State & Local Roundup: Cranking Up Workforce Development Programs

Plus: A governor moves to rein in remote work. City workers go on strike. A semiconductor factory announcement. And more news you can use from across the country.

As His First Order of Business, a New Governor Drops College Degree Requirements for State Jobs

The executive order from Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro–affecting 65,000 jobs–came on his first full day in office.

New US Industrial Policy Creates Incentives for High-quality Jobs

COMMENTARY | The last few years have been big for federal industrial policy, funneling billions into industries that have historically been union-friendly and well paying. Here's how those laws can change the labor market for the better.

How ARPA Funding Has Improved the Labor Market

COMMENTARY | Pandemic aid from the American Rescue Plan Act has helped reduce unemployment, improve pay and offer much needed child care services for working families.

The Case for Expanding Industrial Policy to Cover Service Jobs

A Harvard professor has a proposal for how government economic development investments could be shifted to better meet workforce and employer needs in the coming years.

Worker Rights Are Getting a Major Shake Up

COMMENTARY | California’s Fast Recovery Act gives low-wage workers a seat at the table with franchisees, corporations and the government to help set industry-wide labor standards, creating a model for others to follow.

New York Legislative Staffers Optimistic About Union

After going public with their campaign in July, organizers say momentum has continued to grow.

California's Sweeping New Labor Law for the Fast-Food Industry

It creates a path to mandate wages up to $22 an hour, among other provisions. Advocates who backed the first-in-the-nation effort say they plan to push for similar legislation in other states.

New Index Ranks Best and Worst States for Workers

Researchers looked at over two dozen types of policies in all 50 states as part of their analysis.

Inflation Pushes Minimum Wages Higher in Some States

Minimum wages will increase in 13 states and Washington, D.C., next year due to inflation.

Despite New Funding, Infrastructure Jobs Prove Tough to Fill

Projects can't get built without the right workers, but a National League of Cities analysis shows how hiring for infrastructure jobs can be time consuming compared to other fields. NLC also offers tips for how governments can help to ease the problem.

The States That Saw Unemployment Rise or Fall in July

Fourteen states saw significant drops in unemployment, according to new federal data, as the Biden administration touted a record-high number of states with jobless rates at or below 3%.

Voters Will Decide This Fall on Whether to Add the Right to Unionize to One State's Constitution

The proposed amendment would guarantee workers in Illinois the "fundamental right" to collectively bargain over wages, hours and working conditions as well as to protect their "economic welfare."

States With the Largest and Smallest Teacher Pay Gaps

Teachers nationwide earn much less than other college-educated professionals, says a new report. Colorado has the greatest teacher pay gap and Rhode Island the smallest.

A Legislative Staff Unionization Wave is Hitting Blue State Capitols

Statehouse employees in at least four states are pushing to organize and Oregon staffers formed a union last year.

Minimum Wage Workers Cannot Afford a 2-bedroom Rental Home Anywhere

Plus, these workers can’t rent a one bedroom in 91% of U.S. counties, according to a new report.

More States Are Forgoing Extra Federal Food Aid

At least 16 states have opted out of receiving millions in pandemic food aid.

States and Localities Plan for Billions in ARPA Workforce Spending

White House figures suggest over $40 billion from the pandemic relief law could go to workforce development, with a sizable chunk of investment through state and local programs.

Nearly Half of States Raised Their Minimum Wage This Year

The increases range from 22 cents to $1.50 per hour, but most states’ pay floors are not high enough to ensure economic stability, according to a new report.

Energy-Producing States Lag in Latest Economic Numbers

Energy companies, short of workers, aren’t ready to increase production.