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The Jobs Report, and Why the Recovery Has Stalled by Robert B. Reich, robertreich.org | February 1, 2013We are in the most anemic recovery in modern history, yet our political leaders in Washington aren’t doing squat about it. In fact, apart from the Fed – which continues to hold interest rates down in the quixotic hope that banks will begin lending again to average people – the government is heading in exactly the wrong direction: raising taxes on the middle class, and cutting spending. read more »
New Poll: America's Workers Soundly Reject Social Security Benefit Cuts by Jackie Tortora, aflcio.org | February 1, 2013The "chained" CPI is a Social Security benefit cut (not an innocuous "adjustment"), and the majority of voters understand this, with 55% opposing this policy proposal. A new poll, Strengthening Social Security: What Do Americans Want? from the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), highlights working people's opposition to benefit cuts, including the "chained" CPI, which reduces the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). A large majority, 64%, thought the COLA should be increased to better protect seniors and other beneficiaries from inflation and rising prices of food, utilities and other necessities. read more »
Good News On Jobs: Growth Was Steady To Start The Year, And 2012 Was Better Than First Thought by Neil Irwin, The Washington Post | February 1, 2013The economy began the year with solid job creation, and the labor market was much stronger at the end of 2012 than previously thought, according to new data out Friday that indicated surprising momentum in the economy in the new year. Employers added 157,000 jobs in January, the Labor Department said, which was right in line with analyst expectations. The brightest news, though, was that revised estimates showed much higher job creation at the end of last year than first reported. The nation added a whopping 247,000 jobs in November and 196,000 in December, a combined 127,000 jobs above earlier estimates. read more »
Jobs on Jobs on Jobs on Jobs by Jamelle Bouie, prospect.org | February 1, 2013According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy created 157,000 jobs in January, a solid number, though behind what we need to see a robust recovery. More important, as always, are the revisions. November’s job growth was revised to 247,000 (up from 161,000) and December’s was revised to 196,000 (up from 155,000). These are big revisions, and when analyzed as part of a trend, it’s clear that the government was been underestimating job growth for most of 2012, to the tune of 28,000 jobs a month. read more »
At This Pace, The U.S. Won't Get Back To Full Employment Until 2022 by Brad Plumer, The Washington Post | February 1, 2013The jobs numbers have been crunched and re-crunched, and it turns out that the U.S. economy added an average of 181,000 jobs per month in 2012. That’s a faster rate than in previous years. But it’s also relatively sluggish, given the deep, deep hole the economy is still in. If the United States keeps adding 181,000 jobs per month, then it will take nine years and three months to get back to full employment, according to the Hamilton Project’s jobs calculator. read more »
Report: Nearly Half of Americans Have No Safety Net to Keep Them Out of Poverty by Lauren Kelley, alternet.org | January 31, 2013A new report reveals a fact that too many Americans are familiar with first-hand: nearly half of the nation's residents have no safety net to protect them from falling into poverty in the event of a layoff or other financial misfortune. The recently published Assets & Opportunities Scorecard from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) shows that "[n]early 44 percent of Americans don't have enough savings or other liquid assets to stay out of poverty for more than three months if they lose their income," as NPR summarized. At the same time, nearly a third of Americans live with no savings account at all. read more »
Immigration Catch-22 by Jaime Fuller, prospect.org | January 30, 2013Monday, a bipartisan group of eight senators unveiled a comprehensive immigration-reform plan. Tuesday, Barack Obama gave a speech outlining a very similar plan, causing the four Republicans in that group to disavow their own plan as a socialist plot whose only plausible purpose is to bring a tsunami of radical Kenyan immigrants to our shores so they can marry our women and produce future presidents who will further weaken this great nation. OK, so that's not really what happened. But given recent experience, it wouldn't have been all that surprising if it had. Now that Barack Obama has joined the immigration debate with his own plan (like the bipartisan one, at this point it's not particularly detailed), it will take all the fortitude Republicans can muster to keep from doing a 180, just as they did on the individual health-insurance mandate and cap and trade, once those ideas were infected by contact with Obama. read more »
Obama Pushes Ahead With Immigration Reform -- Here's the Good, Bad and the Ugly by Joshua Holland, alternet.org | January 30, 2013On Tuesday, Barack Obama flew to Nevada, where one in five residents is foreign-born, to once again call for comprehensive immigration reform – a centrist approach to a nagging problem that's been demagogued by the conservative media as “amnesty” and blocked by nativists in Congress for almost a decade. Obama's speech offered some sharp elbows for Congress's nativist wing, and some hope for those in his very supportive audience. But Obama's optimism belied two potentially serious problems for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in this country: one political and one inherent in the nuts and bolts of policy. read more »
GOP Prepares To Blame Obama For Immigration Deal Collapse by Alex Pareene, salon.com | January 30, 2013Conservatives have convinced themselves that Barack Obama intentionally blew up the possibility of an immigration reform bill in his first term, by forcing them to not support reform. (The theory doesn’t really make sense.) “I think he wants to destroy the Republican Party, particularly in the eyes of Hispanic American voters,” Bill O’Reilly told Marco Rubio. “So he’s going to make it as hard as possible to get anything done and demonize you guys.” The idea is that Barack Obama used his cunning and guile to trick the entire Republican Party into seeking and then relying on the white nativist vote for a generation. So Republicans are preparing the groundwork for the P.R. campaign to blame Obama for this deal’s collapse. read more »
Can The Rising Progressive Tide Lift All Ships? by Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Washington Post | January 29, 2013The growing progressive coalition that helped elect President Obama has emerged at the end of a failed and exhausted conservative era. The media now chronicle the flailings of Republican leaders slowly awakening to the weaknesses of a stale, pale and predominantly male party in today’s America. But the central challenge to this progressive coalition is not dispatching the old but rather defining what comes next. Will it be able to address the central challenge facing America at this time and reclaim the American Dream from an extreme and corrosive economic inequality? read more »
Senate Grapples With Tax and Safety Net Legislation, thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com | June 21, 2010
The Senate will continue trying this week to break a partisan logjam over a major package of tax changes and safety-net spending, including added unemployment benefits.
The Senate’s inability to advance the bill is a sign that the partisan discord in this highly competitive mid-term election year is causing legislative paralysis.
Subsidized Jobs: A Faint Echo of the New Deal , stateline.org | June 18, 2010
In rural Winston County, Mississippi, Taylor Machine Works — best known for its Big Red forklifts — is the primary employer. After the recession hit in late 2008, the company shed nearly 200 of its 500 jobs and would not be rehiring anyone now if it weren’t for a subsidized employment program Mississippi launched with the help of federal stimulus money.
No Clear Path Forward After Jobs Bill Fails Again In Senate, Huffington Post | June 18, 2010
The Sagging of the Middle Class, economix.blogs.nytimes.com | June 14, 2010
The chart above captures the takeaway point of David Autor’s new report, “The Polarization of Job Opportunities in the U.S. Labor Market,” published by the Center for American Progress and the Hamilton Project. more »
A Jobless Rate Still Unaffected by New Hiring, The New York Times | June 4, 2010
After hemorrhaging jobs for months, the economy is finally starting to add them. Yet the unemployment rate is not really budging because of people like Regina Myles. Ms. Myles, 51, has been out of work for three years. After a grueling job search yielded 150 interviews but no offers, she simply stopped looking last fall. more »
U.S. Added 431,000 Jobs in May, Mostly From Census, The New York Times | June 4, 2010
Employers added 431,000 nonfarm jobs nationwide in May, the biggest increase in a single month in a decade, the Labor Department said Friday. But the bulk of the growth was in government jobs, driven by hiring for the Census, and private-sector job growth was weak. The unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent nationwide, from 9.9 percent in April, the department said.
Economy Fueled By Census Hiring Adds 431K Jobs, But Few Positions Created In Private Sector, The Washington Post | June 4, 2010
Private employers dramatically cut back their rate of job creation in May, according to a government report released Friday that cast doubt on at least one aspect of the nation's economic recovery. more »
Economic News Release, bls.gov | June 4, 2010
Total nonfarm payroll employment grew by 431,000 in May, reflecting
the hiring of 411,000 temporary employees to work on Census 2010, the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Private-sector em-
ployment changed little (+41,000). Manufacturing, temporary help ser-
vices, and mining added jobs, while construction employment declined.
The unemployment rate edged down to 9.7 percent.
Fishermen Wait On Docks As Oil Gushes, The New York Times | June 3, 2010
This time of year, Eric Authement would normally be buying about 70,000 pounds of shrimp a day from the boats that line the Grand Caillou Bayou and spread their winglike nets in the bays, marshes, coastal waters and inlets along the coast. But in the last month, the shrimp processing plant his family has run for generations has been much quieter. Some days, he has bought next to nothing.
Does Washington Care About Unemployment?, theweek.com | June 2, 2010
In 1983, Ronald Reagan's Washington regarded high unemployment as a national emergency. Today, with unemployment kissing 10 percent, Barack Obama's Washington scarcely seems perturbed. Why? more »