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Good News, Workers — Wage Gains Are Coming

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(CBS News) – By most measures, we’re in the later innings of this economic cycle. Corporate profits are cooling. Commodity prices are collapsing. Fifteen central banks globally have lowered interest rates this year to combat economic stagnation throughout Asia and Europe.

And yet for the average U.S. worker, one key trend has yet to materialize: A significant bump in pay. Sure, job-creation is running at its best pace since the dot-com boom, and the nation’s unemployment rate has dropped to 5.6 percent. But wages have barely budged.

That’s about to change.

As the chart below shows, wage growth was mixed in the fourth quarter of 2014. The Employment Cost Index released on Friday rose slightly to an annualized growth rate of 2.2 percent. Wages and salaries growth was more tepid at 2.1 percent, compared with 1.9 percent in 2013. Average hourly earnings came in at 1.7 percent year-over-year.

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Oakland Post: Week of June 12-18, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of June 12-18, 2024

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Business

Newsom Admin Takes Steps to Stabilize California’s Troubled Insurance Market

As growing numbers of Insurance companies announce plans to exit California’s insurance market — or cancel customers’ policies — Gov. Gavin Newsom says his administration is taking steps to reverse the trend. Speaking during a news briefing on May 31, Newsom highlighted the plan, which was unveiled as part of a trailer bill on May 28.

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By California Black Media

As growing numbers of Insurance companies announce plans to exit California’s insurance market — or cancel customers’ policies — Gov. Gavin Newsom says his administration is taking steps to reverse the trend. Speaking during a news briefing on May 31, Newsom highlighted the plan, which was unveiled as part of a trailer bill on May 28.

Newsom said the proposal speeds up approvals for rate increases and addresses rising costs resulting from incidents like wildfires. Newsom said, under his plan, the Department of Insurance will be required to decide and respond to rate increase requests within 120 days. The plan also calls for streamlining the process for filing for increases; builds in two 330-deay extensions for finalizing rate changes; and provides room for insurers to appeal decisions.

“We need to stabilize this market,” Newsom said. “We need to send the right signals.

Proponents, mainly insurance industry representatives like the Personal Insurance Federation of California, are praising the Governor’s actions while consumer advocates warn that the plan is a threat to public intervention rights California’s Prop 103, a 1988 state law adopted to protect state residents from “arbitrary insurance rates and practices.”

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara thanked Newsom for backing his office’s plan.

“To safeguard the integrity of the insurance market – composed of consumers, homeowners, and business owners – we must fix a system suffering from decades of deferral and delay,” said Lara in a statement. “This measure is one of several parts of a comprehensive plan to enact long-overdue regulatory reforms. The Legislature can do its part to support my reforms by giving this proposal a fair and full consideration, including public input. By enacting this important part of our strategy in statute, the Legislature can help us meet the urgency of the moment.

Lara is working on a longer-term strategy to shore up the insurance market that is expected to be released in December.

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Oakland Post: Week of June 5 – 11, 2024

The printed Weekly Edition of the Oakland Post: Week of June 5 – 11, 2024

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