MassBudget: Labor Day report on the State of Working Massachusetts 2016
Study highlights trends facing workers and their families
Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center
State of Working Massachusetts: Wage earners saw gains last year, but haven't made up lost ground
Hourly compensation for Massachusetts' low-wage workers rose by 7 percent from 2014-2015, buoyed by an increase in the minimum wage. A new report from the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, The State of Working Massachusetts, 2016 Edition, highlights wage gains among all income groups, but notes that low- and middle-income wages in Massachusetts and across the nation have barely grown for decades and remain lower than in 2009.
While long-term national trends are troubling, the report found some good news locally: Massachusetts has both the nation's highest median wage and the best educated workforce (49 percent have a college degree). Looking across the country, the report finds that states with better-educated workforces consistently have higher-wage economies. Comparing cities and towns within Massachusetts shows the same close relationship between the wages and education levels.
The wage growth we see among low-wage workers who are benefiting from the minimum wage increase reminds us of how important public policy can be in improving the economic well-being of working people and their families. The challenge for our Commonwealth is to develop policies that expand opportunity and raise wages for all of our people.
The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state's economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.
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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, 15 Court Square, Suite 700, Boston, MA 02108
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