» Happy New Year, indeed. Starting Jan. 1, San Francisco’s minimum hourly wage will jump above the $10 mark for the first time. That’s about $3 higher than the federal minimum wage and higher than anywhere else in the country, due to the fact that the progressive city ties its minimum wage to inflation and the quite-high cost of living in the area. But with wage hikes, various fees and the sagging economy, employers might have to start laying off workers again to keep up.
» Explaining exactly what happened: We’ve seen three perfectly valid arguments for why this disparity between slow job growth and deep unemployment decline took place. The first is pointed out by a Gallup chart that shows that non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment is actually at 9.8 percent – suggesting seasonal adjustment is skewing the numbers. The second suggested reason is much more sinister-sounding: Unemployment benefits for so-called 99ers are starting to run out, and they aren’t looking for jobs, meaning that they are no longer covered as part of the total amount. Finally, the weather sucked in January, with snow covering most of the country, so that could be a possible explanation too. So, which one is the case, anyway?