As if employment opportunities for low-income workers weren’t bleak enough―low-wages, no retirement savings, no health insurance―now these workers face a complete breakdown of the traditional employer-employee relationship that historically provided for safe working conditions, income protections, and economic security.
Gov. LePage recently announced that he will belatedly sign off on multiple voter approved bond issues for the Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program, but he remains an outspoken critic of the program. At a December 17 Waterville “town hall” meeting, the governor said that he “hates” the LMF program and that the recent bond release does not indicate he has “changed his mind.” In the past week, LePage has … Read the rest
State Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette today released the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) statewide workforce estimates for November. The headline touts a drop in unemployment to 4.1%, “the lowest since 2002.” If this appears to be cause for celebration – not so fast. Although the number of unemployed workers in Maine has been dropping steadily over the last five years (from a high of 58,000, or 8.3% … Read the rest
Maine’s working families set to score an important win in the tax package scheduled for vote in the House and Senate
More than 37,000 hardworking Maine families will keep a key income boost that helps them go to work and pay for basic necessities under a new bipartisan agreement in Congress that saves critically important provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC).
In a blistering editorial published in today’s Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal, and Central Maine Morning Sentinel, MaineToday Media condemned the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for its administration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), earning the dubious distinction of “worst administered in the whole country, ranking 53rd out of 53,” according to the U.S. Department … Read the rest
Too many Mainers today work too few hours for too low pay. The data show over and over and over how part-time, low-wage, and benefit-less jobs trap people in poverty, make it hard for working families to pay their bills, and discourage their aspirations for education and opportunity.
In addition to low wages, retail and other service-sector workers struggle with precarious work schedules.