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Another major retailer in the United States is giving a boost to its base salary, although the size of the increase will vary from state to state. On Thursday morning, the Swedish furniture retailer IKEA announced that it would be adopting a new wage structure which is expected to increase pay for about 50% of its American employees. The change in company policy will take effect on January 1, 2015.

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Joanne, a food service worker at the federal Ronald Reagan Building near the White House, took time off from her job Monday to join fellow federal contractor employees at a protest outside the Smithsonian National Zoo. As she explained her monthly budget, it was clear she had nothing much to lose.

“I make just around $1,000 a month,” she said, “and I pay $500 for child care, and $250 just to ride the Metro to go to work. After that, I have nothing.”

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To Bene’t Holmes, the White House Summit on Working Families was personal, not just another event designed by President Obama and his fellow Democrats to draw a policy or political contrast with Republicans this election year.

“I believed everything he said,” the 25-year-old single mom said of the president’s pitch.

My niece is a smart, hardworking gal who recently received her master's in architecture and is having a hard time finding a job, like many Millennials. To make matters worse, she's facing more than $93,000 in student debt. And this isn't from her bachelor's degree, but her master's degree -- despite the fact that she received it from a state university and half of the two year program was free.

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Stymied by the partisan gridlock, President Obama’s recent directives to bar federal contractors from discriminating against gay employees and to cut carbon pollution are bold examples of how presidents have used their executive powers to address critical issues when Congress has failed to adopt much-needed legislation.

I know the $3,750 yearly tuition I paid the Catholic University of America at Alana’s age has gone the way of six-mile walks to school in the snow. But even after inflation, the $39,200 tuition-only cost of 2014-15 is more than three times what I paid. And CUA is — sorry — not three and a half times the school it was.

Now this becomes a tale of Mark Cuban, Howard Schultz and Barack Obama.

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Whenever the 1 percent needs someone to provide academic support for their extraordinary incomes, they always know just who to call: Greg Mankiw. In June 2013, the former top economist for President George W.

Here in polyglot New York, pop into any bar, restaurant or even dry cleaner and chances are there’s a TV set tuned to the World Cup. And Monday’s surprise United States victory over rival Ghana — the cheers when the US scored the winning goal rocked my neighborhood — has increased attention even more. The fever has taken hold in our city as it has around the planet, with hundreds of millions watching the soccer — football — action from Brazil, this year’s host country.

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Once upon a time, the term “government job” was not synonymous with boondoggles, corruption or the perennial “waste, fraud and abuse.” During the New Deal, the state proudly created jobs and spent public money as a vital intervention to check the excesses of market capitalism. Today, the public is disgusted with both fiscal policy and the free market.

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A public policy group instrumental in a successful campaign to win a higher minimum wage for federal contract workers is now aiming at a larger target — federal contracting companies.

Demos, in a report released Wednesday, said Uncle Sam could better use his $1.3 trillion in purchasing power by pushing government contractors to improve conditions for their employees.

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