Sunday, March 27, 2016

February Employment Review

The US Economy added 242,000 non farm payroll jobs in February continuing strong job performance in a period usually affected by seasonal layoff and weather.

The national unemployment rate stayed at 4.9%. The labor force participation rate increased to 62.9% as the labor force increased by more than half a million people (555,000). Of the 555,000 people who joined the labor market, 530K reported working. 

The Black unemployment rate was 8.8% while the Black participation rate moved sides ways. Younger employees enter the labor market while old works exited.

The black unemployment rate has also fallen below it's longer term average.

The Black U-6 which we have been calling the "Real Black Unemployment Rate" was calculated at 13.6%.

Manufacturing jobs shrank again in February losing 16,000 positions. In a positive sign temporary help positions also declined.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

EEOC proposes to collect pay data by race and gender starting in 2017

The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is proposing to collect pay and hours worked data by gender and race. The reporting would start in 2017.

You can read the full change of the proposed regulation here:

Proposed revision of the employer information report (EEO-1)

The regulatory change would add collection of W-2 pay range information and hours to the current reporting of employment by gender and race. The EEO-1 reporting regulations cover government contracting firms with more than 50 employees and private firms more than 100 workers.

Evil Black Economists comments on EEOC proposal to collect pay data

We supported the EEOC change to collect in a public comment.!documentDetail;D=EEOC-2016-0002-0060

And the comment itself...

Hooray for the EEOC!! They are finally taking steps to get the American people the "missing" data on compensation. This action will fill an important data gap in our understanding of pay inequality.

The United States has a large and persistent pay gap between men and women and whites and minorities. The pay gap in the US has remained in place for many years. Legislation was passed but pay differences have barely changed. We need better data and tools to eliminate this gap. Knowledge is power

As a long time computer professional who has worked on HR and ERP systems: the electronic data is there, easily accessible and can be reported in excel with minimal effort. If I have less than 100 employees, I would dump the data into excel and file electronically. If I have my own HRIS system, then I would extend the EEOC-1 report with more data to meet EEOC-2 requirements. In addition, Payroll companies like ADP and Paychex, could produce the report.

I support the proposed EEOC reporting change because it would help us better understand the scope and scale of pay differences in the United States.

A lot of the arguments against the proposal fall into three groups:

1. It's too hard to get the data. It's too burdensome. 

The EEOC is trying collect data in an area where there is no data at all. They are trying to shed light on an important issue in our society. Helping to resolve the issue in the US is worth a couple of extra hours.

2. EEOC-2 won't provide the information the EEOC is looking for. Data does not include education, experience, level, location, etc. which can affect pay.

Researchers, academics and policy makers have nothing right now, nothing, so any data is an improvement.

3. The EEOC is unclear about the definition of pay / salary / total compensation

The salary bands provided are very wide and leave lots of room for estimation. 

4. We don't want to expose our company to any liability for unequal pay. 

This one I cannot help you with. 

American business should think about what's good for America. (Sorry Calvin Coolidge) 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Minimum Wage: Classic paper from Card and Kurger finds no reduced employment due to raising the minimum wage

Here is the classic paper from 1993 by David Card and Alan B. Kruger that could not find a link between raising the minimum wage and reduced employment.

Minimum Wages and Employment by Card and Kruger, 1993

In fact, during the time period measured, employment actually expanded.

Blog Archive