The U.S. Department of Labor reported today that U.S. employers added 156,000 jobs in September 2016, down from 167,000 in the prior month. The national unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 5 percent. The Latino unemployment rate increased from 5.6 percent in August to 6.4 percent in September.
The Supreme Court has ended the legal battle against the recently won rights of home care workers to critical overtime and minimum wage benefits.
On Monday, the high court decided not to hear an appeal from several home care industry groups that argued the Department of Labor (DOL)’s expansion of minimum wage and overtime benefits to home care workers was an illegal and unjustified change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The court’s decision not to hear the case is a victory for home care workers, and an end to the court case Home Care Association of America v. Weil, which sought to take away minimum wage and overtime rights from home care workers.
From 1975 until yesterday afternoon, American workers making more than $23,660 per year were ineligible for federal overtime protection. Thanks to an update to that rule from the U.S. Department of Labor, the threshold on overtime pay has now been raised to include all employees earning less than $47,476 per year.
Approximately 12.5 million Americans will now be able to benefit from overtime pay. Of those, more than two million Latinos, or one in three of all salaried Latino employees, will be eligible for overtime, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
The news of the updated overtime rule is a welcome respite for American workers who, for too long, were working well over 40 hours per week without receiving appropriate compensation. The rule will also go a long way to closing the extreme pay gap felt by women and minorities.
“We are very pleased that the administration has acted on behalf of America’s workers who are the backbone of our economy. The rule will help ensure middle-class workers are able to see a greater benefit from their hard work. This rule will not only help individual families better meet their own needs, but will create additional economic stimulus and spending that will improve our nation’s overall economic outlook,” said NCLR Vice President Eric Rodriguez.
More information about the updated overtime rule and overtime coverage can be found on the the Department of Labor’s website.
Today’s jobs report from the Department of Labor confirmed anxiety over the state of Latino employment in the United States. Following a trend of declining job gains that began near the end of 2015, April added 160,000 jobs, following the addition of 245,000 and 215,000 jobs in February and March, respectively.
If you are saving for retirement or plan to do so in the future, a new regulation will help protect your hard-earned savings!
On Wednesday, the Department of Labor updated the definition of retirement investment advice and closed loopholes that permit some retirement investors to steer clients into investment products that aren’t in their best interest. Now, anyone offering individualized retirement investment advice must act under a fiduciary standard, meaning they must provide impartial advice in their client’s best interest. It is good news for Latinos and other small savers, as they are least able to absorb the shock of increased fees and decreased returns often seen with conflicted retirement investment advice.
Many Americans struggle to save enough for retirement. Latinos have the smallest retirement account balances of any group and often lack access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans. They are also much younger than the general population, and as more enter the workforce—expected to comprise 18.6% of the labor force by 2020—it is essential that the retirement savings environment ensures the security of their nest egg and minimizes retirement account losses due to high fees and low returns on investments.