Labor and Employment

This FREE CSG eCademy webcast centered on employment-related supports for individuals with disabilities with particular focus on issues of transportation and technology, including assistive technology and emerging technologies. In addition, experts discussed other employment supports such as health care, personal assistance services and housing. This is the third webcast in a four-part series presented by the National Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy.

A Texas federal district court issued a nationwide injunction preventing new overtime rules from going into effect. These rules would have made it more likely states and local governments would have had to pay more employees overtime.

Twenty-one states and a number of business organizations sued the Department of Labor. The rules were to go into effect on December 1, 2016.

An update to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will increase the threshold for workers receiving overtime pay. Under the new rule, salaried employees who make less than $47,476 a year will be able to receive time-and-a-half pay when they work more than forty hours a week. With existing FLSA regulations, only salaried employees making under $23,660 a year and hourly workers are eligible for overtime protections.

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled on October 20th that cities do not have the authority to raise the minimum wage standard.

The last time legislation was enacted to raise the federal minimum wage was in 2007 when Congress passed the Fair Minimum Wage Act, gradually increasing the rate from $5.15 an hour to it's current level of $7.25, reached in 2009.

Yesterday voters in five states (Arizona, Colorado, Maine, South Dakota and Washington) weighed in on the minimum wage through ballot initiatives. All of the initiatives were approved except one: voters in South Dakota rejected a measure that would roll back the minimum wage for workers under 18 from $8.50 to $7.50. That means that minimum wage earners in four states will see a raise in coming years.  

On November 8, voters in five states will have the opportunity to weigh in on the minimum wage in their state through ballot initiatives. All of the initiatives seek to raise the minimum wage, except one - in South Dakota, the Decreased Youth Minimum Wage Referendum is a veto referendum that could overturn Senate Bill 177, which decreased the minimum wage for workers under age 18 from $8.50 to $7.50 and provide that the youth minimum wage is not pegged to inflation.

Only about half of workers participate in a workplace retirement plan according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. In other words, more than 30 million full-time, full-year private-sector workers ages 18 to 64 don’t have access to an employer-based retirement plan and most Americans aren’t confident they will have enough money for a comfortable retirement. States have taken notice and are taking action.

  Download the Brief in PDF / E-Reader Compatible Format

What is the backbone of the American economy today? The answer policymakers and the private sector increasingly give to that question has affected the way we think about economic development, how we fund education, how we identify what’s important in infrastructure and more—the innovation economy. But defining this term is difficult, because, by its nature, it can consist of different things in different communities and regions. More than just STEM fields, the innovation economy depends on active entrepreneurship, creativity and fresh approaches to leverage the knowledge and skills in existing markets through new technologies. An innovation economy isn’t limited to digital assets—oftentimes advanced manufacturing is included, for example. One of the biggest features of an innovation economy is a highly skilled, energetic workforce and the appropriate economic climate. With many experts suggesting that the current and future economic success of states and communities may rely on the innovation economy, state and local policymakers must understand where their community stands as they create strategic plans and choose how best to spend limited resources.

States and businesses continue to recover from the Great Recession, and they are doing so in an environment shaped by two historic shifts related to economic and workforce development. The first is the return of manufacturing jobs to the United States and the second is new technological requirements of these jobs. While job opportunities continue to grow, today’s factories require greater levels of technical knowledge from employees. But with these new jobs come new challenges in the form of preparing a workforce equipped with the skills and competencies required for a rapidly evolving workplace—filling the critical skills gap among today’s workers as well as students preparing to enter the future workforce.

Pages