What is the history of the minimum wage?

A minimum wage is the lowest wage that employers may legally pay to workers. The first minimum wage law was enacted in 1894 in New Zealand. With the passage of The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), the U.S. minimum wage was initially set at $0.25 per hour for covered workers.  Since then, it has been raised 22 separate times–most recently, in July 2009, [...]

What is the history of the minimum wage? 2017-11-03T11:48:05+00:00

Low-wage Work Uncertainty often Traps Low-wage Workers

Some policy analysts, policymakers and scholars argue that low-wage workers should “work their way out of poverty” by acquiring the human capital that would enable them to leave poverty-level jobs. A new study interviewing 25 low wage immigrant workers by Center for Poverty Research Affiliates Vicki Smith and Brian Halpin finds that while many of these low-wage workers recognize the need to enhance their skills [...]

Low-wage Work Uncertainty often Traps Low-wage Workers 2017-11-03T11:56:06+00:00

Benefits and best practices of safe city innovation

According to UNICEF, 70 percent of people around the world will live in cities by the year 2050. This trend toward urbanization will necessitate new operating models and pose challenges in terms of how to protect residents. Public safety, of course, is an important aspect of contemporary urban life. In a world that is chaotic, dangerous, and volatile, it is hard for there to be [...]

Benefits and best practices of safe city innovation 2017-10-26T13:37:26+00:00

Five maps show progress made, but mostly lost, on middle-class incomes in America

In September, the Census Bureau announced good news for the American middle class, courtesy of its Current Population Survey (CPS). Real median household income—that is, the income earned by a household squarely in the middle of the U.S. income distribution, adjusted for inflation—rose by 3.2 percent, the second consecutive year in which the measure increased. The trend likely reflected the effects of a tightening U.S. [...]

Five maps show progress made, but mostly lost, on middle-class incomes in America 2017-10-23T10:42:33+00:00

Devastation in Puerto Rico could produce a revolutionary power grid

Disasters often lead to unexpected and swift technology innovation. The calamitous collapse of Puerto Rico’s electricity system might be the next example of that phenomenon. As we know, Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Now, just a few weeks out, only about 15 percent of the island has electricity. Restoring its existing power grid of big diesel burning plants and long transmission lines to customers could [...]

Devastation in Puerto Rico could produce a revolutionary power grid 2017-10-23T14:48:25+00:00

Big cities, small cities—and the gaps

All year, the Metro Program has been documenting the nation’s prosperity divides, ranging from the tech divide to the productivity divide to the output divide. Over and over, the stark unevenness of the nation’s city and regional economic map reads like a Rosetta stone of the nation’s frustration. But now let’s talk about another gap: the city size gap. City size matters because it’s a major influence [...]

Big cities, small cities—and the gaps 2017-10-23T15:01:02+00:00

How will autonomous vehicles transform the built environment?

Autonomous vehicles—or AVs—own today’s hype cycle, and likely for good reason. While it’s fascinating to daydream about what AVs may look like, how much they will cost, and how they will change our travel habits, business is already booming. Hundreds of companies are engaged in one slice or another of the industry, and deals between companies can regularly exceed $100 million (and even $1 billion). [...]

How will autonomous vehicles transform the built environment? 2017-10-23T18:02:06+00:00

Who is the new face of American homeownership?

The U.S. homeownership rate remains lower than it has been for more than 20 years, even though housing markets have largely recovered from the Great Recession (U.S. Census Bureau 2017). Most of the drop in homeownership is due to fewer renters choosing to purchase first homes than prior to the crisis. Researchers and policymakers have posited several possible reasons for the apparent shift in behavior, [...]

Who is the new face of American homeownership? 2017-10-26T11:13:17+00:00

Youth Service America BE FEARLESS BE KIND GRANTS – Last Day to Apply: Oct 31

We all want to make our communities – and our planet – greener, safer, healthier, fairer, and stronger.  YSA believes that empathy is key to improving the world. We are partnering with Hasbro’s signature philanthropic initiative, BE FEARLESS BE KIND, to encourage young people to stand up for others, include everyone, and take action when they see a problem. The BE FEARLESS BE KIND grants [...]

Youth Service America BE FEARLESS BE KIND GRANTS – Last Day to Apply: Oct 31 2017-10-26T11:06:54+00:00

Who is poor in the United States?

Who are the millions of people living in poverty in the United States? In 2016, 40.6 million people, or 12.7 percent of the population, lived in poverty, as defined by the official poverty measure. 6 million fewer people were living in poverty in 2016 than at the peak of 46.7 million in 2014. The official poverty measure is determined by a household’s pre-tax income; for example, [...]

Who is poor in the United States? 2017-10-19T13:10:01+00:00