Other Labor Research and Studies


Other Labor Research & Studies


The Economic Consequences of Proposed California Budget Cuts
By Ken Jacobs, Laurel Lucia and T. William Lester

This policy brief compares the economic impact of the Governor’s 2010-2011 budget with an alternative budget approach that includes revenue increases. The Governor’s cuts-only approach would result in the loss of 331,000 full-time equivalent jobs, $36 billion in economic output and $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue, mostly as a result of cuts to major health and human services programs that bring in significant federal matching funds.


Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years

Employees of state & local government earn an average of 11% and 12% less, respectively, than comparable private sector employees. An analysis spanning two decades shows the pay gap between public and private sector employees has widened in recent years. 

This new study from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence and the National Institute on Retirement Security finds that when all factors are taken into account, state and local employees earn less than than their counterparts in the private sector.


Ten reasons not to raise the retirement age

At a time when more Americans are living longer, raising the retirement age may seem like a good way to strengthen Social Security. 

EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey explains why it is not.


Informing judges of sentencing costs: a budget-saving tool

Expanding prison populations and revenue shortfalls have devastated state budgets across the county.  In response, Missouri is now providing judges with the average cost to incarcerate an individual for a particular crime prior to actual sentencing with an eye on increasing fiscal awareness in sentencing.  Dubbed the “Smart Sentencing Program,” the Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission (MOSAC) initiated the project in August 2010.


The truth about public employees in California: they are neither overpaid nor overcompensated

Recently, there has been a great deal of debate and consternation over the compensation of public-sector employees across the U.S. It has been asserted that state and local government employees are overpaid compared to workers in the private sector. In California government workers have been vilified as scandals and anecdotes pass as confirming evidence of exorbitant pay. This research is especially important given the outrage over the pay of municipal officials in Bell, California. The outrage over what happened in Bell is reasonable and just.


A hidden side to New Jersey’s privatization push
By Melissa Maynard, Stateline Staff Writer

There has been a lot of talk of privatization in New Jersey since Republican Chris Christie became governor this year. Soon after taking office, Christie appointed a task force to study outsourcing opportunities for the state. Since that group issued its recommendations [PDF] in May, the idea of using contractors to enforce building codes, collect highway tolls, run state parks and perform other key functions of state government has been the subject of a hot and healthy debate.


Kentucky employees learn Spanish for their jobs
By Heather Kerrigan

Kentucky’s Hispanic population has grown rapidly. Though the size of the state’s total Hispanic population ranks 39th in the nation, Kentucky consistently ranks in the top ten of all states for Hispanic population growth. Between 1990 and 2000, this population grew 173 percent. Much of the increase was driven by migrant farm workers.


Unions Make the Middle Class
by David Madland, Karla Walter, and Nick Bunker

Why should anyone–especially those who are not union members–care that union membership is at record lows and likely to fall even further? Because if you care about the middle class, you need to care about unions.

Critics of unions claim they are unimportant today or even harmful to the economy, but unions are essential for building a strong middle class. And rebuilding the middle class after decades of decline and stagnation is essential for restoring our economy.


Californians’ Retirement Prospects Grim, Forecasts New Research
By UC Berkeley Labor Center

Nearly half of California workers will retire in or near poverty, shows a new study released by the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education, “California Workers’ Retirement Prospects”

While retirement security is and will be a problem in the whole of the nation, the situation is worse in California, because California workers have less access to employer retirement plans than workers in the United States as a whole, according to the study authors.