Income and Work

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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April 11, 2019 by Sean O'Leary
37,000 West Virginia Workers Will be Left Behind by the Trump Overtime Proposal

Last month, the Department of Labor published a proposal to set the salary threshold under which almost all workers are entitled to overtime pay to $679 per week, or $35,308 for a full-year worker, in 2020. While an increase in the overtime salary threshold is long overdue, the current proposal would leave behind millions of workers…

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March 4, 2019 by Kelly Allen
Paid Family and Medical Leave Crucial to West Virginia Workers and Families

West Virginia has a unique opportunity to lead the way in providing paid leave benefits to all workers. A bipartisan group of Senators has introduced SCR 41, which would instruct the legislature to study the costs, benefits, and implementation of creating a paid family and medical leave program in West Virginia. Although there is bipartisan…

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February 13, 2019 by Jessie Ice
Invest in West Virginia Families with a Refundable Earned Income Tax Credit

West Virginians who work should be able to support their families and afford their basic needs. Unfortunately, too many jobs in West Virginia pay too little for workers and their families to make ends meet. 23% of workers in West Virginia are employed in low-wage jobs and over a quarter of those live in poverty.…

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