Work & the Economy

Butcher carves meat

USDA awards grants and loan guarantees for smaller meat processors in 15 states

BY: - January 6, 2023

In an ongoing effort to diversify the country’s meat processing and create new markets for smaller livestock producers, the federal government is distributing about $3.9 million of grant money and guaranteeing loans that total $5.7 million for more than two dozen projects in 15 states. “We are just in the beginning processes of this,” Tom […]

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last week called for a review of the physical security of the utility’s power systems. The order comes after attacks on substations in North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon and Washington state. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

After substation shooting, federal regulator orders review of security standards

BY: - January 3, 2023

Less than two weeks after gunfire damaged two Duke Energy substations in Moore County, N.C., knocking out power to about 45,000 people, federal regulators ordered a review of security standards at electric transmission facilities and control centers. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ordered the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), which sets and enforces […]

James Rudd - Capitol press conference

Child poverty rates highest in states that haven’t raised minimum wage

BY: - January 3, 2023

Of the 20 states that have failed to raise the minimum wage above the federal $7.25 an hour standard, 16 have more than 12% of their children living in poverty, according to a States Newsroom analysis of wage and poverty data. Anti-poverty advocates say that’s a sign that there’s an urgent need for lawmakers to […]

Detroit snowstorm

As another winter storm strains the electric grid, it’s time to fix transmission, experts say

BY: - January 1, 2023

The deadly winter storm, christened Elliott by the Weather Channel, that tore through much of the United States over the Christmas weekend placed a huge strain on the American electric grid, pushing it past the breaking point in some places. Frigid temperatures, in some places setting records, drove a surge in electric demand while also […]

Joseph Monroe, holding his son Angus, raises grass-fed calves in Henry County and markets them through Our Home Place Meat. Photo courtesy of The Berry Center

Happy cows, good food, more profits for farmers

BY: - December 27, 2022

For more than a century Kentucky’s Henry County relied on tobacco to keep its farmers and its economy going. For most of the second half of the 20th century a federal program stabilized the price of tobacco, guaranteeing those farmers a steady, predictable income. That all changed in the new century after Congress ended tobacco price […]

Survey confirms child care providers’ struggles to find, pay and keep workers

BY: - December 21, 2022

With low pay and precarious outside support, child care centers continue to struggle to find workers, making it harder for other employers to hire the parents of young children, a new national survey finds. And matters could get worse a year from now, when supplemental funding for child care is scheduled to run out, according […]

Black mother cradling newborn son in hospital | Getty Images Creative

Milwaukee hospital’s plan to close labor and delivery unit comes under fire

BY: - December 21, 2022

A hospital on Milwaukee’s South Side is scheduled to end its labor and delivery services Wednesday, laying off about 20 employees and requiring expectant parents who live in that part of the city to travel farther to give birth. With that action by Ascension St. Francis Hospital, “there will be no labor and delivery services […]

Child with down syndrome with other youth, siblings, in yard

Child tax credit expansion left out of congressional omnibus package

BY: - December 21, 2022

WASHINGTON — Any last hopes of resurrecting the expanded child tax credit as part of Congress’ massive spending package were dashed early Tuesday when the 4,155-page bill was released without a mention of the tax benefit. The temporary expanded child tax credit, part of a COVID-19 relief deal in 2021, allowed more low-income families, including […]

A home in Milwaukee left in disrepair by the landlord who owns it. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

House committee: Wealth inequality is making the American Dream disappear

BY: - December 19, 2022

“As hard as you can work, you can’t work enough hours at $7.25 an hour and be able to provide health care for yourself, to be able to provide opportunity for yourself,” Congresswoman Gwen Moore told Wisconsin Examiner, following the screening of the documentary Grit & Grace. The film, produced by the U.S. House Select […]

Technology exec tells Senate panel to sharpen focus on workforce

BY: - December 15, 2022

The federal CHIPS Act signed in July has the potential to strengthen U.S. manufacturing, and it can do so more effectively with a focus on developing the country’s high-tech manufacturing workforce, a Wisconsin industrial technology executive told senators in Washington this week. The new measure, “although a great step towards codifying industrial policy, will fall […]

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley featured at a Milwaukee Press Club luncheon. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Milwaukee County Exec discusses challenges at press club luncheon

BY: - December 14, 2022

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley discussed the challenges the county faces at a Milwaukee Press Club luncheon on Tuesday. From difficult budget decisions to negotiating with the Republican-controlled Legislature to creating new revenue sources and crafting affordable housing policies, Crowley covered a plethora  of problems and solutions. “We’re building this plane as we fly it,” […]

Cartons of eggs are seen for sale in a Sprouts Farmers Market

Here’s why food prices remain stubbornly high even as inflation cools

BY: - December 14, 2022

Shoppers hoping for a little relief at the grocery store for their holiday meals will be disappointed by the Consumer Price Index released Tuesday. The CPI shows inflation cooling but food prices — particularly for some holiday staples — remain high. The CPI increased 0.1% in November, which was lower than some economists expected. Over […]