In the News: Blog 07/18/2014
America struggles in a part-time recovery
The economy is technically recovering from the recession, but Mort Zuckerman pointed out in the Wall Street Journal why it doesn’t feel like much of a recovery: It’s because so much of America is working part-time. “Full-time jobs last month plunged by 523,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What has increased are part-time jobs. They soared by about 800,000 to more than 28 million. Just think of all those Americans working part time, no doubt glad to have the work but also contending with lower pay, diminished benefits and little job security. “On July 2 President Obama boasted that the jobs report ‘showed the sixth straight month of job growth’ in the private economy. ‘Make no mistake,’ he said. ‘We are headed in the right direction.’ What he failed to mention is that only 47.7% of adults in the U.S. are working full time. Yes, the percentage of unemployed has fallen, but that's worth barely a Bronx cheer. It reflects the bleak fact that 2.4 million Americans have become discouraged and dropped out of the workforce. You might as well say that the unemployment rate would be zero if everyone quit looking for work.
In the News: Blog 07/17/2014
‘Are we prepared to be overwhelmed?’
When we think about what to do about the flood of unaccompanied children pouring illegally across our southern border, we have to look for the root cause, and we have to do that compassionately. As others and I have said, that means making it clear to parents in Central America that there will no longer be any payoff for subjecting their children to a dangerous, unconscionable journey in the hands of criminal human traffickers. We need to send the children home as soon as possible.
In the News: Blog 07/8/2014
What actually works for the unemployed: North Carolina and jobs
Things may be getting better soon for people left without a job: The extended-benefits program for the unemployed expired nationwide Jan. 1 and hasn’t been reinstated. How can this help? Because the evidence from North Carolina shows the kind of improvement in hiring that apparently comes after ending extended benefits. John Hood lays out the numbers in the Wall Street Journal. North Carolina dropped out of the extended-benefits program early, on July 1, 2013. The state, he writes, “didn't descend into the Dickensian nightmare critics predicted." "For the last six months of 2013, it was the only state where jobless recipients weren't eligible for extended benefits. Yet during that period North Carolina had one of the nation's largest improvements in labor-market performance and overall economic growth. “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of payroll jobs in North Carolina rose by 1.5% in the second half of 2013, compared with a 0.8% rise for the nation as a whole. Total unemployment in the state dropped by 17%, compared with the national average drop of 12%. The state's official unemployment rate fell to 6.9% in December 2013 from 8.3% in June, while the nationwide rate fell by eight-tenths of a point to 6.7%.”
In the News: Blog 07/7/2014
How the Affordable Care Act will make Wisconsin health coverage unaffordable