The Fight for Labor’s Collective Legal Power Continues

On March 15th, 1887, Colorado’s Sixth General Assembly recognized Labor Day as a public holiday, making Colorado the second state in the nation to do so. Labor Day is our nation’s tribute to “the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Although much has been gained over the history […]

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Working Colorado: When part-time isn’t enough

Colorado is currently enjoying a historically low unemployment rate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of April 2017, the state has the lowest unemployment rate (2.3 percent) in the nation. Unfortunately, the unemployment rate alone does not tell the complete labor-market story. Rarely do measures of “underemployment” garner much attention, but they could […]

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How Colorado’s largest subprime lender has raised the cost of borrowing

In the final frenzied days of the 2015 legislative session, legislators passed a bill raising interest rates on Colorado borrowers accessing certain types of credit. Policymakers were persuaded by the industry sponsor’s story line: an interest rate hike is needed to expand credit to Colorado borrowers and lenders need the increase to meet their growing […]

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TANF’s cautionary tale about block grants

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF, is the block-grant created by Congress in the 1996 welfare reform legislation. Designed “to end welfare as we know it,” TANF replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) which had provided cash assistance to the nation’s neediest families since 1935. The TANF block grant amount has not changed […]

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Working Colorado: Is college-level earning power flattening?

The conventional wisdom that college grads earn more than those with less education still holds true today. According to 2016 data, annual median earnings for college graduates were nearly $24,000 greater than for Coloradans who stopped at high school. What’s changed, however, is that wages for college graduates have essentially stalled. College-educated workers in Colorado […]

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Working Colorado: Where are the men?

It’s one of the most compelling questions about our modern labor market. While jobs have returned since the recession and unemployment is low, it is clear that not all workers have returned to work. And the people most prominently missing from the labor force are men. Yet, as with many challenges facing our post-recession economy, […]

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Raise the wage for rural Colorado

Statistics show that low-wage workers in rural Colorado need a raise. Underscoring that point is the fact that household income is lower and poverty rates are higher in rural counties of Colorado compared to urban areas. Meanwhile, the economic gap between urban and rural areas of the state continued to widen since the Great Recession […]

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Ballot measure would help Colorado women

Raising Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 by 2020 would lift many of the state’s working women and their children out of poverty. That’s according to a new study published by the Women’s Foundation of Colorado on Tuesday. Both the full report and an executive summary are available online. With Colorado voters set to weigh in […]

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The truth about raising the wage

Claims from a study about the negative effects of raising the minimum wage are dubious if not outright misleading, according to a recent brief issued by Chris Stiffler, an economist with the Colorado Fiscal Institute with help from the Colorado Center on Law and Policy. Commissioned by the Common Sense Policy Roundtable (CSPR), a conservative think tank […]

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Raising the Wage is fair and smart

Nearly 480,000 hardworking Coloradans would get a much-needed boost in earnings if Colorado voters approve a November ballot measure that raises the state’s minimum wage to $12 by 2020. Along with strengthening the financial security of many Colorado families, the measure would also spur economic growth and increase consumer spending. As a coalition partner in […]

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Mapping Colorado’s human-services landscape

Human-service programs ensure that Colorado communities have the building blocks for a prosperous future, such as food, health care, child care and financial assistance. But not all Coloradans who qualify for these essential programs get the assistance they need. Funded by various combinations of state revenue and federal dollars, Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program (SNAP), Women, […]

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7 ways to address wage stagnation and income inequality

Despite steady job growth, rising productivity and declining unemployment in recent years, it is clear that broadly shared prosperity has not rebounded in Colorado. According to CCLP’s State of Working Colorado 2015-16, the median hourly wage has remained virtually stagnant since the economic recovery began in 2009. In fact, wages for most Colorado workers are […]

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Tools show how policy could soften the “cliff effect” for low-income kids

More than one-third of Colorado children live in low-income families – threatening their health, education and chances of succeeding later in life. While Colorado has safety nets in place, many families could lose important benefits such as SNAP or the Child Care Assistance Program when there’s a marginal change in their earnings. Losing such supports […]

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