Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

News and views: Creating jobs; Valuing women’s work; Paid sick days; Early education; Fair pensions and retirement

Rich Nafziger -> A Rocky Road Ahead: We have a long way to go if we are going to create enough jobs to get us back to where we were before the four quarter of 2007. Since that time the economy has shed 7.2 million jobs. The most recent forecasts (from the Washington State Revenue and Economic Forecast Council) would indicate that it would take us until the end of 2012 to replace those lost jobs. | More

MomsRising Blog -> Paycheck Jobs, Paycheck Feminism: Karen Kornbluh and Rachel Homer write in Ms. Magazine that we need “Paycheck Feminism.”  They argue that public policy must better value women’s work—in both paycheck jobs and at-home jobs.  They take us on a walk through the history of the employment deal in America in which we learn how New Deal era policies still in place today fit an ideal worker of the mid-1900s who was male, working full-time, and who had dependents relying on him only for wages and retirement, health, and educational benefits. | More

AFL-CIO Blog -> Workplaces, Laws Fail to Keep up with Growing Role of Women Workers: For the first time in our nation’s history, working women make up nearly half of all U.S. workers, and mothers are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American families. This dramatic shift from just a generation ago marks a permanent cultural change, yet most institutions, including the workplace and government have not caught up with this new reality. | More

Seattle Times -> Millions without sick leave fear swine flu: For millions of Americans the rule is simple: If you don’t come to work, you don’t get paid. That idea drives an untold numbers of carpenters, day care workers, servers, shopkeepers and small-business owners to their jobs each day. Sniffles or not. | More

Early Ed Watch -> What Kindergarten Readiness Means to Kindergarten Teachers: Data from a survey of kindergarten teachers in California’s Santa Clara County adds to the mounting evidence that kindergarten readiness is not as simple to define as you might think. | More

Governing/Gerard Miller -> In Search of a Fair Pension Formula: My previous column on the growing generation gap in pension benefits stirred up a hornets’ nest. Readers chimed in on all sides of the debate and started spewing out formulas and “multipliers” to express what they consider a reasonable pension benefit. So, let’s take a look at what’s happened with pension benefits and where we go from here. | More

Seattle Times -> What you’ll need when you retire: Conventional wisdom says to enjoy a comfortable retirement, you need to save enough to provide about 70 percent of your annual pre-retirement income. But consider a single person and a family of six, each with an annual income of $50,000 before retiring. Do they both need $35,000 annually in retirement? No, say researchers from the University of Wisconsin. They found nearly half of the households studied need less than 65 percent of their pre-retirement income. | More

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