Last week's disappointing jobs report, while perhaps only a blip in an ongoing labor market recovery, is a sober reminder of how devastating the Great Recession and subsequent prolonged jobs slump has been for workers. In particular, the share of the population with a job, which plunged to its lowest levels since the early 1980s, has since risen only modestly even though we’re now more than five years into the recovery.
- Key Things to Know About Unemployment Insurance
- How Many Weeks of Unemployment Compensation Are Available?
Minimum wage laws set the lowest hourly rate an employer can legally pay workers covered under the law. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour. Where states and municipalities have enacted their own, higher, minimum wage laws, employers must pay at least the state or local minimum. As of August 1, 2014, 23 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wages above the federal minimum wage.
This Policy Basic explains various aspects of the minimum wage, including:
- Who Is Covered by the Minimum Wage?
- Who Is Paid the Minimum Wage?
- History of the Minimum Wage
- Economic Effects of Raising the Minimum Wage
- Current Proposals
A recession is a significant decline in the size of the U.S. economy lasting more than a few months, normally visible in a variety of economic indicators. Economic stimulus policies aim to avert a recession or lessen its severity by boosting the economy in the short term. The unemployment insurance system helps people who have lost their jobs by temporarily replacing part of their wages, typically for up to 26 weeks.
- The Legacy of the Great Recession
Paul Van de Water
The Center examines the impact of changes in the economy on federal and state budgets, as well as the likely effectiveness of economic stimulus proposals. We also examine trends in employment and promote reforms to strengthen the unemployment insurance system.
Updated September 26, 2014
Updated September 24, 2014
August 27, 2014
August 1, 2014
Updated July 30, 2014
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