Income and Work

September 3, 2019 by Ted Boettner
Misusing Data on West Virginia’s Economic Recovery

While West Virginia has experienced positive job growth over the last two years, it is imperative that we don't use employment data incorrectly so we can have a full understanding of how West Virginia's economy is rebounding.  Unfortunately, the WV Chamber of Commerce keeps misusing employment figures to overstate West Virginia's economic recovery. And even worse,…

Read More
August 30, 2019 by Ted Boettner
Five Charts for Labor Day 2019

The decline in union coverage in West Virginia and across the United States is one of the central reasons for wage stagnation and the loss of hard-fought union benefits like pensions. West Virginia can help reverse this trend by eliminating "Right to Work" and by letting public employees collectively bargain.   Even as workers are…

Read More
August 28, 2019 by WVCBP
Wage Theft in West Virginia: Solutions for a Hidden Epidemic

Wage theft is one of the most prevalent but under-reported problems confronting working people in the United States. Wage theft is a violation of workers’ rights in which an employer fails to pay an employee what that employee is owed. The national scale of wage theft is tremendous. According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI),…

Read More
August 25, 2019 by Kelly Allen
Kelly Allen: Equality for Women? Close Income Gap

This week marks the 99th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment, granting women (though not black or native women, in many cases) the right to vote. Read this op-ed in the Beckley Register-Herald. This date has become known as Women’s Equality Day, but nearly a century later, women – and particularly women of…

Read More
August 9, 2019 by Kelly Allen
West Virginia’s Municipalities Have the Authority to Expand Worker Benefits

Everyone gets sick, but not everyone gets paid time off work to get better. Nearly half of West Virginia’s private sector workers, 46 percent, lacks paid sick leave, and people of color and low-income workers are the least likely to have access to this benefit. This means that those who have the most to lose by…

Read More
June 27, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
Be Careful Not to Confuse Volatility With Growth

Governor Justice once again drew attention to a strong quarter of personal income growth for the state, with WV having the highest 2019Q1 personal income growth in the country. But, as was the case the last time the governor highlighted this particular statistic, there is more to the story than one quarter's worth of data…

Read More
May 30, 2019 by Ted Boettner
Governor’s Jobs Story Doesn’t Jibe With the Data

Governor Justice is touting recently released state unemployment figures to conclude that West Virginia has the "best job rate in 11 years" and "record-setting job growth". A clear understanding of the data tells a very different story, where West Virginia's economy is performing worse than the rest of the country since he took office and…

Read More
May 16, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
66,000 West Virginians Earn Less Than The Minimum Wage

While a number of states took action recently this year to increase their minimum wages and expand overtimes protections, West Virginia moved in the opposite direction. SB 377, which passed and was signed by the governor, exempted seasonal amusement park workers from being eligible for overtime pay, while HB 2048, which was introduced by not taken…

Read More
April 16, 2019 by Jessie Ice, Ted Boettner
Temporary Pipeline Construction Boom Could Spell Doom

Revised job figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that West Virginia has experienced relatively strong job growth over the last year thanks to the construction industry. In particular, the growth in natural gas pipeline construction has fueled not only this job growth and but also the state’s short-term revenue surpluses—especially during the last…

Read More
April 15, 2019 by Jessie Ice, Kelly Allen
The Working Families Tax Relief Act Would Raise Working People’s Income and Address Issues of Child Poverty

Working families with low- and moderate-incomes often struggle to keep afloat  and many childless adults are often taxed into poverty. On April 10, 2019, Senators Sherrod Brown, Michael Bennet, Richard Durbin, and Ron Wyden introduced the “Working Families Tax Relief Act” that aims to expand both the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as well as…

Read More