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December 6, 2013

Unemployment at five-year low

  • 7.0 percent unemployment in November, per the latest jobs numbers. That’s the lowest unemployment rate since November 2008. Some of the positive aspects in the report owed in part to the re-opening of the government after the shutdown in October, but others — a healthy hiring rate, higher wages and more hours for workers — imply that the economy is, at the very least, not getting worse. source
19:23 // 9 months ago
January 9, 2013
nbcnews:


Solis to step down as Labor Dept. head
(Photo: Richard Vogel / AP file photo)
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will not return in President Barack Obama’s second term, the White House confirmed Wednesday.
Read the complete story.


"Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team," President Obama said in a statement,” as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class.”

nbcnews:

Solis to step down as Labor Dept. head

(Photo: Richard Vogel / AP file photo)

Labor Secretary Hilda Solis will not return in President Barack Obama’s second term, the White House confirmed Wednesday.

Read the complete story.

"Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team," President Obama said in a statement,” as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class.”

(via nbcnews)

16:46 // 1 year ago
June 10, 2012
"Nobody pressured me; I was the one who pressured to get credit." Those are the words of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, regarding the $125 billion bailout his country asked for over the weekend. Rajoy initially denied such a bailout would be necessary during his first months in office, but the countries struggling banks forced his hand. Rajoy, who has had some success in sorting out the country’s labor system (which has extremely high unemployment partly due to extremely strict hiring rules), faces a very uncertain public who he may have trouble convincing that the country’s banks are safe. (photo by Dani Pozo/AFP/Getty Images)

"Nobody pressured me; I was the one who pressured to get credit." Those are the words of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, regarding the $125 billion bailout his country asked for over the weekend. Rajoy initially denied such a bailout would be necessary during his first months in office, but the countries struggling banks forced his hand. Rajoy, who has had some success in sorting out the country’s labor system (which has extremely high unemployment partly due to extremely strict hiring rules), faces a very uncertain public who he may have trouble convincing that the country’s banks are safe. (photo by Dani Pozo/AFP/Getty Images)

20:53 // 2 years ago
June 5, 2012
Need to see who’s leading? Check this county-by-county map put together by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Pretty empty so far.

Need to see who’s leading? Check this county-by-county map put together by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Pretty empty so far.

21:13 // 2 years ago
May 4, 2012
If the same percentage of adults were in the workforce today as when Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11.1 percent. If the percentage was where it was when George W. Bush took office, the unemployment rate would be 13.2 percent.
Ezra Klein • Remarking on declining labor force participation in the US. It’s often noted that official unemployment numbers understate the real percentage of people out of work, as they only tally people actively searching for a job. One consequence of this is that when labor force participation decreases—that is, when unemployed folks just give up and stop looking for work—employment actually “increases.” That’s why only 115,000 jobs were added last month, yet unemployment decreased from 8.2% to 8.1%. Since Barack Obama took office, labor force participation has declined 2%. It’s now at 63.6% which, Klein notes, is “a level not seen since the early days of the Reagan administration.” Here’s a chart. source (viafollow)
17:56 // 2 years ago
March 29, 2012
20:27 // 2 years ago
December 27, 2011
"Horrible things were happening before my eyes"
Police brutality that’s not “Occupy”-related: It’s been ignored by most Western media, but a police crackdown on a labor strike in Kazakhstan earlier this month resulted in 16 deaths (officially reported; protesters say the number is much higher), one truly disturbing video of protesters getting shot and beaten as they run away, and now, charges of a torture basement beneath a Kazakh police station. Here’s what’s being reported.
DETAINED FOR NO REASON Asem Kenzhebaeva says that on the day of the protests, police detained her, for no reason, while she was searching the streets of Zhanaozen for her father, who had gone missing earlier that day. “That day, police were arresting anyone they saw in the street,” Kenzhebaeva said.
TORTURE BASEMENTPolice brought her to a dark, dirty basement under the station, filled with other detainees. According to Kenzhebaeva, women were being stripped naked, dragged by the hair, and beaten by “people in masks.” Kenzhabaeva was beaten and strangled—but ultimately released by the police.
WHAT TORTURE? When she returned to the scene with government officials later that week, the basement had been completely cleaned up, and looked “white like a hospital.” Her father, meanwhile, turned up two days later, having been severely beaten by police. He died of his wounds the day before Christmas (Photo: AFP). source
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Police brutality that’s not “Occupy”-related: It’s been ignored by most Western media, but a police crackdown on a labor strike in Kazakhstan earlier this month resulted in 16 deaths (officially reported; protesters say the number is much higher), one truly disturbing video of protesters getting shot and beaten as they run away, and now, charges of a torture basement beneath a Kazakh police station. Here’s what’s being reported.

  • DETAINED FOR NO REASON Asem Kenzhebaeva says that on the day of the protests, police detained her, for no reason, while she was searching the streets of Zhanaozen for her father, who had gone missing earlier that day. “That day, police were arresting anyone they saw in the street,” Kenzhebaeva said.
  • TORTURE BASEMENTPolice brought her to a dark, dirty basement under the station, filled with other detainees. According to Kenzhebaeva, women were being stripped naked, dragged by the hair, and beaten by “people in masks.” Kenzhabaeva was beaten and strangled—but ultimately released by the police.
  • WHAT TORTURE? When she returned to the scene with government officials later that week, the basement had been completely cleaned up, and looked “white like a hospital.” Her father, meanwhile, turned up two days later, having been severely beaten by police. He died of his wounds the day before Christmas (Photo: AFP)source

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23:54 // 2 years ago
December 20, 2011

Unemployment fell in majority of states last month

  • 43 states have seen a decrease in unemployment since October source

» As goes the country, so go the states: Or maybe it’s the other way around? Well, either way, figures released today by the Department of Labor show that unemployment, in addition to falling to its lowest level in two and a half years at the national level, also decreased on a state-by-state basis in all but seven states. This is promising, as it suggests that the uptick in employment is a nationwide trend, and not the result of, say, five or ten states doing abnormally well for one reason or another. Note: The usual disclaimers about the problems with how unemployment is calculated apply.

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22:16 // 2 years ago
December 15, 2011

Christmas miracle? New unemployment claims hit 3.5-year low

  • 366,000 the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits last week — a number that’s been on the decline for months
  • 365,000 the number of people who filed during a week in May 2008, the last time that the jobless benefits numbers were quite this low source

» However: Don’t get too excited, guys. While the heavily-fluctuating number is certainly better than it’s been in a long time (and the unemployment number is at its lowest level in a long time), the comeback is far from here. Example: During the financial crisis, the U.S. lost roughly 8.8 million jobs; less than a third of those jobs have returned. On top of this, many are still unemployed, and their benefits could run out soon if Congress does not act on the extension for unemployment benefits. Yeah, sorry we have to be such downers, but let’s look in perspective here.

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11:16 // 2 years ago
December 2, 2011

Rosy, but not too rosy: Today’s jobs numbers show modest upswing

  • 8.6% jobless rate in November, the lowest since early ’09
  • positive The economy added many more private-sector jobs in November than in prior months — 120,000 new non-farm payrolls, to be exact. A sign of recovery?
  • positive On top of this, the revised jobs numbers from September and October show that things were rosier than first estimated, meaning it’s a more substantial upswing.
  • negative However, the drop in unemployment partly came from an overall shrinking of the labor force. In other words, fewer people are seeking jobs. Bummer. source

» Political ramifications: The jobs numbers aren’t at a point where people have reason to be dancing in the streets, but cautious optimism is the name of the game. The GOP’s election platform could waver if the numbers get any better. Hence this response from House speaker John Boehner: ”Any job creation is welcome news, but the jobless rate in this country is still unacceptable.” What do you all think?

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12:39 // 2 years ago