic development strategy that equally considers the economic needs of companies and working families. The State of Working Texas 2008 is the latest in a series of joint projects of CPPP and the Economic Policy Institute, which published The State of Working America 2008/2009 earlier this year.

A Labor Day Review of Our Unemployment Insurance System (08/29/2008)
Texans are losing jobs and taking longer to find work in today’s tough economic environment, reminding us this Labor Day of the importance of Unemployment Insurance (UI). Unemployment checks enable Texans to buy groceries, pay rent, and meet basic needs, helping both Texas families and the Texas economy. Unfortunately, Texas state policies prevent four of every five jobless Texans from collecting UI. This paper recommends common-sense, affordable changes to shore up this vital public structure that protects Texans in tough economic times. Our recommendations include new definitions for eligibility, modern infrastructure to process claims, and a smarter, sustainable funding plan.

More Outreach Needed: More than 400,000 Texans Yet to Claim Stimulus Checks (08/8/2008)
More than 400,000 Texans may be eligible to receive economic stimulus checks but have not yet made a claim, according to the IRS. Employers, nonprofits, and state and local governments ought to consider helping locate eligible Texans and encourage them to file for stimulus payments. These rebates can still be claimed by filing a 2007 tax return before the October 15 deadline. Veterans, retirees, and others who typically are not required to file tax returns are at the highest risk of not receiving their share of the stimulus. As of late June, Texans are missing out on more than $124 million in unclaimed rebates.

Income Inequality on the Rise in Texas (04/9/2008)
The gap between the richest and poorest families, and between the richest and middle-income families grew substantially in Texas over the past two decades, according to a new study by the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute. Growing income inequality tears at the fabric of our economy, and shows our public policies are failing to promote shared prosperity. In fact, inequality has accelerated since the late 1990s as incomes have fallen for poor families and virtually stagnated for middle-income families in Texas. (The full report can be found at http://www.cbpp.org/4-9-08sfp.htm.)

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