Posted by: maboulette | September 25, 2016

Employment and Jobs


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From the deficit to education to immigration, countless issues polarize America’s two major political parties. But Democrat and Republican voters do agree on the importance of a handful of issues, and employment and jobs is a big one.

Both parties

According to the Gallup’s Election Benchmark Survey, 88% of Democratic-leaning voters and 80% of Republican-leaning voters call the issue of above average importance. Given the weakness of wage growth and job creation since the Great Recession, its obvious why both sides of the aisle agree on the magnitude of this issue.

Clear divide

A clear divide has emerged between productivity and compensation. A report from the Economic Policy Institute shows from 1973 to 2013, productivity rose 74%, while the hourly pay of a typical worker increased only 9%. For some perspective, from 1948 to 1973, productivity rose 96.7%, while hourly salary increased 91.3%. And sluggish wage growth isn’t a crisis faced only by the unskilled or undereducated—when adjusted for inflation, hourly-wages of recent college graduates who earned a four-year degree were lower in 2013 than 1998.

EPI report

Authors of the EPI report attribute this to the high unemployment rates that plagued the United States through the past few decades. Although America’s unemployment rate in August 2016 was 4.9%—it’s lowest since August 2007 when it rested at 4.5% just before December’s economic downturn—higher unemployment rates still exist in 21 state.

Who can fix this?

If employment and jobs are of overriding importance, who is best equipped to fix the problem—Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Here is outlined the stances of both candidates so you can decide for yourself.

Jobs Creation

At the top of Clinton’s first-term to-do list is revitalizing the employment market, an undertaking she hopes to accomplish with her 100-Days Jobs Plan. The strategy, which she has touted as “the biggest investment in new good-paying jobs since World War II,” would create 10.4 million jobs during her first term, according to Moody’s Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi. With this strategy, Clinton has vowed to:

  • Invest in infrastructure, manufacturing and clean energy, putting Americans back to work in industries that rebuild the country.
  • Strengthen trade agreement enforcement to keep U.S. jobs from moving overseas.
  • Cut taxes and remove red tape to fuel small business growth.
  • Dedicate resources to research and innovation that will create new industries of the future.

 

Trump, who prides himself on having created thousands of jobs as a businessman—upwards of 34,000, according to a CNN Money analysis—has sworn to be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” During a September 15, 2016, speech at the Detroit Economic Club, he shared his plan to add 25 million jobs to the market over the next 10 years. His strategy, albeit devoid of many details, involves:

  • Negotiating fair trade deals that will lead to more jobs on U.S. soil.
  • Narrowing America’s trade deficit and increasing domestic production.
  • Reducing taxes on businesses so products can be sold more easily around the world.
  • Replacing bureaucrats who “only know how to kill jobs” with jobs-creation experts.
  • Reviewing regulations, like the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, and repealing the Obama administration’s executive actions, like the Climate Action Plan, which inhibit hiring.

Minimum Wage

Clinton has a history of supporting higher minimum wages, having cosponsored or introduced bills to raise the minimum wage in every session of Congress from 2001 to 2008 as a New York senator. As president, she would push for a $12 federal minimum wage and encourage states and cities where it makes sense to go as high as $15.

Trump’s position on the minimum wage has changed quite frequently over the course of his race to the White House. According to representatives from his campaign, his current stance favors a $10 federal minimum wage and supports the states’ right to set the amount higher if they desire

Equal Pay

In addition to increasing the minimum wage, Clinton has also endorsed closing the gender pay gap. In 2009, she cosponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which provided women with resources to fight workplace discrimination. As president she would work to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill she first brought to the table as a senator that would mandate equal pay for women.

Fair Pay

Trump has sent mixed messages on equal pay. During the Republican National Convention, his daughter Ivanka Trump addressed the country describing her father’s drive to make equal pay for equal work a reality in the workplace. However, in January 2016 a former Trump field organizer accused the campaign of gender discrimination in pay, an allegation that Trump has denied.

Paid Leave

Clinton’s would guarantee up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, during which workers could earn at least two thirds of their wages up to a ceiling. Her proposal covers equal time off for new mothers and fathers, whether they’ve become parents through childbirth, surrogacy or adoption, and would be funded by increased taxes on the wealthy. Clinton has a years-long record of supporting paid leave, having fought for the Family and Medical Leave Act as first lady and then expanded its coverage to include wounded soldiers and their families during her time as a senator.

With the help of Ivanka, Trump outlined a paid leave policy that offers six weeks of paid leave to new mothers following childbirth. The plan would apply only when not offered by employers, and funding would come from unemployment insurance.

Overtime Pay

In May 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor released a revision to the Fair Labor Standards Act that will make an additional 4.2 million employees eligible for overtime pay by raising the exempt salary threshold to $47,476. Clinton favors of the rule, which takes effect on December 1, 2016.

Trump opposes the revised FLSA regulation. The costs associated with raising salaries to meeting the $47,476 threshold concern small business owners, according to National Federation of Independent Business media director Jack Mozloom. Trump acknowledges this and would create small-business exemptions.

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