U.S. economic growth suffers when former prisoners and convicted felons are locked out of the labor market, a new study shows.
Employment barriers faced by former offenders resulted in the estimated loss of 1.7 million to 1.9 million workers in 2014, reducing the overall U.S. employment rate by almost 1 percentage point, according to the report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
That translates into a $78 billion to $87 billion loss in annual gross domestic product (GDP) for the United States.
Workers in the gig economy and other independent contractors should be eligible for temporary unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs, according to a new report.
The Center for American Progress, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, and the National Employment Law Project have a package of proposals aimed at adapting the unemployment insurance (UI) system "for 21st century realities."
The proposed reforms include creating a "Jobseekers Allowance" for workers ineligible for traditional UI, including independent contractors and others in the "gig" or sharing economy, such as Uber and Lyft drivers. A Jobseekers Allowance would also cover individuals with limited work history, including young people transitioning from school to work and people re-entering the labor force after caring for a family member or recovering from an illness.
UI is a federal-state program that temporarily replaces wages for individuals who lost their job through no fault of their own and are actively looking for employment, among other eligibility requirements. Workers in most states can receive UI benefits, which are paid by businesses through payroll taxes, for a maximum of 26 weeks.
In a stunning development, Britain has voted to exit the European Union, a decision that has forced the prime minister to resign, sent stock markets into turmoil and pushed the British pound down to a 31-year low.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced a 4-4 split on the case challenging President Barack Obama's executive orders on immigration reform and Illinois advocates are expressing their dismay as they plan to press their efforts forward.
The deadlock vote means the president's November 2014 orders to expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and install the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) have been blocked for the time being.
The programs would have deferred deportation for three years for undocumented immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens and green card holders, while also expanding protections for people who were brought to the U.S. as minors and were not covered by the original DACA program. More than 4 million immigrants would have benefited from the orders, 280,000 people living in Illinois.
"This ruling is deeply frustrating and disappointing for all immigrant communities," said Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights CEO Lawrence Benito. "Instead of being able to move forward with our lives and contributing further to our entire community, immigrants remain vulnerable to the knock on the door that could separate them from their families and from the lives they have made in this country."