Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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State Minimum Wages: An Overview
This report begins with a brief discussion of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage coverage. It then provides a summary of state minimum wage laws, followed by an examination of rates and mechanisms of adjustments in states with minimum wage levels above the FLSA rate. The report also discusses the interaction of federal and state minimum wages over time.
Temporary Extension of Unemployment Benefits: Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08)
This report discusses the new temporary unemployment benefit, the various tiers of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program, as well as related legislation.
The Increase in Unemployment Since 2007: Is It Cyclical or Structural?
This report assesses the relative magnitudes of cyclical and structural unemployment as they respond to different policy measures. An analysis of changes since 2007 in a variety of labor market indicators across industries and areas finds patterns that strongly suggest most of the increase in the U.S. unemployment rate is cyclical (i.e., due to depressed aggregate demand). Empirical studies suggest that, although structural unemployment has temporarily increased, it accounted for a minority of the rise in the unemployment rate in recent years.
Selected Characteristics of Private and Public Sector Workers
This report begins with an analysis of the trends in employment in the private and public sectors. The public sector is separated into employees of the federal government, state governments, and local governments. Next, the report analyzes selected characteristics of private and public sector workers.
Extending Unemployment Compensation Benefits During Recessions
This report describes the history of temporary federal extensions to unemployment benefits from 1980 to the present. Among these extensions is the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program created by P.L. 110-252.
Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08): Status of Benefits Prior to Expiration
This report summarizes the structure of Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) benefits available prior to program expiration at the end of calendar year 2013 and provides the legislative history of the EUC08 program.
Overview of Labor Enforcement Issues in Free Trade Agreements
This report identifies two types of labor enforcement issues: those that relate to the free trade agreements (FTA) provisions themselves, including their definitions and their enforceability, and those that relate to executive branch responsibilities, such as resource availability and determining dispute settlement case priorities.
U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective
This report is designed to inform the debate over the health of U.S. manufacturing through a series of charts and tables that depict the position of the United States relative to other countries according to various metrics. Understanding which trends in manufacturing reflect factors that may be unique to the United States and which are related to broader changes in technology or consumer preferences may be helpful in formulating policies intended to aid firms or workers engaged in manufacturing activity. This report does not describe or discuss specific policy options.
Extending Unemployment Compensation Benefits During Recessions
This report describes the history of temporary federal extensions to unemployment benefits from 1980 to the present. It has five sections which discuss: [1] background information on unemployment compensation (UC) benefits, [2] a definition of a recession and the process of declaring a recession, [3] a summary of the legislative history of federal extensions of unemployment benefits, [4] figures examining the statistics of recessions, and [5] previous methods for financing temporary recession programs.
The Federal Minimum Wage: In Brief
This report discusses the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is the federal legislation that establishes the minumem hourly wage that ust be paid to all covered workers.
Unemployment Insurance: Programs and Benefits
This report describes three kinds of unemployment benefit programs: regular Unemployment Compensation (UC), Extended Benefits (EB), and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08). The report explains their basic eligibility requirements, benefits, and financing structure.
U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective
This report is designed to inform the debate over the health of U.S. manufacturing through a series of charts and tables that depict the position of the United States relative to other countries according to various metrics.
Temporary Extension of Unemployment Benefits: Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08)
This report discusses the new temporary unemployment benefit, the various tiers of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program, as well as related legislation.
Extending Unemployment Compensation Benefits During Recessions
This report describes the history of temporary federal extensions to unemployment benefits from 1980 to the present. It has five sections which discuss: [1] background information on unemployment compensation (UC) benefits, [2] a definition of a recession and the process of declaring a recession, [3] a summary of the legislative history of federal extensions of unemployment benefits, [4] figures examining the statistics of recessions, and [5] previous methods for financing temporary recession programs.
Inflation and the Real Minimum Wage: A Fact Sheet
Report that discusses the federal minimum wage which is not indexed to the price level.
Compensated Work Sharing Arrangements (Short-Time Compensation) as an Alternative to Layoffs
This report describes short-term compensation (STC) as a beneficial alternative to layoffs. It also describes the status of STC (or work sharing) in the U.S., particularly as it varies from state to state.
Antipoverty Effects of Unemployment Insurance
This report examines the antipoverty effects of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits during the past recession and the economic recovery. It includes estimates of the effects on the poverty rate for the unemployed, for those receiving UI, and for families that report at least one family member receiving UI. It also estimates how much of reported UI benefits went directly to decreasing family poverty levels. This report's analysis shows that UI benefits appear to reduce the prevalence of poverty significantly among the population that receives them.
An Overview of the Employment-Population Ratio
This report provides an overview of the employment-population ratio. It opens with a discussion of its value as a labor market indicator, noting its key features and limitations. This is followed by an examination of long-term and recent trends. The contribution of demographic and economic factors to recent patterns is explored at the close of the report.
Temporary Extension of Unemployment Benefits: Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08)
In July 2008, a new temporary unemployment benefit, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program, began. The most recent legislation, P.L. 111-205, extended the authorization of the EUC08 program, but did not change the structure of the program or augment benefits. This temporary unemployment insurance program provides up to 20 additional weeks of unemployment benefits to certain workers who have exhausted their rights to regular unemployment compensation (UC) benefits. This report discusses the various tiers of the EUC08 program, as well as related legislation. This report will be updated to reflect current congressional action or programmatic changes.
Temporary Extension of Unemployment Benefits: Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08)
In July 2008, a new temporary unemployment benefit, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) program, began. The most recent legislation, P.L. 111-205, extended the authorization of the EUC08 program, but did not change the structure of the program or augment benefits. This temporary unemployment insurance program provides up to 20 additional weeks of unemployment benefits to certain workers who have exhausted their rights to regular unemployment compensation (UC) benefits. This report discusses the various tiers of the EUC08 program, as well as related legislation. This report will be updated to reflect current congressional action or programmatic changes.
Farm Labor Shortages and Immigration Policy
This report first explains why the nexus between farm labor shortages and immigration policy has again arisen. It next examines the composition of the seasonal agricultural labor force and presents the arguments of grower and farmworker advocates concerning its adequacy relative to employer demand. The report closes with an analysis of the trends in (un)employment, time worked and wages of legal and illegal farmworkers to determine if they are consistent with the existence of a nationwide shortage of domestically available farmworkers.
Farm Labor Shortages and Immigration Policy
This report first explains the connection made over the past several years between farm labor and immigration policies. It next examines the composition of the seasonal agricultural labor force and presents the arguments of grower and farmworker advocates concerning its adequacy relative to employer demand. The report closes with an analysis of the trends in employment, unemployment, time worked and wages of authorized and unauthorized farmworkers to determine whether they are consistent with the existence of a nationwide shortage of domestically available farmworkers.
Farm Labor Shortages and Immigration Policy
This report first explains the connection made over the past several years between farm labor and immigration policies. It next examines the composition of the seasonal agricultural labor force and presents the arguments of grower and farmworker advocates concerning its adequacy relative to employer demand. The report closes with an analysis of the trends in employment, unemployment, time worked and wages of authorized and unauthorized farmworkers to determine whether they are consistent with the existence of a nationwide shortage of domestically available farmworkers.
Farm Labor Shortages and Immigration Policy
This report first explains the connection made over the past several years between farm labor and immigration policies. It next examines the composition of the seasonal agricultural labor force and presents the arguments of grower and farmworker advocates concerning its adequacy relative to employer demand. The report closes with an analysis of the trends in employment, unemployment, time worked and wages of authorized and unauthorized farmworkers to determine whether they are consistent with the existence of a nationwide shortage of domestically available farmworkers.
The U.S. Income Distribution and Mobility: Trends and International Comparisons
This report looks at the causes and effects of the recent United States low unemployment rate.
Winter Fuels Outlook 2010-2011
This report discusses findings gleaned through the Energy Information Administration's (EIA) publication titled Short-Term Energy and Winter Fuels Outlook (STEWFO) for the 2010-2011 winter heating season. STEWFO projects how much American consumers should expect to see heating expenditures rise during the 2010-2011 winter season. These findings take into account the currently slow economic growth, high unemployment numbers, and uncertainty regarding the federal funding of the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
Unemployment Insurance: Programs and Benefits
This report describes three kinds of unemployment benefit programs: regular Unemployment Compensation (UC), Extended Benefits (EB), and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) . The report explains their basic eligibility requirements, benefits, and financing structure.
Unemployment Insurance: Programs and Benefits
This report describes three kinds of unemployment benefit programs: regular Unemployment Compensation (UC), Extended Benefits (EB), and Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08) . The report explains their basic eligibility requirements, benefits, and financing structure.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): A Fact Sheet
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is a federal government agency established in 1974 by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA; P.L. 93-406). It was created to protect the pensions of participants and beneficiaries covered by private sector, defined benefit (DB) plans. The PBGC is chaired by the Secretary of Labor, with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Commerce serving as board members. In the 112th Congress, an amendment offered by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to S. 1813, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), contains provisions that would address the use of excess defined benefit pension plan assets and the interest rates that defined benefit plans use to value plan liabilities.
Disconnected Youth: A Look at 16- to 24-Year Olds Who Are Not Working or In School
A young person's detachment from both the labor market and school is an indicator that he or she may not be adequately making the transition to adulthood. Referred to as "disconnected" in the social science literature, youth who are not working or in school may have difficulty gaining the skills and knowledge needed to attain self-sufficiency. The purpose of the report is to provide context for Congress about the characteristics of youth who are not working or in school, and the circumstances in which they live.
Unemployment and Health Insurance: Current Legislation and Issues
This report discusses the link between health insurance coverage and unemployment. One consequence of unemployment is that people can also lose their health insurance. The danger of losing insurance is most obvious for coverage that is provided by employers, but people who become unemployed might no longer be able to pay individual market premiums as well. Recent estimates indicate for each percentage point increase in the unemployment rate, the number of uninsured would increase by 1.1 million.
The Employee Free Choice Act
This report discusses legislative attempts to amend the National Labor Relations Act ("NLRA") to allow for union certification without an election, based on signed employee authorizations. The Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA") has been introduced in the past three Congresses to allow union certification based on signed authorizations, provide a process for the bargaining of an initial agreement, and prescribe new penalties for certain unfair labor practices.
Job Training Programs: Reauthorization and Funding Issues
This paper is divided into the following sections: (1) History of Federal Employment and Training Programs; (2) Reauthorization Issues; (3) Administration Legislative and Budget Proposals; and (4) Congressional Action.
Unemployment Benefits: Legislative Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the federal-state unemployment compensation (UC) system, which pays benefits to covered workers who become involuntarily unemployed for economic reasons and meet state-established eligibility rules.
Unemployment Related to Terrorist Attacks: Proposals to Assist Affected Workers in the Airlines and Related Industries
This report discusses the proposal to assist affected workers in the airlines and related industries in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that shut down the nation’s air transport system temporarily.
State Minimum Wages: An Overview
This report begins with a brief discussion of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage coverage. It then provides a summary of state minimum wage laws, followed by an examination of rates and mechanisms of adjustments in states with minimum wage levels above the FLSA rate. The report also discusses the interaction of federal and state minimum wages over time.
What Does the Gig Economy Mean for Workers?
This report provides an overview of the gig economy -- i.e., the collection of markets that match providers to consumers on a gig (or job) basis in support of on-demand commerce (e.g., Uber, TaskRabbit) -- and identifies legal and policy questions relevant to its workforce.
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. H.R. 6844 would provide a two-year suspension of the taxation of UC benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.
Unemployment Insurance: Legislative Issues in the 114th Congress
The 114th Congress continues to consider many issues related to unemployment insurance (UI) programs: Unemployment Compensation (UC), the temporary, now-expired Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC08), and Extended Benefits (EB). This report gives a brief overview of the UI programs that may provide benefits to eligible unemployed workers, and briefly summarizes the President's budget proposal for FY2017.
Unemployment Benefits: Legislative Issues in the 108th Congress
This report discusses the federal-state unemployment compensation (UC) system, which pays benefits to covered workers who become involuntarily unemployed for economic reasons and meet state-established eligibility rules.
Federal Programs Available to Unemployed Workers
There are four groups of federal programs that target unemployed workers: unemployment insurance programs, health care assistance, job search assistance, and training. This report describes these programs, how they interact with each other, and their funding.
Social Security Reform: Economic Issues
This report tackles the issue of Social Security reform from an economic perspective that focuses not merely on reform that achieves programmatic sustainability (sustainability within the trust fund), but reform that achieves sustainability for the government and economy as a whole. The President has indicated that Social Security reform will be a major issue in the 109th Congress. For some time comprehensive reform has been an issue of debate in Congress, but no major action has occurred.
The Davis-Bacon Act: Issues and Legislation During the 108th Congress
This report discusses the debate surrounding the Davis-Bacon Act (1931, as amended), which requires, among other things, that not less than the locally-prevailing wage be paid to workers employed in federal contract construction. Through recent decades, the Act has become a continuing source of contention, particularly regarding its impacts, whether it should be modified, strengthened, or repealed, and if it is being administered effectively.
U.S. Manufacturing in International Perspective
This report is designed to inform the debate over the health of U.S. manufacturing through a series of charts and tables that depict the position of the United States relative to other countries according to various metrics. Understanding which trends in manufacturing reflect factors that may be unique to the United States and which are related to broader changes in technology or consumer preferences may be helpful in formulating policies intended to aid firms or workers engaged in manufacturing activity.
The Minimum Wage: An Overview of Issues Before the 106th Congress
No Description Available.
Taxation of Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment compensation (UC) benefits have been fully subject to the federal income tax since the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-514). Individuals who receive UC benefits during a year may elect to have the federal (and in some cases state) income tax withheld from their benefits. Legislation was introduced in the 108th Congress that would have repealed the taxation of UC benefits, provided a two-year suspension of the taxation of UC benefits, or transferred the proceeds from taxing UC benefits to the Unemployment Trust Fund. This report provides an overview of the taxation of UC benefits and legislation related to taxing UC benefits.