May 1, 2019

Teachers' "wage penalty" is fueling strikes across the U.S.

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Reproduced from the Economic Policy Institute; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans are currently seeing the highest minimum wage ever, the New York Times' Ernie Tedeschi reported last week. Despite the federal minimum wage stagnating at $7.25 for 10 years, a string of moves by states and cities recently has raised the effective minimum wage to almost $12 an hour.

Yes, but: One group on the other side of that wage increase is America's teachers. "Teachers were paid 21.4% less in weekly wages than similar college graduates in 2018—after accounting for education, experience, and other factors known to affect earnings," according to a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

  • Despite generous benefits packages teachers earn, in terms of total compensation (wages plus benefits) teachers earned 13.1% less than similar college graduates last year, EPI's analysis found.

The big picture: 4 of the 7 states with the largest wage gaps between teachers and similar college graduates — Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina, and Oklahoma — were the site of teacher protests in 2018. Teachers in these states earned at least 26% less, according to EPI's data.

  • "It's no surprise that the states that have seen teachers strike and walk out over the past year are the states that have some of the highest teacher wage penalties," said EPI Distinguished Fellow Lawrence Mishel in a statement. "If we are going to have excellent schools, we must make sure that teachers are paid for their work."

Go deeper: No end in sight for nationwide wave of teacher strikes

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Countries where novel coronavirus cases are falling may be hit with a "second peak" if they relax restrictions too soon, World Health Organization emergencies chief Mike Ryan warned during a briefing Monday. "We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up," he added.

By the numbers: Almost 5.5 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.2 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 14.6 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,900 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,498,849 — Total deaths: 346,306 — Total recoveries — 2,233,180Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,662,768 — Total deaths: 98,223 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

LATAM Airlines files for U.S. chapter 11 bankruptcy

A LATAM air attendant aboard one of the company's planes in March. Photo: Kike Calvo/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

LATAM Airlines Group SA said in a statement early Tuesday the firm and its affiliates in in the United States, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

Why it matters: Latam is Latin America's largest airline and its shareholders include Delta Air Lines. CEO Roberto Alvo noted in the statement the coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the airline industry.