Labor & Economic News Blog
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Employers' Perspectives on San Francisco's Paid Sick Leave PolicyEmployers' Perspectives on San Francisco's Paid Sick Leave Policy
This report summarizes strategies San Francisco employers used to implement the nation's first law requiring paid sick days for all employees, based on interviews with a sample of businesses. Although employers faced three new policies that affected staff wages and benefits, they were able to implement the paid sick leave requirement with minimal impacts to their business. The report details employer responses to the law in their operations, staffing, employee benefit packages, and reporting requirements. By assessing employers' perspectives on the operational challenges of the law, the study provides lessons to inform future research and policymaking.
Monday, March 30, 2009
The Stimulus Package (HR1) and Low-Income FamiliesThe Stimulus Package (HR1) and Low-Income Families
This speech, given at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration, discusses how the stimulus package addresses the policy needs of low-income working families. It focuses on three questions: how it might reduce poverty in the short term; how it might help position service providers for addressing poverty in the long term; and what researchers can do to inform future policies in this area. Efforts are compared to the following goals: increasing wages, promoting job stability and upward mobility, and providing income supports when needed.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
More Young People Lining Up for Government JobsMore Young People Lining Up for Government Jobs
Amid the economic hard times, many students are as motivated by the desire for a steady job as by public service. Christina Lee, a 25-year-old senior and
Obama wants high-paying, high-skill jobs in futureObama wants high-paying, high-skill jobs in future
Obama said job creation in America is difficult in a time of economic hardship and that the work of the future should be in more high-paying, high-skill
IBM Layoffs Include Wide Ranging US Job CutsIBM Layoffs Include Wide Ranging US Job Cuts
It's not a good day to be an IT specialist in IBM Global Business Services unit.
More than 600 workers carrying that title were given walking papers Thursday as part of a sweeping reorganization under which Big Blue is eliminating as many as 5,000 positions in the United States, according to sources and internal IBM documents.
For laid-off IBM workers, a job in India?For laid-off IBM workers, a job in India?
An IBM program offers some incentive to relocate. Americans who have migrated overseas find less pay – but a good lifestyle.
Bold claims of stimulus jobs can't be measuredBold claims of stimulus jobs can't be measured
No promise from President Barack Obama is more important to the wounded economy than his vow to save or create some 3.5 million jobs in two years.
US jobless claims hit 652,000 in weekUS jobless claims hit 652,000 in week
AFP - The number of new jobless claims in the United States rose by 1.2 percent to 652,000 during the week ending March 21 as the country reeled from recession, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
UCLA Anderson Forecast: dark daysUCLA Anderson Forecast: dark days
A half-built condominium complex in Murrieta is a constant reminder for neighbors of the downturn in the real estate market. California's jobless rate will ...
Blacks 'hurting worse' in grim US economy: reportBlacks 'hurting worse' in grim US economy: report
AFP - African Americans are far more likely than whites to be poor, out of work or in jail, and are "hurting worse" in the floundering US economy, a report published Wednesday showed.
Monday, March 23, 2009
A New Minimum Benefit for Low Lifetime EarnersA New Minimum Benefit for Low Lifetime Earners
Despite working hard and playing by the rules over long periods, many workers end up poor in retirement. We propose an enhanced minimum benefit for Social Security that targets long-career workers with low lifetime earnings along with a modest credit that compensates workers for up to three years out of the labor market due to caregiving, unemployment, or poor health. By combining these elements, the proposal provides work incentives, yet recognizes realities facing low-wage workers, many of whom have had intermittent work careers. We show that these proposed enhancements would allow more adults to retire with a secure financial foothold.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Crowds swarm US job fair amid economic woesCrowds swarm US job fair amid economic woes
AFP - Swarms of avid jobseekers descended upon the Washington region's biggest employment fair in the hopes of landing a paying gig as the country reels from economic woes.
Monday, March 16, 2009
US firm to close branch due to lack of employeesUS firm to close branch due to lack of employees
AFP - A Florida-based firm will soon close one of its North Dakota offices for a reason that seems unfathomable during the deepening US recession: it can't find enough employees to hire.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Schools turn to mass layoffs to ease deficitsSchools turn to mass layoffs to ease deficits
Reuters - Some U.S. public school districts are turning to mass layoffs of teachers and support staff to ease ballooning deficits in the latest sign of how the recession is hurting ordinary Americans.
S jobless claims hit 654,000 in weekS jobless claims hit 654,000 in week
AFP - US jobless claims rose to a higher than expected 654,000 in the past week as businesses moved rapidly to cut payrolls amid a prolonged recession, government data showed Thursday.
Report: US on short end of health care 'value gap'Report: US on short end of health care 'value gap'
AP - If the global economy were a 100-yard dash, the U.S. would start 23 yards behind its closest competitors because of health care that costs too much and delivers too little, a business group says in a report to be released Thursday.
U.S. jobless seen nearing 10 percentU.S. jobless seen nearing 10 percent
Reuters - U.S. unemployment will approach 10 percent as the country endures its worst recession since World War Two, leaving more than 13 million Americans jobless, according to a Reuters poll of economists.
Australian unemployment jumps to 4-year highAustralian unemployment jumps to 4-year high
AP - Unemployment in Australia rose to its highest level in nearly four years in February, showing the global downturn continues to bite despite big interest rate cuts and the government pumping billions of dollars into the economy.
Economic woes take toll on workers' mental healthEconomic woes take toll on workers' mental health
Reuters - One in five U.S. workers say the recession is causing them mental health problems, as they battle anxiety and fear over the potential loss of their jobs, new research shows.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Possible Change To Labor Law Ignites ControversyPossible Change To Labor Law Ignites Controversy
Two Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation Tuesday that has stirred up a firestorm of debate between business interests and labor groups. The Employee Free Choice Act would amend existing labor law. If passed, workers could form a union if the majority of them sign cards requesting one.
Public education in U.S. falls short, Obama saysPublic education in U.S. falls short, Obama says
The president's first speech on education may alienate some in teachers unions. He calls for more charters, higher pay for good teachers and quicker firings ...
UAW Deal Cuts Hourly Rate to $55UAW Deal Cuts Hourly Rate to $55
The Ford Motor Company said Wednesday that its new agreement with the United Automobile Workers union would save at least $500 million a year and, within several years, bring its labor costs in line with what foreign ...
50 jobs in 50 weeks: US man's economic odyssey50 jobs in 50 weeks: US man's economic odyssey
His goal? Get a job. His tactic? A road trip through all 50 states in 50 weeks that landed the unemployed economics major with, yes, 50 jobs -- from rodeos to archeology and even a stint keeping job-seekers of the illegal sort out of the country.
4 states see double-digit jobless rates in January4 states see double-digit jobless rates in January
California, South Carolina, Michigan and Rhode Island - registered double-digit unemployment rates in January, a trend likely to be seen on the national level by year-end.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Fresh Out Of College, But Can't Land WorkFresh Out Of College, But Can't Land Work
Morgan Oliver, who graduated from Columbia College in Chicago last May, is having trouble finding a job. She says she has sent out between 300 and 500 applications and keeps getting rejection notices. "I kind of feel like the failure in my family," she says.
Would You Rather Be Furloughed Or Laid Off?Would You Rather Be Furloughed Or Laid Off?
Many companies are letting employees go in the recession, but others are instead reducing the number of hours employees can work to decrease labor costs. Fans of furloughs say half a job is better than no job, but critics argue furloughs don't actually cut costs.
Job Fairs Help Wounded Veterans Find WorkJob Fairs Help Wounded Veterans Find Work
It's hard to find work in a down economy, but imagine being more than 30 percent disabled from an injury suffered in Iraq or Afghanistan. The Defense Department is trying to help. It's calling on federal employers and those in the private sector to find jobs for the veterans who have been wounded during military service. Terry Gildea reports for Texas Public Radio.
Report Says 1 in 50 US Kids Are HomelessReport Says 1 in 50 US Kids Are Homeless
Even before the financial and home foreclosure crisis hit full stride, the number of homeless children in America had reached an alarming level. The National Center on Family Homelessness released a report today that estimates that one in every 50 American children was homeless between 2005 and 2006.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Working Toward Health ReformWorking Toward Health Reform
According to SEIU head Andy Stern, health policy is labor policy.
Losing A Job May Help You Find YourselfLosing A Job May Help You Find Yourself
Losing a job can mean more than a loss of income. For some people, it means re-thinking who they are. Two Chicago women are trying to overcome the sense of moral failure that can accompany unemployment.
Ford Workers Approve UAW Contract ChangesFord Workers Approve UAW Contract Changes
Changes include freezing wages and cutting other benefits in a move aimed at helping the automaker remain competitive.
U.S. Bank Rescinds Job Offers To Foreign MBAsU.S. Bank Rescinds Job Offers To Foreign MBAs
The Financial Times reports that Bank of America has become the first U.S. bank to withdraw job offers to MBA students, who require a special visa known as the H1-B. The bank cites rules in the stimulus plan. Those rules prevent financial institutions that have received government money from applying for these visas if the bank has recently laid off American workers.
In rough times, government jobs have greater appealIn rough times, government jobs have greater appeal
As the economic downturn forces corporations and small businesses to shed jobs, one large employer still has the 'help wanted' sign out: the U.S. government.
Friday, March 06, 2009
CBPP Statement: Chad Stone, Chief Economist, on the February Employment ReportCBPP Statement: Chad Stone, Chief Economist, on the February Employment Report
The sharp deterioration in the job market that continued in February was, as expected, grim, underscoring why it was so important that Congress enact an effective economic recovery law last month
Wildcat strikes in Vietnam, the Labour Code and the union role
White House aide says U.S. workers "suffering"White House aide says U.S. workers "suffering"
Reuters - A top White House economic aide said on Friday no silver lining could be seen in a surge in unemployment in February but that pieces of a recovery plan are in place and the country needs to "power through" hard times.
US unemployment hits 8.1% as 651,000 jobs goUS unemployment hits 8.1% as 651,000 jobs go
AFP - The US economic bleeding extended in February with 651,000 jobs lost and the unemployment rate surging to 8.1 percent, according to data Friday highlighting an ever-deepening recession.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Who is Adversely Affected by Limiting the Tax Exclusion of Employment-Based Premiums?Who is Adversely Affected by Limiting the Tax Exclusion of Employment-Based Premiums?
Our analysis of the 2005 Tax Reform Panel’s recommended cap on the employer exclusion predicts that the percentage of older workers, average wage, percent female, firm size, nonprofit status, and degree of worker unionization are important factors in determining who would be affected
Health Care Costs Bite Big Into PaychecksHealth Care Costs Bite Big Into Paychecks
Rising health care costs may be taking a bigger bite out of workers' take home pay than many realize. That's something the White House hopes to correct as it lays the ground work for revamping the health care system.
More than 3,700 job-seekers look for work at fairMore than 3,700 job-seekers look for work at fair
A 22-year-old barely three months out of school was on the hunt for his first real job, while a 68-year-old former vice president of a chemicals company sought contract work with...
Humbled, the U.A.W. Is Appealing for SupportHumbled, the U.A.W. Is Appealing for Support
The American Federation of Teachers, United Steelworkers and others are defending the autoworkers’ pay and benefits.
Piecemeal Layoffs Avoid Warning LawsPiecemeal Layoffs Avoid Warning Laws
Experts say the law requiring notice of certain kinds of layoffs should be overhauled to cover smaller job cuts.
NY state lost 25 percent of new jobs since last declineNY state lost 25 percent of new jobs since last decline
Reuters - New York state, in the final quarter of 2008, lost over 25 percent of the jobs it had gained since the last downturn, a statistic that reveals the deepening recession, the labor department said on Thursday.
New U.S. jobless claims eased last weekNew U.S. jobless claims eased last week
Reuters - The number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell more than expected last week, a government report showed on Thursday, but remained at high levels consistent with a severe recession.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Recovery package eases but does not eliminate states’ job woesRecovery package eases but does not eliminate states’ job woes
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act recently approved by Congress and signed by the president is a great first step toward economic recovery, but it is not a panacea for our economic problems. Even with the jobs created by this plan, many states will still suffer.
‘Cadillac’ health care benefits aren’t always what they seem‘Cadillac’ health care benefits aren’t always what they seem
The following is a preview of an article to appear in Tax Notes, “Who Loses if We Limit the Tax Exclusion for Health Insurance?”, by Elise Gould, Economic Policy Institute, and Alexandra Minicozzi, the Congressional Budget Office.
Laid Off Camp: S'more Scary Job StoriesLaid Off Camp: S'more Scary Job Stories
Being laid off can feel like a lonely experience. Recently laid off Chris Hutchins launched LaidOffCamp, where a large group of people can get together to share skills for surviving joblessness and finding a new job.
U.S. planned layoffs in February fall from 7-year peakU.S. planned layoffs in February fall from 7-year peak
Planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell 23 percent in February from January's seven-year peak, but remained well above long term averages as the protracted U.S. recession took a heavy toll on employment, a report showed on Wednesday.
ADP Says US Companies Reduced Payrolls by 697000ADP Says US Companies Reduced Payrolls by 697000
Companies cut 697000 jobs in the US in February as the recession’s grip tightened, offering no sign the pace of the ...
Abruptly, Expatriate Bankers Are Cut LooseAbruptly, Expatriate Bankers Are Cut Loose
The salaries and bonuses were great, the lifestyle grand. The party’s over, and expats are joining the ranks of the jobless.
U.S. unions confident of passing organizing measureU.S. unions confident of passing organizing measure
Reuters - Big U.S. labor unions expressed confidence on Wednesday that they have enough votes in Congress to pass long-blocked legislation to boost their organizing efforts, while opponents said they do not.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Obama, At DOT, Points To Road-Building JobsObama, At DOT, Points To Road-Building Jobs
In a visit to the Department of Transportation, the president says that $28 billion spent to build roads nationwide will save or create 150,000 jobs by the end of 2010. That's more jobs than Ford, Chrysler and GM have lost over the past three years, he said.
Americans Mull The Choice: 401K Or The Mattress?Americans Mull The Choice: 401K Or The Mattress?
Increasing losses and the suspension of matching payments by some companies leave some investors wondering whether their contributions to the plan are such a great idea.
Economic Scene: Job Losses Show Breadth of RecessionEconomic Scene: Job Losses Show Breadth of Recession
Every state, except a band stretching from the Dakotas to Texas, is shedding jobs at a rapid pace.
Unemployment Rate Hits All-Time High for Adults Age 65 and OlderUnemployment Rate Hits All-Time High for Adults Age 65 and Older
The unemployment rate for adults age 65 and older reached 6.8 percent in February 2009, the highest level recorded since the federal government began computing reliable unemployment rates in 1948. About 433,000 adults age 65 and older were out of work and actively seeking employment last month, more than twice as many as in November 2007, just before the recession began. Another 1.3 million adults age 55 to 64 were unemployed in February, although the unemployment rate edged down last month for women age 55 to 64. Senior unemployment rates were particularly high among African Americans, Hispanics, those who did not complete high school, and those in the construction, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality industries.
A.F.L.-C.I.O. to Support Nationalizing BanksA.F.L.-C.I.O. to Support Nationalizing Banks
Union officials say that billions in bailout money have not improved lending by “zombie” banks.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Biden task force pushes ‘green jobs’Biden task force pushes ‘green jobs’
Ahead of the meeting, the Philadelphia Inquirer ran an op-ed by Vice President Biden that attempted to explain it: So what exactly are “green jobs”?
Victorious Chicago union on tour to rally for labor lawVictorious Chicago union on tour to rally for labor law
A December sit-in at a closed factory in Chicago made national headlines for the workers at Republic Windows & Doors when they won severance and health care from the shuttered company's lenders.
Job Seekers Find Long Lines, Little Payoff At FairsJob Seekers Find Long Lines, Little Payoff At Fairs
Thousands of people have been lining up at job fairs from New York to North Carolina. With unemployment at a 25-year high, they have become major events in many cities — even if there aren't many jobs to be had there.
Training, Benefits Aim To Save Sinking CommunitiesTraining, Benefits Aim To Save Sinking Communities
In Wilmington, Ohio, a DHL facility has closed, leaving thousands without work. In communities across America, programs are sprouting up to help those who have lost their jobs learn computer skills and obtain benefits such as health care, food stamps and energy assistance.
Failing Auto Industry Buffets Black Middle ClassFailing Auto Industry Buffets Black Middle Class
General Motors announced last week that it would hack another 47,000 jobs and close five more U.S. plants. As orders for cars continue to slump, the pink slips keep raining down, and the long, reliable middle-class comfort enjoyed by autoworkers — many of them black — is rapidly vanishing.
Small-Business Owners Face Glut Of Job SeekersSmall-Business Owners Face Glut Of Job Seekers
The job of hiring new workers has become overwhelming for some small-business owners, who are facing no shortage of applicants. The executive director of an animal shelter in Michigan had to turn down an applicant with a law degree for a job as a pooper-scooper.
Offering help, hope, "job clubs" see surgeOffering help, hope, "job clubs" see surge
Part networking opportunity, part therapy group, job clubs are rapidly emerging as hot spots for job hunters in America. The clubs, which are springing up ...
An Alternative to Layoffs: The Shorter WorkweekAn Alternative to Layoffs: The Shorter Workweek
A few managers are switching some employees to 24-hour workweeks.
A Slowdown That May Slow Us DownA Slowdown That May Slow Us Down
For decades, Americans have worked longer hours than people in most other industrialized countries. Will furloughs change our workaholic culture?
Metrics: Why Is Her Paycheck Smaller?Metrics: Why Is Her Paycheck Smaller?
Economists believe that discrimination as well as personal choices within occupations are two major factors.
In Obama, Labor Finds the Support It ExpectedIn Obama, Labor Finds the Support It Expected
President Obama has delighted union heads by reversing Bush policies and appointing labor-friendly officials to positions in his administration.
Itineraries: Getting Enough SleepItineraries: Getting Enough Sleep
Some airlines are fighting new F.A.A. rules requiring longer layovers for pilots of long-distance flights.