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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Aug 27

Study: Wage Growth Remains Sluggish For Most American Workers

Real hourly wages fell for just about all U.S. workers, including those with a college degree, between the first half of 2013 and the first half of 2014, according to an analysis of new wage data by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI).

The EPI study, "Why America's Workers Need Faster Wage Growth — And What We Can Do About It," looked at the most recent and available wage data by decile and educational attainment.

"The recovery has not been completely jobless for a while now, but it does continue to be pretty much wageless, or at least wage growthless," said EPI economist Elise Gould, the study's author. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Aug 18

Report: Social Security Lifts Hundreds Of Thousands Of Illinoisans Out Of Poverty

The "modest benefits" provided under the Social Security program were enough to boost 807,000 Illinoisans out of poverty in 2012, including 585,000 seniors, according to a new report released by Social Security Works and the Alliance for Retired Americans.

At the national level, 22 million people, including one million children, were lifted out of poverty in 2012 thanks to the social insurance program, which celebrated its 79th birthday last Thursday.

Without Social Security, which provides insurance benefits to retirees, children, surviving spouses and the disabled, the poverty rate among Illinois residents 65 and older would jump from 8.3 percent to 43.1 percent, the "Social Security Works for Illinois" report shows.

In Illinois, 67 precent of the state's 2013 Social Security beneficiaries were retirees, followed by disabled workers at 18 percent. Children represented 7 percent of Illinois' Social Security recipients last year.

"You can go right down the line in how (Social Security) impacts all Illinois residents," said Barbara Franklin, president of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans. "And what really makes you mad is (some lawmakers have) been going after this program ... Hardly a year goes by that you don't hear cries to privatize Social Security." Read more »

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Aug 18

Chicagoans Raise Concerns Over Proposed Washington Park TIF District

Chicago's Community Development Commission advanced a controversial plan to the city council last Tuesday that would create a new tax increment financing district in the economically struggling Washington Park neighborhood on the South Side, despite opposition from some local residents. Progress Illinois takes a closer look at the issue.