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July 02, 2015

(Washington, D.C.)  The economy has lost 666,000 public sector jobs during the recovery, according to new analysis by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) of data released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“June saw strong job growth and declining unemployment, especially for women. But six years into the recovery, we’re not out of the woods yet—unemployment rates are still higher than they were before the recession began for almost all groups of women and men, labor force participation is the lowest it has been in a generation, and the country has lost more than half a million public sector jobs since June 2009,” said Joan Entmacher, NWLC Vice President for Family Economic Security. “When Congress returns, it must reject spending bills that would cut funding for public services, eliminate jobs, and slow economic growth.”

June 30, 2015

(Washington, DC) Today, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule that would extend time and a half overtime pay to millions of workers by updating the current overtime regulations.  Under the current rule, overtime protections do not apply to workers in managerial or professional jobs with salaries above $455 per week or $23,660 annually—less than the poverty threshold for a family of four.  The salary threshold for the overtime exemption has been increased only once since 1975 and is not tied to inflation.  The proposed regulation would raise the threshold to about $50,400 in 2016—a little less than the 1975 level adjusted for inflation. 

Our Impact

As a law student at American University, Grace Pazdan learned that students were being denied prescription contraceptive coverage under the University’s mandatory student health plan, when virtually all other prescription drugs were covered. Grace and her fellow students contacted the NWLC and began organizing a grass roots campaign to raise awareness of this discrimination.

A coach in Birmingham, Alabama, Roderick Jackson was not afraid to speak his mind. When he witnessed the inferior practice and game conditions provided for his girls’ high school basketball team, compared to those provided for the boys, he complained to school administrators, calling it as he saw it: unfair sex discrimination.

Our Take

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Today’s release of June’s jobs data shows another month of solid private sector job growth and declining unemployment. Our analysis finds that two-thirds of the 223,000 jobs added last month went to women. Though we’re moving in the right direction, we’re not out of the woods yet.

Earlier this week, the Governor of California signed SB 277 [PDF], closing a gap in the state’s law which had threatened public health. SB 277 protects public health by eliminating religious and other non-medical exemptions from vaccination requirements, ensuring the only children not vaccinated are those with medical reasons. The law protects public health by ensuring only children with medical reasons are exempt from these important vaccine requirements.

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From all of us to all of you, happy Fourth of July!
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