Posts Tagged ‘wages

18
Sep
17

A President Who Actually Made America Great

06
Aug
16

Early Bird Chat

07
Jul
15

The Obama Economy: Labor Market Recovery Is The Best In 25 Years

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Hale Stewart: The Recovery In The Labor Market Is The Best In 25 Years

Every month we read stories about what a poor labor market recovery this has been. The latest articles were from Profs. Brad DeLong and Menzie Chinn. I respectfully disagree. With few exceptions, people don’t get a job for social reasons. They go to work each day in order to earn money to purchase necessities, discretionary goods, and to save for future needs. In short, they work because of cold, hard cash. Next, let’s compare two economies that both create 1 million 40 hour a week jobs, but one pays $10/hour and the other pays $12/hour. Clearly the second economy is better. It is paying workers 20% more than the first.

Finally, let’s compare two economies that create 1 million 40 hour a week jobs at $10/hour. In the first economy, there are 3% annual raises, but inflation is rising 4%. In the second, there are 2% annual raises, but inflation is rising 1%. Again, even though the second economy is giving less raises, it is the better one — those workers are seeing their lot improve in real, inflation-adjusted terms, whereas the workers in the first economy are actually losing ground. In other words, the best measure of a labor market recovery is that economy which doles out the biggest increase in real aggregate wages. The bottom line is that, measured 5 years and 11 months out from the bottom, this labor market recovery has been the third best of the 7 expansions, behind the 1960s and 1980s

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12
Jun
15

The Economy Is Rebounding. Thanks, President Obama

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Jeffrey Sparshott: Economists React to the May Jobs Report: ‘Unambiguously Positive’

U.S. employers added 280,000 jobs in May, the unemployment rate rose to 5.5% from April’s 5.4% as more Americans joined the workforce, and wages firmed. With the labor market showing signs of strength, all eyes are now on the Federal Reserve, which has pinned interest rates near zero since December 2008. Here’s what economists had to say. “Any doubts about lingering economic weakness in the second quarter, at least as it relates to the labor market, were certainly erased with the release of the May employment report….In addition to the stronger-than-expected headline figure, revisions to prior months were positive 32,000 but perhaps most importantly, the average hourly earnings number increased by 0.3%. As a result, the year-over-year change in earnings is now 2.3%, the highest level since it briefly ticked there in August 2013.”–Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG

Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press

“Even if one holds a long-term capped growth/secular stagnation view as we do, there can be and indeed are some unambiguously positive economic data in the meantime. Today’s payroll release was certainly one of them.” –Guy LeBas, managing director for fixed income strategy at Janney Montgomery Scott “This 280,000 rise in May payroll jobs, combined with a 32,000 upward revisions to job growth in March and April, reinforces our view that the decline in real GDP in the first quarter was an aberration due mostly to temporary factors and statistical problems acknowledged by the [Bureau of Economic Analysis]….I expect real GDP growth to rebound to at least 3.0% per annum in the middle two quarters of this year on strength in consumer spending, residential and nonresidential (including public) construction and less drag from private energy investment and net exports.” –Stu Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services “We see this as a very strong report, and it provides strong affirmation that underlying strength in the economy is building as the recovery moves back on track

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06
Feb
15

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Thanks, President Obama

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Victoria Stilwell: Jobs Report Crushes It

The U.S. labor market leaped forward in January, capping the greatest three-month jobs gain in 17 years and delivering the biggest wage increase since 2008. Payrolls advanced by 257,000 last month following increases in December and November that were even bigger than previously reported, figures from the Labor Department showed Friday in Washington. The unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent from 5.6 percent as more than a million Americans streamed into the labor force seeking work. The sustained employment gains are creating a virtuous cycle as Americans spend newfound incomes on goods and services. The growth in jobs will probably help assure Federal Reserve policy makers that the expansion is well-rooted and can withstand an increase in interest rates later this year.

“These are pretty amazing numbers,” said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Inc. in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the top forecaster of payrolls over the last two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “The January number is strong, but then you’ve got sizzling November and December numbers too. And then you’ve got the wage gains.” Average hourly earnings jumped 0.5 percent, the most since November 2008, from the prior month. They were up 2.2 percent over the past year, the biggest advance since August. Payroll gains averaged 336,000 over the last three months, the strongest since a comparable period ended in November 1997. A striking aspect of the report was a revision that added 147,000 jobs to the payroll tally for the previous two months, which also incorporated adjustments back to 2010. Employment in November was revised up to a 423,000 gain, the most since May 2010. Private payrolls, which exclude government agencies, soared 414,000 that month, the biggest advance since September 1997.

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Continue reading ‘Jobs, Jobs, Jobs. Thanks, President Obama’

13
Jan
15

The U.S. Economy Keeps Progressing. Thanks, President Obama

Obama Progress

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Rich Miller: U.S. Retakes The Helm Of The Global Economy

The U.S. is back in the driver’s seat of the global economy after 15 years of watching China and emerging markets take the lead. The world’s biggest economy will expand by 3.2 percent or more this year, its best performance since at least 2005, as an improving job market leads to stepped-up consumer spending, according to economists at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and BNP Paribas SA. That outcome would be about what each foresees for the world economy as a whole and would be the first time since 1999 that America hasn’t lagged behind global growth, based on data from the International Monetary Fund. About 3 million more Americans found work in 2014, the most in 15 years and a sign companies are optimistic U.S. demand will persist even as overseas markets struggle.

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The U.S. is breaking away from the rest of the world partly because it has had more success working off the debt-driven excesses that helped precipitate the worst recession since the Great Depression. “The progress has been far greater in the U.S.,” Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Columbia Business School in New York and a former chief White House economist, told the American Economic Association annual conference in Boston on Jan. 3. The U.S. has pulled ahead of other industrial nations partly because its policy-making has been better, according to Paul Mortimer-Lee, chief economist for North America at BNP Paribas in New York. U.S. budget policy also has been more effective than the euro region’s austerity strategy, which undercut the continent’s economy, Mortimer-Lee added.

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11
Jan
15

The Obama Economy Keeps Moving Forward Without Any Help From The GOP

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Jason Furman: The Employment Situation In December

1. The private sector has added 11.2 million jobs over 58 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record. Today we learned that total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 252,000 in December, mainly reflecting a 240,000 increase in private employment. Private-sector job growth was revised up for October and November by a combined 50,000 so that over the past three months, private-sector job growth has averaged 280,000 per month. Private employment has risen by at least 200,000 for 11 consecutive months, the first time that has happened since the 1990s.

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2. Total employment rose by 2.95 million in 2014, the most in any calendar year since 1999. Private-sector employers added 2.86 million jobs last year, the strongest private-sector job growth in any calendar year since 1997. The pace of overall job growth has increased, averaging 246,000 per month in 2014, up from 194,000 per month last year. On a percentage basis, the economy is adding jobs at a rate of about 2 percent per year, also on pace for the largest percentage increase in any calendar year since the late 1990s. Crucially, the pickup in the pace of job growth in 2014 has primarily been in industries with higher wages. For instance, the pace of manufacturing job growth has more than doubled to 16,000 per month this year, from 7,000 per month last year, and average weekly earnings for manufacturing workers are about $170 higher than for all private-sector workers. As discussed in greater detail below (see point #4), overall real average earnings have generally been growing, but there is more work to be done to raise wages and address longer-standing challenges around family incomes.

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DEFINITION OF ‘WAGE PUSH INFLATION’
A general increase in the cost of goods that is preceded by and results from an increase in wages. In order to maintain corporate profits after an increase in wages, employers must increase the prices they charge for the goods and services they provide. The overall increased cost of goods and services has a negative effect on the wage increase, and eventually, higher wages will be again needed to compensate for the increased prices for consumer goods.

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19
Nov
13

Rise and Shine

President Obama during a tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 19, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Today (All Times Eastern):

10:45: President Obama meets with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss Iran

12:30: Jay Carney briefs the press

3:15: President Obama delivers remarks and answers questions at the Wall Street Journal CEO Council annual meeting

6:00: First Lady Michelle Obama’s interview with 106 & Park airs on BET

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A word from Donna Dem:

Mr. President, I am forever grateful for your patience, tolerance, intelligence, kindness, thoughtfulness and service to our Nation at a time in history when we so desperately needed your distinct leadership. How you have been able to do this in the face of constant hate from the right, non-stop negative focus by our media and at times what appears to be people in your own party who let the media and the right cause them to lose their spine is beyond my comprehension.

The enemy hates you but you continue to fight for them even while they don’t deserve your hard work and effort. I will ALWAYS have your back. ObamaCare is your signature legislation and you will go down in history as one of the greatest Presidents of all time because of it. Your adversaries know this and it drives them crazy. You make all those in the media and on the Right appear so small minded. They focus on petty, negative things that in the big picture mean absolutely nothing to the average person seeking affordable health care. All the noise surrounding the launch of ACA will be forgotten because we your supporters will work our hearts out to make sure that everyone who needs insurance signs up (by whatever means necessary) to get insurance. We will promote ACA until we are blue in the face, if that is what it takes to make ObamaCare a complete success.

I’ve watched over these past six years as the media, the right and some on the left question time and again as to who you are. I’ll end this by sharing with the rest of the public what those of us who have been paying attention already know.

You are a man of strong character. You have the biggest heart of any politician I have ever seen. You are a family man. Family means everything to you. The service and sacrifices you are making today are all being done so that you will leave this world a better place for Malia and Sasha. Your spine is reinforced by a great, brilliant and beautiful woman in Michelle Obama. You look out over the universe and although there is so much negativity and ugliness to weigh you down you see the good in people. Somehow you are able to push past the filth and pinpoint the positive.

Obamacare is a gift that will keep on giving well into the future. No amount of media bashing, rightwing thrashing or some spineless Dems gnashing is going to stop this train from rolling on down the track.

The Obamacare train has left the station and its destination is affordable health care for all.

You can count on me and millions of others to make this a reality!!

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Think Progress: The Obama Administration Just Gave Nine Tribal Nations $7M To Fund Clean Energy Projects

The U.S. fossil fuel boom has not been easy on American Indians. Pollution is one problem, hunger for coal is another. While the people of the Moapa Paiute Reservation in Nevada wait for a promised solar energy center, smokestacks from the Reid-Gardner coal-fired power plant cake local homes with black dust. West of the Mississippi, Indian reservations contain almost 30 percent of the nation’s coal, but regulations from the Bureau of Indian Affairs limiting reservation energy development prevents tribes from fully capitalizing.

So even when coal is developed, tribes don’t see the money — they just see soot. But American Indian land — which makes up only 2 percent of the country — also has the potential to produce more than 5 percent of total renewable power generation, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, which on Thursday announced an investment of $7 million into nine tribal clean energy projects.

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Igor Volsky: The Obamacare Cancellation Notices You Haven’t Heard About

As lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are endorsing legislation to allow Americans purchasing health care coverage in the individual market to stay in their existing insurance plans, they’re ignoring a far more pressing coverage problem in the 26 states that have yet to expand their Medicaid programs. There, five million working poor Americans could be denied access to affordable insurance altogether.

They are the working poor cashiers, cooks, nurses’ aides, waiters and waitresses who were intended to benefit the most under reform, yet will continue to struggle to afford coverage as a result of the GOP’s political calculations. Yet the very same Republican lawmakers and conservative advocacy groups who have seized on the cancellation notices to argue that the law has failed are actively campaigning to prevent states from expanding public health insurance to these people.

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CBS: JP Morgan Chase, Feds Agree To $13 Billion Settlement

The Justice Department and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have reached agreement on all issues in a $13 billion settlement of a civil inquiry into the company’s sales of low-quality mortgage-backed securities that collapsed in value during the 2008 financial crisis. The settlement is the largest ever reached between the government and a corporation.

It eclipses the record $4 billion levied on the huge oil company BP in January in the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history. A person close to the talks told CBS News that the settlement addresses all civil issues in the case, but the Justice Department retains the right to continue a criminal investigation being conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento, Calif.

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Jonathan Cohn: Obamacare Policy Cancellations: Media Mythology, Republican Spin

The Obamacare cancellation stories have dominated the media for the past two weeks. And it’s easy to understand why. People losing their insurance is a bigger story than people getting insurance for the first time. But how big a story should it be? To answer that, you need to know how many people actually fit these descriptions—and what might have happened to these people if the Affordable Care Act had never become law.

1. People With These Policies Frequently Don’t Like Them: The best estimates suggest that about 12 to 15 million people buy insurance on their own. In other words, they are part of the “non-group” market. The best survey on this subject I’ve seen comes from the Center for Health Research and Transformation. In it, nearly half of all people surveyed rated their non-group coverage “fair or poor.”

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Bryce Covert: Unequal Pay Is Even More Unequal For Women Of Color

While women overall still made just 77 cents for each dollar men made last year, that gap is far wider for women of color. In an analysis of recent Census data, the National Women’s Law Center finds that an African-American woman working full time, year round made just 64 cents for every dollar a white man made and Hispanic women made just 54 cents.

NWLC notes that these racial and gender wage gaps mean that black women lost $18,650 compared to white men and Hispanic women lost $24,111. Even worse, the gap seems to be growing. The year before, black women made 69 cents for every dollar made by a white man and Latinas made 60 cents. They also face racial discrimination that means black workers earn $22,552 less than white workers a year on average and Hispanic workers earn $16,861 less.

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Jonathan Bernstein: No, Democrats Are Not Turning Against The Affordable Care Act

The press hype about Affordable Care Act troubles shows no sign of letting up today;Politico and National Journal both have features that seem absolutely detached from political reality. National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar has Democrats practically lining up to vote for repeal if Healthcare.gov isn’t working well in a couple of weeks. The problem with Kraushaar’s fantasy — and it is a pure fantasy, one which winds up with an imagined vote count on a repeal veto override — is that no actual Democrats in Congress can be found who are even hinting at anything resembling such a dramatic reversal.

Oh, there are plenty of Democrats who want to be on record as opposing the costs of Obamacare while still supporting the benefits. Especially when it’s a safe vote on something that has no chance to become law. That’s the real story behind the 39 House Democrats who voted for GOP Rep. Fred Upton’s “fix” to the law last week. Either way, what’s not going to happen is repeal thanks to Democratic panic from short term media frenzies. That’s not how politics works, it’s not what’s happening now, and it’s not what’s going to happen in the future.

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NYT: Tennessee Governor Hesitates On Medicaid, Frustrating Many

Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee describes it as “trying to thread a needle from 80 yards.” Mr. Haslam is only the latest Republican tailor trying to figure out whether to expand the state’s Medicaid rolls as prescribed by President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. In his case, it involves trying — so far unsuccessfully — to balance some sharply conflicting concerns: struggling hospitals, local business groups, dwindling state resources and fierce conservative opposition to the new health care law

“Sometimes you’ve got to make a tough call,” said Craig Fitzhugh, the State House Democratic minority leader, who is pushing for expansion. “It’s time to say yes or no. I don’t want to get morbid or dramatic about this thing, but it’s lives we’re talking about here. It’s human beings.”  Though Mr. Haslam has said he felt under no time pressure, the state faces a Jan. 1 deadline to qualify for the first $300 million in Medicaid money for the coming year. The Tennessee Hospital Association, the state Chamber of Commerce and Democrats say Mr. Haslam cannot afford to wait much longer.

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Roger Simon: President Obama: Lying Liar Or Media Target?

The reviews are in, and Obamacare is a disaster. No, it is worse than that. Obamacare is a debacle, a shambles, a wreck, a fiasco, a flop, a failure and a farce. To the media, Obamacare is such a catastrophe that mere words cannot describe it. Only comparisons can. So Obamacare is Hurricane Katrina (The New York Times), the Iraq War (“Meet the Press”), Watergate (Bill Kristol) and “the worst thing since slavery” (Dr. Ben Carson, a columnist and Fox News contributor).

A lie, however, is an intentionally false statement. An unforgivable screw-up may be unforgivable and a screw-up, but it is different than a lie.   The Iraq War comparison was floated by David Gregory, host of “Meet the Press,” on Sunday. “And people will say this is like Katrina; I think it’s more like Iraq,” Gregory said.

“That was about life and death, this is not. The comparison is everybody looked at Bush through the prism of Iraq. Here, I think people are going to look at Obama through the implementation of Obamacare.” Maybe it’s just me, but I still find it difficult to compare a dismally functioning website to a war that resulted in more than 100,000 violent deaths and cost nearly a trillion dollars.

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Michael Hiltzik: The Myths Of Obamacare’s ‘Failure’

Attacks on the Affordable Care Act have stepped up over the last week or so. You’d think that the healthcare reform known as Obamacare is leading to the wholesale loss of affordable insurance by huge sectors of the American public, many of whom will be impoverished by being forced into low-quality health plans at exorbitant prices. You’d think the entire reform is on “life support,” as the usually judicious National Journal put it today, speculating that Democrats may soon start calling for its repeal.

Don’t buy the hype. The numbers tell an entirely different story. What they also demonstrate is that the myth of Obamacare’s “failure” is a product of the same Republican noise machine that has been working to undermine this crucial reform since Day One. It’s assisted by news reporting about canceled health policies that typically ranges from woefully misinformed to spectacularly ignorant, and even at its best is incomplete.

The fact is that Obamacare is here to stay. Its customer protections are worth real money to tens of millions of consumers, and it’s vastly expanding the insurance market. The politicians claiming that they’re only out to “fix” a broken program are playing you for suckers, and not for the first time.

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LA Times: Healthcare Plan Enrollment Surges In Some States After Rocky Rollout

Despite the disastrous rollout of the federal government’s healthcare website, enrollment is surging in many states as tens of thousands of consumers sign up for insurance plans made available by President Obama’s health law. A number of states that use their own systems, including California, are on track to hit enrollment targets for 2014 because of a sharp increase in November, according to state officials.

“What we are seeing is incredible momentum,” said Peter Lee, director of Covered California, the nation’s largest state insurance marketplace, which accounted for a third of all enrollments nationally in October. California — which enrolled about 31,000 people in health plans last month — nearly doubled that in the first two weeks of this month.

Several other states, including Connecticut and Kentucky, are outpacing their enrollment estimates, even as states that depend on the federal website lag far behind. In Minnesota, enrollment in the second half of October ran at triple the rate of the first half, officials said. Washington state is also on track to easily exceed its October enrollment figure, officials said.

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President Obama talks with Chief of Staff Denis McDonough while sitting at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, Nov. 18, 2013 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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On This Day:

President Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak during an arrival ceremony at the Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 19, 2009 (Photo by Pete Souza)

…. speaking to US troops at Osan Air Base, south of Seoul, on November 19, 2009

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…. at the East Asia Summit plenary session in Nusa Dua in Bali, on November 19, 2011

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First Lady Michelle Obama greets Lianyun Wu as she awards an International Spotlight Award to The 100 Dong Songs Program of China, during the 2012 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards in the East Room at the White House, November 19, 2012

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A Burmese student at Yangon International airport awaiting President Obama’s arrival, Nov. 19, 2012

Nov. 19, 2012 – Pete Souza: “Police hold back the crowd as residents line the streets of the motorcade route to welcome the first sitting President of the United States to visit Burma. This photograph was taken through the bullet-proof window of the vehicle just in front of the President’s. I love that three of the police are also trying to sneak a glimpse, one with a smile on his face.” (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama poses for a photo in front of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 19, 2012. All visitors must remove their shoes and socks while touring the pagoda. (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama, guides, and Secret Service agents walk barefoot during a tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama pours water over the left shoulder of the Friday Buddha during a tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama signs a guest book during a tour of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon, Burma, Nov. 19, 2012 (Photo by Pete Souza)

Crowds line a street outside the home of Aung San Suu Kyi as President Obama arrives to meet her in Yangon

President Obama greets Burmese Opposition Leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a visit to her private residence in Rangoon (Photo by Pete Souza)

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President Obama receives a floral tribute upon his arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport for the ASEAN Summit, November 19

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MoooOOOooorning! A gazillion thanks to UT for providing all the links for today’s R&S, I only had the pics done when I got stuck on a call for 30 minutes, and then had someone interfere with my TODing because he wanted to play.

19
Sep
11

the texas ‘miracle’

CNN: Texas Governor Rick Perry likes to brag that his state is an economic powerhouse. But don’t tell that to the nearly one in five Texans who are living below the poverty line.

…. Texas ranks 6th in terms of people living in poverty. Some 18.4% of Texans were impoverished in 2010, up from 17.3% a year earlier, according to Census Bureau data released this week. The national average is 15.1%.

And being poor in Texas isn’t easy. The state has one of the lowest rates of spending on its citizens per capita and the highest share of those lacking health insurance….

…. Some 550,000 Texan workers last year were paid at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25, more than double the number making those wages in 2008 … for someone working full-time, that’s just over $15,000 a year before taxes, which is under the poverty line for a single parent with two children.

Some 9.5% of Texas’ hourly workforce are minimum-wage workers, the highest percentage in the nation – a dubious title it shares with Mississippi.

For residents living in poverty, the state doesn’t offer many services or even make federally-funded benefits easily accessible ..…. Experts chalk up the minimal services and take-up rates to Texas’ anti-welfare attitude. In the Lone Star State, you are expected to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. “The Texas mentality is you don’t ask for help,” Ferguson said…..

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