February 2006: A New Office and other News from Policy Matters Ohio

- February 20, 2006

On the Move –
On February 20 and 21, Policy Matters Ohio will be moving our Cleveland offices to a new address:
3631 Perkins Avenue Suite 4C-East
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

Note that we will have new phone numbers:
(216) 361-9801 voice (216) 361-9810 fax

We may experience a brief interruption in our phone service during the move, so please bear with us during this time.

We are moving just a few blocks away to a building that houses a number of other Cleveland-based non-profits such as Greater Cleveland Community Shares, Housing Research & Advocacy Center, and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. We will be doubling our space.

Until February 21, please continue to contact us at our current phone numbers:
(216) 931-9922 voice (216) 931-9924 fax

Ohio Excludes Many From Unemployment Compensation – Ohio is the only state in the country in which a worker earning the minimum wage and working all year for 35 hours a week will not qualify for unemployment compensation. Similarly, it is the only state in which a worker making $9 an hour working all year for 20 hours a week will not qualify. Those are two of the key findings of an analysis by the National Employment Law Project, released this month by Policy Matters Ohio, on how Ohio’s monetary eligibility standard for unemployment compensation compares with that of other states.  Read the analysis here.

Pulling Apart – Income has become drastically more concentrated at the top in Ohio and the U.S. over the past two decades according to this new study. The top five percent of Ohio families now earn more than ten times as much as families in the lowest twenty percent on average, after taxes and benefits are figured in. This disturbing trend is in marked contrast to the broadly shared increases in prosperity between World War II and the 1970s.

Negligible Job Growth in Ohio last year – Ohio’s job market showed little improvement last year. An employer survey reported by the Department of Job & Family Services says the state added just 3,600 jobs in 2005, for a growth rate of less than one-tenth of one percent. Ohio still has not recovered more than 170,000 of the jobs it had when the recession began in March 2001. Read Policy Matters Ohio’s January 2006 JobWatch report here.

Policy Matters adds RSS News feed – We are now using RSS to post announcements of our reports, testimony, events, and other items of interest on our website immediately as they happen.  What’s RSS?  Glad you asked.  Go to our RSS page, where we provide some information about newsfeeds and the options available for reading them.  In case you missed our previous announcements of author Tammy Draut’s Strapped speaking tour, our Social Security “offset” report, or the Earned Income Tax Credit, you can read about these reports and events on our feed.

Coming up – As Ohio’s economy continues to falter, many observers expect that our training and educational programs will give unemployed workers the skills they need to transition to new careers. In an upcoming report funded by the Joyce Foundation, Policy Matters Ohio will analyze wage and employment outcomes for unemployed Ohio workers who received occupational training under the federally-funded Job Training Partnership Act from 1997 to 2000. By combining demographic data with participants’ training paths, the analysis will provide useful lessons for service providers and policymakers to improve training programs that assist unemployed Ohioans.

Also coming up – New information about the minimum wage in Ohio.

That’s all!
The Policy Matters Ohio Team 

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