• Heritage Action
  • More

Department of Labor

Our Research & Offerings on Department of Labor
  • Commentary posted November 4, 2015 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Feds Just Can't Allow People To Save And Invest

    Two events from last week exemplify federal officials’ refusal to let people live their own lives and earn money as they see fit. One deals with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new fiduciary rule, the other with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) new rules for crowdfunding. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act required the SEC to study the need for a new, uniform…

  • Backgrounder posted October 26, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Stagnant Wages: What the Data Show

    Recent data show that wages have been growing at rates comparable to their long-term trends. Measuring average wages accurately is more difficult than it sounds, so this Backgrounder examines six metrics of wage and compensation to present a complete picture.[1] Since the beginning of 2013, wages have grown between 1.1 percent and 1.9 percent per year. Over longer…

  • Commentary posted September 22, 2015 by James Sherk Right-to-Work Laws Don't Lower Private-Sector Pay

    Currently, 25 U.S. states have right-to-work (RTW) laws. These laws prohibit union security agreements, allowing employees to decide for themselves whether or not they will join and financially support a union. Historically, unions argue that RTW laws reduce employee wages by 3 percent, but a recent Heritage Foundation study found no basis for these claims when cost of…

  • Backgrounder posted July 2, 2015 by James Sherk Salaried Overtime Requirements: Employers Will Offset Them with Lower Pay

    The Obama Administration has announced plans to require overtime pay for salaried employees who earn less than $50,440 a year. Economic research shows that employers will offset new overtime costs by lowering base salaries. As a result, these regulations will have little effect on total weekly earnings or hours worked. They will require employers to rigidly monitor…

  • Backgrounder posted March 11, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Stagnant Wages: Fact or Fiction?

    Recent data show that wages have been growing recently at rates comparable to their long-term trends. Measuring average wages accurately is more difficult than it sounds, so this paper looks at six metrics of wage and compensation to present a complete picture. Since the beginning of 2013, wages have grown about 0.9 percent per year. Since 2006 (and thus including the…

  • Posted on May 1, 2014 by Nicolas Loris / Norbert Michel Shaheen–Portman’s Forced Energy Efficiency Hurts

    The Senate is expected to vote next week on the Energy Savings and Industrial and Competitiveness Act, sponsored by...…

  • Posted on April 9, 2014 by Romina Boccia 3 Things You Should Know About the Paycheck Fairness Act

    The Senate is set to vote on the so-called Paycheck Fairness Act today. Here are three things you should know about...…

  • Posted on December 18, 2013 by James Sherk / Filip Jolevski Union Integrity Act Protects Whistle-Blowers

    Last year, four truck drivers talked to federal investigators about safety problems at Gaines Motor Lines. A week later,...…

  • Backgrounder posted September 3, 2013 by Nicolas Loris Advanced Energy Trust Fund: Tying a Good Idea to a Bad One

    Senator Lisa Murkowski (R–AK) recently released draft legislation outlining her idea of an Advanced Energy Trust Fund. The trust fund would create a new stream of revenue for the Secretary of Energy to spend on basic and applied research for new energy technologies—with funding coming predominately from oil and gas production on federal lands currently off-limits to…

  • Backgrounder posted August 26, 2013 by John Malcolm Labor Department’s Persuader Rule Undermines Employers’ Rights and Threatens the Attorney–Client Relationship

    Union membership in America is in decline, plunging from 20 percent of workers in 1983 to 11.3 percent (and only 6.6 percent among private-sector workers) in 2012.[1] It is no secret that the Obama Administration is working overtime to reverse this trend.[2] The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has become a powerful instrument in the hands of an Administration eager…

Find more work on Department of Labor
  • Commentary posted September 22, 2015 by James Sherk Right-to-Work Laws Don't Lower Private-Sector Pay

    Currently, 25 U.S. states have right-to-work (RTW) laws. These laws prohibit union security agreements, allowing employees to decide for themselves whether or not they will join and financially support a union. Historically, unions argue that RTW laws reduce employee wages by 3 percent, but a recent Heritage Foundation study found no basis for these claims when cost of…

  • Commentary posted November 4, 2015 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Feds Just Can't Allow People To Save And Invest

    Two events from last week exemplify federal officials’ refusal to let people live their own lives and earn money as they see fit. One deals with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new fiduciary rule, the other with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) new rules for crowdfunding. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Act required the SEC to study the need for a new, uniform…

  • Testimony posted April 28, 2011 by James Sherk Examining the Department of Labor’s Implementation of the Davis–Bacon Act

    Testimony before the Committee on Education and the Workforce United States House of Representatives April 14, 2011 Chairman Walberg, Ranking Member Woolsey, and members of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, thank you for inviting me to testify before you today. My name is James Sherk, and I am a senior policy analyst in labor economics at The Heritage…

  • Testimony posted June 3, 2011 by James Sherk Response to the EPI: Davis–Bacon Rates Set Well Above Market Pay

    Dear Chairman Walberg: The Davis–Bacon Act (DBA) requires contractors on federally financed construction projects to pay at least the locally prevailing wage to their employees. These minimum Davis–Bacon rates are calculated by the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has identified serious flaws in how the…

  • Backgrounder posted July 20, 2011 by James Sherk Proposed Union Rules Harm Workers and Job Creation

    Abstract: New regulations from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Department of Labor are designed to swell the ranks of unionized labor at the expense of workers, employers, and the U.S. economy. The new NLRB rules that would shorten union-organizing elections to between 10 and 21 days are an attempt to rush to elections before employers can present…

  • Issue Brief posted June 5, 2012 by James Sherk Paycheck Fairness Act Unfairly Burdens Employees and Employers

    Employers who pay similarly qualified male and female workers different wages for the same job face stiff legal sanctions. The law does not set wages, however. Employers may pay different wages to workers with different qualifications or who work different jobs. The government has a legitimate role in protecting women from discrimination but should allow employers to…

  • Backgrounder posted August 26, 2013 by John Malcolm Labor Department’s Persuader Rule Undermines Employers’ Rights and Threatens the Attorney–Client Relationship

    Union membership in America is in decline, plunging from 20 percent of workers in 1983 to 11.3 percent (and only 6.6 percent among private-sector workers) in 2012.[1] It is no secret that the Obama Administration is working overtime to reverse this trend.[2] The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has become a powerful instrument in the hands of an Administration eager…

  • WebMemo posted December 16, 2010 by James Sherk Congress Should Block Union Transparency Rollback

    The Obama Administration recently rolled back union financial transparency reforms. New regulations will exempt many union trust funds, such as strike funds and apprenticeship programs, from financial disclosure laws. These regulations also end financial reporting for many government unions. Financial transparency deters wrongdoing and enables union members to hold…

  • Backgrounder posted July 2, 2015 by James Sherk Salaried Overtime Requirements: Employers Will Offset Them with Lower Pay

    The Obama Administration has announced plans to require overtime pay for salaried employees who earn less than $50,440 a year. Economic research shows that employers will offset new overtime costs by lowering base salaries. As a result, these regulations will have little effect on total weekly earnings or hours worked. They will require employers to rigidly monitor…

  • Issue Brief posted October 5, 2012 by James Sherk, Salim Furth, Ph.D. Heritage Employment Report: September Job Creation Still Slow

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) September payroll survey finds that employers added a net 114,000 new jobs, continuing the trend of slow employment growth during the recovery. The substantially divergent job growth reported in the household survey and the associated drop in the unemployment rate is inconsistent with other economic indicators and may represent…

Find more work on Department of Labor
  • Backgrounder posted July 2, 2015 by James Sherk Salaried Overtime Requirements: Employers Will Offset Them with Lower Pay

    The Obama Administration has announced plans to require overtime pay for salaried employees who earn less than $50,440 a year. Economic research shows that employers will offset new overtime costs by lowering base salaries. As a result, these regulations will have little effect on total weekly earnings or hours worked. They will require employers to rigidly monitor…

  • Backgrounder posted August 26, 2013 by John Malcolm Labor Department’s Persuader Rule Undermines Employers’ Rights and Threatens the Attorney–Client Relationship

    Union membership in America is in decline, plunging from 20 percent of workers in 1983 to 11.3 percent (and only 6.6 percent among private-sector workers) in 2012.[1] It is no secret that the Obama Administration is working overtime to reverse this trend.[2] The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has become a powerful instrument in the hands of an Administration eager…

  • Issue Brief posted October 5, 2012 by James Sherk, Salim Furth, Ph.D. Heritage Employment Report: September Job Creation Still Slow

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) September payroll survey finds that employers added a net 114,000 new jobs, continuing the trend of slow employment growth during the recovery. The substantially divergent job growth reported in the household survey and the associated drop in the unemployment rate is inconsistent with other economic indicators and may represent…

  • Issue Brief posted September 7, 2012 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr., James Sherk Heritage Employment Report: Dog Days of August Howl in the Labor Market

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy created on net 96,000 new jobs in August and that the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent. The decline in the unemployment rate was entirely due to a steep decline in the percentage of people in the labor force, which reached a 30-year low. Forward-looking indicators tell a grim story as the labor market…

  • Issue Brief posted July 6, 2012 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr., James Sherk Heritage Employment Report: June Jobs Fizzle

    The June employment report released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows a labor market treading water. Employment and the labor force grew only in line with population growth at 80,000, and unemployment remained at 8.2 percent. In short, another month passed without a significant reduction in the number of unemployed Americans. Job growth and…

  • Issue Brief posted June 5, 2012 by James Sherk Paycheck Fairness Act Unfairly Burdens Employees and Employers

    Employers who pay similarly qualified male and female workers different wages for the same job face stiff legal sanctions. The law does not set wages, however. Employers may pay different wages to workers with different qualifications or who work different jobs. The government has a legitimate role in protecting women from discrimination but should allow employers to…

  • Issue Brief posted April 26, 2012 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. BLS Green Jobs Report: Less Than Meets the Eye

    A recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report defines and counts the green jobs in the American economy.[1] Cheerleaders for the President’s program of green jobs mandates and spending point to the study as confirmation of green jobs’ economic importance. However, analysis of the BLS data provides more data to support green jobs satire than green jobs subsidies. …

  • White Paper posted November 1, 2011 by Patrick Louis Knudsen, Emily Goff Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012

    The FY 2013 version of the Appropriations Tracker is available here. Download a PDF version with hyperlinks to House and Senate Appropriations Committee documents: Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012 Designed to inform American policymakers and citizens, the Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012 monitors the progress of appropriations bills as they move through the…

  • WebMemo posted October 13, 2011 by James Sherk, Patrick Louis Knudsen Two Cheers for Proposed Labor, Health, Education Appropriations

    House appropriators deserve two cheers for their recently released bill funding the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies for fiscal year (FY) 2012.[1] Disappointingly, the legislation only slightly reduces federal spending. Nevertheless, its policy riders take important steps in the right direction. The legislation…

  • WebMemo posted September 6, 2011 by J.D. Foster, Ph.D. Three Paths for Obama’s Jobs Speech

    President Obama will soon make yet another “major jobs speech.” Small wonder—the Department of Labor announced last Friday that the economy created a net of zero new jobs in August following two months of near-zero growth. Two years after the President signed his first major jobs bill into law, the unemployment rate continues to hover at 9.1 percent. Unfortunately,…

Find more work on Department of Labor
Find more work on Department of Labor