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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:44pm
Fri Apr 17

Report: Irregular Work Scheduling Affects 17 Percent Of U.S. Workers

Unstable work schedules impact at least 17 percent of the U.S. workforce, with low-wage workers facing irregular shift times the most.

That's according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a Washington, D.C. think tank. The report, "Irregular Work Scheduling and its Consequences," is based on General Social Survey data.

Ten percent of U.S. workers have "irregular and on-call work shift times," combined with another 7 percent "who work split or rotating shifts," according to the research.

Low-wage workers are among the most prone to having unstable schedules, which are associated with longer average hourly workweeks in some occupations. Employees in low-wage industries often have little control over their schedules, the findings showed.

According to the report, irregular scheduling is most common in the following industries: retail trade; finance, insurance, real estate; business, repair services; personal services; entertainment, recreation; and agriculture.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:18pm
Thu Apr 16

Report: Illinois Black Unemployment Rate Expected To Fall In 2015, But Still At 'Crisis Level'

Research from the Economic Policy Institute shows Illinois is one of only two U.S. states expected to see "significant reductions" in African-American unemployment levels throughout 2015. Still, African-American jobless rates in Illinois and nationwide are still far higher than where they should be, EPI's report argues.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:11pm
Mon Apr 13

Despite Initial Surge, Local & Federal Policies Tamp Out Renewable Energy Growth In Illinois

A recent report by the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) shows that over 400 Illinois companies are now tapped into the state's clean energy supply chain for solar and wind projects.

The local solar industry supply chain includes 237 Illinois companies, including those providing installation, electrical and consulting services. The other 170 Illinois companies are working in the state's wind industry supply chain, comprised of manufacturers and diagnostic software designers as well as engineering, legal, financial and consulting firms. Collectively, the 400 plus Illinois wind and solar companies employ more than 20,000 workers, according to the report.

By comparison, there were 152 wind and 96 solar companies tied to the Illinois clean energy supply chain in 2011, according to a previous ELPC analysis.

"When a wind turbine goes up in rural Illinois, it doesn't sprout from the ground," said ELPC's Executive Director Howard Learner. "Every piece of that turbine and that wind machine ... (is) manufactured by skilled laborers and manufacturing workers" at firms located in Cicero, Elgin and Rockford, to name a few places.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:05pm
Mon Apr 6

Report: Rauner's Proposed Right-To-Work Zones Would Weaken Illinois Economy

A new study by two local labor and economic experts examines the potential economic impact of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed right-to-work zones, if they were adopted in half of the state's counties. According to the report, local right-to-work regulations would likely weaken the Illinois economy, as they would "encourage free-riding, lower worker earnings, and reduce state and local tax revenues." 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:12pm
Mon Mar 23

New Poll Looks At Latino Perspectives In Chicago Mayoral Race

A new survey shows Latino registered voters in Chicago overwhelming support Chicago mayoral challenger Jesus 'Chuy' Garcia over Mayor Rahm Emanuel. But while Latino voters are strongly pro-Garcia, they are not necessarily anti-Emanuel, the polling results indicate.

Of the 406 Latino survey respondents, 61 percent opted for Garcia, while 18 percent said they would vote for Emanuel if the April 7 runoff were held today. Twenty-one percent of survey respondents were undecided in the poll, conducted March 16 through March 20.

Latino Decisions' bilingual telephone survey -- co-sponsored by the Latino Policy Forum, National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) and Univision Chicago -- has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

Representatives from the groups involved with the survey, along with Northwestern University political science lecturer Jamie Dominguez, whose expertise includes Latino and Chicago politics, spoke at a Monday morning forum to discuss to the polling results.

Panelists stressed the importance of the new survey, noting that the Latino vote is generally under-polled in Chicago mayoral polls.

"No other poll conducted this season has aimed to connect directly with (Latinos) or sought to gauge their perspective on critical issues," Dominguez noted.

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