In the News

For young adults who entered the workforce between the start of the Great Recession in 2009 to the present, days spent searching for jobs — any jobs at all — have stretched into weeks, months and even years. This endless disappointment seems to be the new normal for a generation of young people who were once assured that if they graduated from high school, attended college and studied hard, they would enjoy gainful employment in the field of their choosing.

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Eight million mostly female workers and their families rely on low-wage jobs supported by the government's $1.3tn annual spending on goods and services, according to a new report.

The report by Demos, which examines how the federal contracting system contributes to inequality, found that 21 million people – 7% of the US population – rely on low-wage jobs in the federally dependent workforce. Demos is a liberal public policy thinktank that focuses on economic issues.

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A higher federal minimum wage may be a pipe dream in a stalled Congress but with cities and states increasingly raising their own minimums and more workers protesting nationally, President Obama had to get in on the action. For workers employed by federal contractors only Obama issued an executive order this February raising the minimum wage to $10.10. But is that enough? Some of those workers didn’t think so.

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We live in a populist moment. The Great Recession shattered the myths and lies of the conservative era. Barack Obama’s historic election briefly lifted hopes, but they were dashed in a recovery that still fails most Americans. A young generation, bequeathed unprecedented debt, lousy or no jobs, and a calamitous climate, has every reason to challenge business as usual.

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Mytheos Holt for the R Street Institute: In what is likely the most bizarre story you will read all week, Seattle resident, trained fighter and self-proclaimed “superhero” (read: costumed vigilante) Phoenix Jones has decided to disband his team, the Rain City Superhero Movement (RCSM), citing an amusing problem: A lot of people seeking to join it aren't all that … well … super. ...

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Competition and innovation in bank payments risk being undermined if the system’s new regulator is too heavy handed, a report from Demos Finance warns.

The government is setting up a regulator to ensure new and smaller banks get a fair deal when using larger rivals’ systems. But analysts at Demos worry some actions to address this could backfire, prompting banks to withdraw services rather than comply. The think tank also wants the new regulator to consider potential uses for collecting tax data.

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This week, President Obama ordered changes to the federal student loan program that could help millions of borrowers make their payments more affordable starting in December 2015.

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New data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows Maryland had zero growth in gross domestic product (GDP), a standard measure of economic activity and health.

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Big news! President Obama announced an Executive Order this afternoon that would extend the protections of Income-Based Repayment to an estimated five million more student borrowers.

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Attorney General Eric Holder announced a plan of action that included requiring local and state authorities whose territory included tribal lands to place at least one polling place in an area recommended by tribal leaders. Holder went on to explain the difficulties faced by Natives trying to participate in elections, which have spurred him and the Justice Department to begin changes to current voting practices.

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