Saturday Stats: So long, 2020
Posted December 26, 2020 in eNews
While all our problems won’t end with 2020, we certainly don’t mind seeing it go. Thank you for sticking with us, reading our reports, blogs and newsletters. We’re so glad to be in the fight with all of you.
We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and we wish you a very happy and healthy New Year. Please enjoy 2020’s final Saturday Stats. See you next year.
Caitlin Johnson, Communications Director
$8.80 per hour: That will be the minimum wage in Ohio starting January 1. Because Ohio voters wisely tied the minimum wage to inflation when they raised it in 2006, it maintains its value over time. Considering that many of the people doing “essential” jobs during COVID are paid at or near the minimum wage, even with adjustment, they’re still not getting a fair return on their work. The peak minimum wage covering Ohio workers – the federal wage back in 1968 – was worth more than $12 per hour in today’s dollars. As Michael Shields explains, Ohioans working on the frontlines deserve policies that keep them safe on the job, and a minimum wage that recovers lost ground and affirms the dignity of work.
$900 billion: Finally, Congress passed a COVID relief package. At $900 billion, it’s still not enough to provide Americans with the support they need during the pandemic recession. Nevertheless, Hannah Halbert said, the package contains provisions that will help people stay in their homes, put food on the table, go to college and get by even if they’ve been laid off. Yet today, the bill's fate – and the fate of millions of Americans – remains uncertain.
1: Thanks to the hard work of our own Cynthia Connolly and many others, we only have to endure one more season with the Cleveland baseball team’s racist mascot and name. They will officially change it after the 2021 season!
4.3%: Analysis by Piet van Lier and Ohio Student Association’s Luke Frederick shows that traditional enrollment at Ohio public colleges and universities fell by 4.3% this fall compared to the previous year. Two-year community colleges and regional campuses — which are more likely to be attended by Black and brown students and those with lower incomes — each lost about 7% of their students. While COVID-19 is certainly a factor, high costs put college out of reach for too many Ohioans. Lawmakers can and should provide more support to the state’s public colleges and universities, and the students who attend them.
15.2%: Teachers in Ohio earn, on average, 15.2% less in wages each week than non-teachers with similar education and experience levels in the state, according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Piet joined Lawrence Mishel of EPI as well as some amazing teachers to talk about what that pay penalty means for teachers, students and the future of our state. Watch the virtual press conference here.
7: Policy Matters is a member of the Children’s Budget Coalition, which is dedicated to advancing a state budget that will prioritize the wellbeing of Ohio’s children. This great article in the Youngstown Vindicator details the group’s seven key issues: reducing infant and maternal mortality, keeping kids fed during the summer months, supporting families with low incomes, preventing lead exposure, expanding child care and preschool, reforming school funding and increasing broadband internet access.
306: It takes everyone’s work to make an enterprise run, but CEOs at Ohio’s 54 largest employers make an average of 306 times their typical employee. Today, some of Ohio’s major corporations don’t pay people enough to make ends meet, even though they’re working on the frontlines of the pandemic. Thousands of people have been laid off. In a Cleveland.com op-ed, Michael Shields says our elected leaders can rewrite the rules so everyone is paid enough to provide for themselves and their families.
20: Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate our 20th anniversary by participating in the (Virtual) ROAST of Amy Hanauer last week! If you couldn’t make it or want to relive the fun, keep in touch as we prepare the Official ROAST Highlight Reel. The roast helped us raise funds to keep doing our research and analysis — and you can still contribute! Thanks to a generous donor, all new and increased contributions received through December 31st will be matched! Double your gift and help us reach our goal today!