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Employee and Employer Relations

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NY Times

While the private sector has shed 6.9 million jobs since the beginning of the recession, state and local governments have expanded their payrolls and added 110,000 jobs.   "I am a little surprised at the fact that state and local government has remained as stable as it has in the nation as a whole, given the depth of the current recession,"

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NY Times

In a program that values timeliness above all else, decisions involving more than a million applicants have been slowed, and hundreds of thousands of needy people have waited months for checks.

And with benefit funds at dangerous lows even before the recession began, states are taking on billions in debt, increasing the pressure to raise taxes or cut aid, just as either would inflict maximum pain.

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Peter Schiff

In a free market, demand is always a function of price: the higher the price, the lower the demand. What may surprise most politicians is that these rules apply equally to both prices and wages. When employers evaluate their labor and capital needs, cost is a primary factor. When the cost of hiring low-skilled workers moves higher, jobs are lost. Despite this, minimum wage hikes, like the one set to take effect later this month, are always seen as an act of governmental benevolence. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When confronted with a clogged drain, most of us will call several plumbers and hire the one who quotes us the lowest price. If all the quotes are too high, most of us will grab some Drano and a wrench, and have at it. Labor markets work the same way. Before bringing on another worker, an employer must be convinced that the added productivity will exceed the added cost (this includes not just wages, but all payroll taxes and other benefits.)

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Bloomberg

There is never a good time to raise the minimum wage. Just ask the people working in low-skilled jobs that are laid off as a result.

Now is a particularly bad time. Yet the federal minimum wage is scheduled to rise to $7.25 on July 24, the third step of a $2.10 increase enacted in 2007. In more than half the states, the minimum wage already exceeds the current national minimum of $6.55 an hour.

 

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