State Policies Are Failing Maine’s Working Moms

February 12, 2014 by

In 2012, women headed one of every three low-income working families in Maine, according to a new report released today by the Working Poor Families Project.

These are women who are working, but still do not earn enough to meet their families’ needs. Maine’s economic policies are failing these low-income, female-headed households.

The report, “Low-Income Working Mothers and State Policy: Investing for a Better Economic Future,” lays out policies … Read the rest

The State of Working Maine in 2013: An Ever Deepening Income Divide (Part 2)

December 13, 2013 by

In my last post, I discussed how MECEP’s recently released report, The State of Working Maine in 2013, delves beyond the official monthly employment reports for more revealing data about how many Maine workers continue to struggle to find full time jobs. But having a job is only part of the equation. Since most people work because they need wages to support themselves and their families, a closer … Read the rest

The State of Working Maine in 2013: Beyond the Official Unemployment Report (Part 1)

December 11, 2013 by

On the first Friday of each month (unless there’s a government shutdown), the Department of Labor releases the official national unemployment report. The results often lead the nightly news and provide headlines in the next day’s newspapers. Financial markets and political polls rise and fall on these findings. In Maine, there is a similar, if more subdued, reaction around the middle of the month upon release of the official state … Read the rest

When small is mighty BIG!

October 18, 2013 by

IFA poster 10-18-2013Robert Reich is short, four feet, eleven inches to be precise. I mention his height because the former labor secretary and current professor at the University of California Berkeley makes it an integral part of the presentation in his thought provoking new documentary, Inequality for All, currently showing at Railroad Square Cinema in Waterville.

When Reich speaks about the ever-widening income gap in America between the uber-rich … Read the rest

Improving Skills of Low-Income Working Mainers

November 27, 2012 by

Mainers need good jobs. Businesses need good workers. It would seem a match made in heaven.

Yet, there is a gap between the education and training of workers and the needed job skills of today.

More jobs require college degrees. Manufacturing jobs are highly technical. Computers and automation dominate the workplace. Too many Mainers lack the occupational skills needed for the jobs most in demand.

Working Mainers do not have … Read the rest

Getting the Facts Straight

September 15, 2010 by

Rigorous and credible research and analysis should be the foundation for evaluating public policies.  Unfortunately during this election season, it is increasingly difficult to discern fact from fiction.  The latest example of playing fast and loose with the numbers comes from a recently released report by the Maine Heritage Policy Center (MPHC) titled “Fix the System.”

 MHPC paints only in broad strokes and relies on irresponsible generalizations to advance their … Read the rest

Minimum Logic

February 23, 2010 by

The Legislature is currently debating legislation, LD 192, to index Maine’s minimum wage to inflation, ensuring the earnings of these Maine workers keep pace with the increasing cost of living.  I presented MECEP’s testimony in strong support of the bill before the Legislature’s Labor Committee. 

Bill opponents label it a “job killer” that would undermine business development.  One group actually suggested that past minimum wage increases “may not have been … Read the rest

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