Showing posts from 2011

Speaker Boehner, where are the jobs?

The GOP won an overwhelming majority in the 112th Congress because of the power of one simple question: "Where are the jobs?" So, how has Congress done this year?Quoting from Ezra Klein's Wonkbook:…So though there's a lot of talk about the deficit, there's not actually a lot of economic pressure to do anything about it. But the same can't be said for another neglected category of policymaking: jobs.There has been less done for the jobless than for the deficit. After all, the debt-ceiling deal did lead to $900 billion in cuts to domestic discretionary spending, and to the spending trigger that threatens to make a trillion more in cuts starting in 2012. But the jobless? Save for a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefits, they got nothing.And unlike the deficit, which isn't yet causing problems in the American economy, joblessness is an ongoing crisis. The unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. If millions of discouraged wor…

A Blessed Christmas To All


Instant Repudiation

These two stories were on the front page at TPM today.In less time than it takes to scan a page, Mitt Romney is proven wrong (again), in this case, by the House GOP and their Speaker, John Boehner.To review: President Obama threatened a veto if the GOP attached the Keystone XL pipeline to an extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefit. The GOP, naturally, attached the pipeline. Senators Reid and McConnell were able to work out a deal that the Senate approved by a vote of 89 to 10 - an example of overwhelming, bipartisan support. And today, the Speaker says that the House will not approve the bill the Senate passed.Who's the divider again?

Quotes of the Year

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Yale University librarian says the slogan "We are the 99 percent" by Occupy Wall Street protesters is the year's most notable quote.Fred Shapiro has released his sixth annual list of the most memorable quotations of the year.Shapiro picks quotes that are famous, important or revealing of the spirit of the times. The quotes aren't necessarily the most eloquent or admirable.The "99 percent" slogan stems from a movement against economic disparity and perceived corporate greed. Protests began with Occupy Wall Street in Manhattan in September and spread around the country.Billionaire investor Warren Buffett made the list for his complaint that he and his rich "have been coddled long enough" by Congress.Politicians, including former Rep. Anthony Weiner, made their usual strong showing as well.The list:"We are the 99 percent." — slogan of Occupy movement."There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. No…

Numbers of the Day: 2.019 and 10.036

According to the latest BLS numbers, 2.019 million men and women have been out of work (and still looking) for 99 weeks or more.According to the latest JOLTS report, if you filled every available job opening in the US, you would still have 10.036 million unemployed.Our Stat Pack has the updated figures.

Chart of the Day: People Receiving Unemployment Insurance Work Harder to Find Jobs

Source: ThinkProgress EconomyA new study from Congress' Joint Economic Committee (JEC) debunks the prevailingconservativenotion that Unemployment Insurance (UI) dissuades people from looking for a job. "On the contrary," the report finds, "beneficiaries of federal UI benefits have spent more time searching for work than those who were ineligible for UI benefits." "In fact, since Congress enacted federal unemployment benefits, time spent looking for a job has tripled among the long‐term unemployed who are out of work as a result of job loss," the report adds.

Number of the Day: 3,347,942


Number of the Day: 877,000

The JOLTS Report for November was released today, which means we'll be updating our Stat Pack shortly.What's more important is that the House passed HR 3630, the "Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act of 2011"From the GOP's legislative digest page, HR 3630:"would use a two-step process to gradually reduce the current maximum amount of time total benefits could be distributed in states with high unemployment from 99 weeks to 59 weeks by mid-2012."From the House Ways and Means Committee's one-page summary (PDF link), subtitled "Helping those Struggling in the Obama Economy & Protecting Taxpayers By Reforming and Reducing the Overexpansion of Unemployment Insurance":"The Middle Class Tax Relief & Job Creation Act bill permanently reforms unemployment insurance (UI) and reduces the current maximum weeks of benefits from 99 to 59 weeks by ending expansions signed into law by President Obama."…"The legislation red…

Charts of the Day: "F" is for Fox, and also for Fail

from Media Matters, by way of Steve Benen: Based on the chart, unemployment has not changed at all for the past two months, even though it was 9.0% in October and 8.6% in November.This chart's not as bad as some of the others, but it definitely deserves a place in the pantheon, starting with the infamous 120%: And continuing with our personal favorite, the supersized pie chart: Update (12/15/2011) - A new addition to the gallery, courtesy Andrew Sullivan, et al:

Job Fair - Bridgeport, CT - December 16

Seeking non-profit organizations willing to hiring 99ers at Dec 16 Platform to Employment Job FairAre you looking to hire qualified candidates for your company? We can help you!The Platform to Employment Job Fair is seeking non-profit organizations willing to hiring 99ers. These people have the job skills that can benefit you. They are waiting for a chance to speak with your representatives about open positions at your company. Many are highly skilled, experienced and well-educated individuals who are eager to work for you!Let us help you identify and recruit the skilled workers your business needs!Friday, December 16, 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
350 Fairfield Avenue, 3rd Floor, Bridgeport, CT 06604This is a free event - reserve your table today by completing the registration form.Platform to Employment is a WorkPlace Opportunity. The job fair is sponsored by The WorkPlace, Career Resources, Inc. and the Connecticut Department of Labor.

Chart of the Day: Working Americans Get Smaller Slice of Pie

from CNBC:
"Working Americans are now getting the smallest slice of the income pie on record — which, combined with high unemployment, could be behind the slow speed of the economic recovery.
"The decline is not a new trend, but it shows up again in last week's release of third-quarter productivity and costs. The labor share — the amount paid to workers instead of businesses and other income-earning entities — was reported to have fallen to 57.1 cents on the dollar for the business sector, its lowest level since it was first reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 1947.
"J.P. Morgan economist Michael Feroli highlighted the decline in a recent note. He said the pre-2000 average for labor share was 63.9 cents, and if it were still at that level household income would be $780 billion higher, a helpful boost in a period of high unemployment. Even at more recent levels, income would have been $400 billion higher, he says."

One reason for the decline?"Prior …

Even on Wall Street, the Unemployed Need Not Apply

Even the 1% can feel what it's like to be one of the 99%:"It's the job seeker’s proverbial 'Catch-22.' Many financial firms say they'll only hire you if you are currently employed. That means if you're unemployed, don't even apply. At least that's what employers are telling the recruiters working for them." (source)This type of discrimination isn't new, and it's been widely reported on.President Obama's American Jobs Act and Rep. Rosa DeLauro's Fair Employment Opportunity Act would address discrimination like this. Congress, pass these bills. Stop worrying about non-existent "farm dust".

Chart of the Day: Totally Wrecked

linked from Jesse's Café Américain - Categorizing the Unemployed by the Impact of the Recession From the Rutgers University working paper: (PDF link)"The full four surveys of the unemployed released earlier chronicle in full how workers have tried to cope with the recession and the economic, social, and psychological costs they have incurred along the way. We’ve picked seven items to profile the typology groups. ... For example, two-thirds of the devastated report having borrowed money from family or friends to stay afloat, as did half of those who have been downsized and a quarter of those who are recovering. Two-thirds of the devastated, 41% of the downsized, and 18% of the recovering report having sold possessions to help make ends meet. Roughly similar numbers — 60% of the devastated, 46% of the downsized, and 23% of the recovering — have cut back on medical visits or treatment. Two-thirds of the devastated and half of the downsized have reduced their spending on food so m…

House GOP: you're doing it wrong

From The Hill's reporting on the House GOP's proposal (which includes an extension of the payroll tax cut):The bill extends for one year the 4.2 percent rate for the payroll tax enacted in 2010, down from its typical 6.2 percent. It extends unemployment insurance benefits while gradually reducing the length of time they can be claimed from 99 weeks to 59 weeks in a two-step process.The measure also requires beneficiaries to continually search for work and participate in re-employment services. And it allows states to require drug testing as a condition of receiving unemployment benefits.One question before we go point-by-point: when did the GOP decide that keeping a tax cut in place was a bad idea? What makes this tax cut different than the others they propose?First: by reducing the number of weeks, you're making the problem worse, not better. As of October, there are about 983,000 people who have been out of work for 60-98 weeks, and another 1.9 million who have been out …

Lee Demands Relief for Long-Term Unemployed

November 30, 2011
Contact: Kristal DeKleer (202) 225-1882Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement at a press conference with unemployed workers, labor activists, Labor Secretary Solis, and members of the House and Senate to call for a renewal of federal unemployment insurance programs, scheduled to expire at the end of the year:"Thank you to Ranking Member Levin, Congressman Doggett, Whip Hoyer, Assistant Leader Clyburn, Senator Harkin, Senator Reed, Senator Whitehouse, and all the other leaders that are working so hard for the millions of Americans struggling to find a job during this holiday season. I would also like to thank Secretary Solis for her leadership and commitment to getting America’s work force back to work."As this jobless recovery continues, more and more Americans are long-term unemployed and now the jobs crisis has left so many people out of work for so long that most of America’s unemployed are no longer rec…

Businessweek - Raise Taxes on Rich to Reward True Job Creators: Nick Hanauer

Nick Hanauer is a founder of Second Avenue Partners, a venture capital company in Seattle specializing in early state startups and emerging technology. He has helped launch more than 20 companies, including aQuantive Inc. and He's written an op-ed in BusinessWeek that's required reading for anyone who wants to understand why demand is the key to solving the economic crisis we're in:"I'm a very rich person. As an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I've started or helped get off the ground dozens of companies in industries including manufacturing, retail, medical services, the Internet and software. I founded the Internet media company aQuantive Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. in 2007 for $6.4 billion. I was also the first non-family investor in Inc."Even so, I’ve never been a 'job creator.' I can start a business based on a great idea, and initially hire dozens or hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to …

Chart of the Day: Corporate profits up, wages and salaries down

The purple line on the chart tracks corporate profits after taxes as a percent of GDP, compared to the series' average. The green line does the same, but for wages and salaries disbursed.When the line crosses above zero, the figure is above its historic average. Below zero is below average.Corporate profits after taxes have been above average since the fourth quarter of 2003, with the notable exception of the second quarter of 2008 (aka, the financial crisis). By contrast, wages and salaries disbursed have been below their historic averages continuously since the second quarter of 2001.Update: I've reworked the chart, focusing on the data since the year 2000:sources:For Business, Golden Days; For Workers, the DrossProfits Are High, Wages Are Low and Taxes Are Below Average

Dialogue with the Fed: Understanding the Unemployment Picture

from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis:The final event of the St. Louis Fed's fall evening series was held Nov, 21, 2011 and featured Christopher Waller, senior vice president and director of research for the St. Louis Fed. Waller spoke on "Understanding the Unemployment Picture, (PDF link)" and video of the program will be posted (on the St. Louis Fed website) shortly.Recommended.

What he said

Quoting, in full, a recent post from Mark Thoma:The Demand for JobsBusinesses won't hire workers because there is not enough demand to support them, and the public can't supply the needed demand because too many people don't have jobs.That's what's so frustrating. If the unemployed had jobs, the demand would be there to support them. But the demand has to come first, and workers won't be hired until the demand is there.I wonder who could provide the missing demand needed to overcome this problem?It's not the first time we've seen this argument:"We're caught in a vicious cycle: Businesses aren't hiring because their chief concern is poor sales, and people aren't buying because they've lost their jobs."Back then, we were presenting an "elevator pitch" for the Americans Want to Work Act. The logic, and the argument, is just as sound today.

Chart of the Day: Out of Balance

from Mother Jones magazine:
"A Harvard business prof and a behavioral economist recently asked more than 5,000 Americans how they thought wealth is distributed in the United States. Most thought that it’s more balanced than it actually is. Asked to choose their ideal distribution of wealth, 92% picked one that was even more equitable." source: One Wealth Quintile at a Time - Building a Better America (PDF link)

Chuck Collins - Taxing the Wealthy

A TEDx Talk given by Chuck Collins, who directs IPS's Program on Inequality and the Common Good:

Fox News: "I award you no points..."

From a recent press release:"According to the latest results from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind Poll, some news sources make us less likely to know what’s going on in the world. In the most recent study, the poll asked New Jerseyans about current events at home and abroad, and from what sources – if any – they get their information. The conclusion: Sunday morning news shows do the most to help people learn about current events, while some outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who say they don’t watch any news at all."Fox News: worse than nothing at all.


Update: this was originally posted on November 30, 2010, but it seems just as timely today in the wake of the breakdown of the supercommittee process.

Chart of the Day: Long-Term Unemployment Becomes More Permanent

Michael Hirsh, writing in the National Journal:Along the way, 'long-term unemployed' has increasingly become a synonym for 'unwanted.' As industries die, skills atrophy, and ambition fades, especially among older workers. In a new era of jobless growth, fiscal austerity, and the relentless drive for productivity, employers get pickier about whom they hire. Workers who don't retrain quickly at a high enough level or those who are stuck with an underwater mortgage and can't move right away for a job opportunity quickly become long-term unemployed.U.S. companies have grown so brazen about avoiding the long-term unemployed that many place ads for only 'currently employed' applicants. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., have introduced bills seeking to bar the practice as illegal discrimination.In recent months, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke and President Obama have sounded increasingly urgent alarms about the stag…

The Colors of Democracy

Purple: the color of the ink used in Iraq's elections after the overthrow of Saddam. White: the color of both the pepper spray and the neutralizing agent in Portland and Seattle. Orange: the color of the pepper spray used on student Occupiers at the quad at UC Davis.

Recall for thee, but not for me

Scott Walker, Governor, is against recalling office-holders.
Scott Walker, candidate for Governor, was all for recalling office-holders. John Nichols, writing in The Nation:Walker was elected Milwaukee County Executive in a 2002 recall election.In 2010, when he was running for governor, he hailed the process as democracy in action."You know the folks that were angry about this started a recall and they were told they needed to collect 73,000 signatures in sixty days," said Walker. "Well, not hundreds, not thousands, but tens of thousands of ordinary people did an extraordinary thing. They stood up and took their government back. In less than thirty days they collected more than 150,000 signatures. It was at that moment I realized the real emotion on display in my county wasn't just about anger. You see, if it had been about anger, it would have been about people checking out and moving out or giving up. But instead what happened was really amazing. You saw people sta…

Target: Occupy Wall Street

Chris Hayes airs an exclusive story on a memo detailing lobbyist's plans to target the Occupy Wall Street movement:Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Speaks Out for the Extension of Unemployment Benefits


Occupy the Remuneration Committee

(chart from Barry Ritholtz)As their employees' average earnings have gone down from $31,991 (in 1964) to $28,305 (in 2005), corporate executives have seen their median compensation go up from $822,000 to $4.9 million.What have the executives done to earn what they did? Increase stock prices? Drive sales? Add value to the corporation?In many cases, they did nothing: their compensation was decided on by looking at what other executives were making:As the board of Amgen convened at the company’s headquarters in March, chief executive Kevin W. Sharer seemed an unlikely candidate for a raise.Shareholders at the company, one of the nation’s largest biotech firms, had lost 3 percent on their investment in 2010 and 7 percent over the past five years. The company had been forced to close or shrink plants, trimming the workforce from 20,100 to 17,400. And Sharer, a 63-year-old former Navy engineer, was already earning lots of money — about $15 million in the previous year, plus such perks a…

The Occupy Wall Street Spotlight Signal


Quote of the Day

from a letter posted online by the Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York"There can be little doubt that capitalism is a productive way to order economic life. But we need to remember, as the (Occupy Wall Street) protestors have reminded us, that that is all that it is – an economic system based on the entirely reasonable propositions that capital has value, and that supply and demand are the most efficient way to set prices. Capitalism is of no help at all in determining what is morally good – that is something that must instead be determined by the community’s wider values."

99% v 1%: the data behind the Occupy movement

source: The Guardian DataBlog

Progressive Caucus Hearing on Job Creation Highlights Nov. 16, 2011


Chart of the Day, November 16, 2011

From the CBO's Director's Blog:
Policies that would reduce the marginal cost of adding employees or would be targeted toward people who would be most likely to spend the additional income would have the largest effects on output and employment. Those policies include reducing employers' payroll taxes and providing aid to the unemployed.Policies that would give little incentive for firms to hire or invest—such as reducing business income taxes and reducing tax rates on repatriated foreign earnings - would have small effects.Achieving both short-term stimulus and long-term sustainability would require a combination of policies: changes in taxes and spending that would widen the deficit now but reduce it later in the decade.

We leave determining which policy options are advocated by which political parties as an exercise for the reader.
Brian Stelter, reporting in the New York Times (emphasis mine):"Ms. Christ said that police officers took a New York Post reporter standing near her and 'threw him in a choke-hold.'That reporter and two photographers with him declined to speak on the record because they are freelance workers and lack some of the job protections of full-time employees. But as they sipped coffee on Tuesday morning in Foley Square, where some of the protesters had regrouped, they expressed surprise at the extent of what they described as police suppression of the press.There's certainly an argument to be made about freedom of the press here, and that's the main point of the article.There's another argument to be made here, too, and I think it's even more important - about the erosion of rights and the relationship between employers and employees in general.

Stat Pack Updated

The Stat Pack page has been updated to incorporate the latest (October) unemployment and job openings figures from the BLS.Of note:unemployment is demonstrably trending downthe number of 99ers has slipped back under the two million markover the past few months, job openings have been trending slightly upwardOne additional update: the Bang for the Buck chart has been color-coded to compare the effects of Democratic and Republican policy efforts at economic growth. I think you'll find the differences telling.

Does government regulation really kill jobs?

from Jia Lynn Yang, reporting in the Washington Post:"In 2010, 0.3 percent of the people who lost their jobs in layoffs were let go because of 'government regulations/intervention.' By comparison, 25 percent were laid off because of a drop in business demand."

Robert Reich Debunks 6 Big GOP Lies About The Economy

(h/t @marjorym7)

Occupy Together!


Quote of the Day

"If the problems in the U.S. economy came on the supply side – fear of regulation, inadequate workers, etc. – there would be no reason to expect production for exports to grow any more rapidly than any other component of GDP. But, exports have outperformed the economy – the key difference being demand for U.S. products abroad." (source)

How the 1% Crashed the Economy, and What the 99% Can Do About It


Forbes: Memo to the "one-percenters"

John Cassidy, writing in Forbes Magazine (emphasis mine): Most Americans don't begrudge great riches to anybody who works hard, takes real risks, and creates things of value. As evidenced by the positive outpouring for Steve Jobs, great entrepreneurs are still celebrated. But there is an implicit social contract that links rewards to effort and accomplishment. If many people now believe that corporate America has violated that contract, is it surprising? At many big corporations, the senior managers have seemed more interested in stuffing their pockets than building for the long term. Gargantuan pay packages are only the start of it. Think boards of directors packed with patsies, books cooked to juice earnings, potential whistleblowers silenced, golden parachutes, and finally taxpayers obliged to save expensively tanned hides. The thing that is really surprising is that it has taken this long for public anger to well up. Matt Taibbi, in Rolling Stone, made a very similar point ea…

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$222.7 Billion. 280 Corporations. Three Years.

(h/t Andrew Leonhard, Salon Magazine)“Most Americans can rightfully complain, ‘I pay more federal income taxes than General Electric, Boeing, DuPont, Wells Fargo, Verizon, etc., etc., all put together.’ That’s an unacceptable situation.”For Immediate Release: November 3, 2011Contact: Anne Singer, 202-299-1066, ext. 27, anne@ctj.orgReport: 280 Most Profitable U.S. Corporations Shelter Half Their Profits from Taxes; Thirty Companies Paid Less Than Zero in Taxes In The Last Three YearsCitizens for Tax Justice and the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy Release “Corporate Taxpayers and Corporate Tax Dodgers, 2008-2010”Washington, DC – A comprehensive new study that profiles 280 of America’s most profitable companies finds that 78 of them paid no federal income tax in at least one of the last three years. Thirty companies enjoyed a negative income tax rate over the three year period, despite combined pre-tax profits of $160 billion. These are among the findings in “Corporate Taxpayer…

The Great Divergence In Pictures: A Visual Guide To Income Inequality

In September 2010, Slate Magazine published "The United States of Inequality," a 10-part article written by Timothy Noah.The article is still available in Slate's archives, but an infographic slideshow that accompanied the article is not. Thankfully, The Wayback Machine has a copy, and one of the slides in particular resonates just as strongly today: A second slide illustrates one of the reasons this second Gilded Age has come to be: Update:This chart from the Economic Policy Institute illustrates what's happened:

One small step...

As of this afternoon, this blog has received over 100,000 page views since the first post in August, 2010. It's a small step, but a noteworthy one. To our visitors, guest posters and commenters - thank you.

Spiegel Online: Has America Become an Oligarchy?

(h/t Little Green Footballs) Spiegel Online offers a look at income inequity in the US from an outside perspective: "Differences between rich and poor are tolerated as long as the rags-to-riches story of the dishwasher-turned-millionaire remains theoretically possible. But studies show that increasing inequality and political control concentrated in the hands of the wealthy elite have drastically reduced economic mobility and that the US has long since fallen far behind Europe on this issue. Indeed, only 4 percent of less-well-off Americans ever successfully make the leap into the upper-middle class."

More like this, please...


GRAPHIC: A Timeline Of GOP Economic Sabotage


The 99ers meet the 99% at Occupy Wall Street



An Occupy Wall Street demonstrator, a Tea Party activist
and the CEO of a Wall Street trading firm sit down at a table
that has a plate with a dozen cookies on it.
The CEO immediately takes 11 of the cookies,
then he turns to the Tea Partier and says,
‘Watch out for that Occupy Wall Street guy.
He wants a piece of your cookie.’

S. 1517 - A Bill to provide for the creation of jobs

A staffer from Senator Frank Lautenberg's office was kind enough to contact me to point out a bill the Senator introduced last month.S. 1517, the "21st Century WPA Act," "...would launch a modern version of FDR’s Works Progress Administration (WPA) to put people back to work. It would empower the federal government to hire America’s long-term unemployed to do the work our nation needs - building roads and bridges, schools and firehouses; improving our nation’s energy efficiency; and expanding the skills of our nation’s workforce."From a previous post, this is what FDR said about unemployment back in 1934:"...we must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed and that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can and then to take wise measures against its return."The WPA was one of the tools used to combat unemployment after the Great Depression, providing almost eight mill…

Speaker Boehner: Where Are The Jobs?


This is What #OccupyWallStreet Looks Like


The 99ers: Struggling to Stay Afloat

Sept. 30, 1934, Fireside Chat, President Franklin D. Roosevelt

(h/t @muttmutt, @delong and Fred Clark) "...we must make it a national principle that we will not tolerate a large army of unemployed and that we will arrange our national economy to end our present unemployment as soon as we can and then to take wise measures against its return."

Daily Kos: Yes, I am now a 99er

"My unemployment ran out two weeks ago. I applied for food stamps this week. I am in the process of applying for Mass Health. We are probably going to have to move as we can no longer afford our current apartment. I am at the point where I literally have almost nothing left to lose, and I am angry."It is my understanding that the Occupy Wall Street movement had finally arrived in the Boston area. So I guess it's time for me to join in. I can hardly wait."Yeah, I am angry. Actually, in some ways, angry is an inadequate word. Angry does not begin to describe how I feel right now. Angry is to what I feel as 'damp' is to being at the bottom of the Atlantic."Read the full diary entry at Daily Kos

Quote of the Day

“This unemployment situation we have, the jobs situation, is really a national crisis. We’ve had close to 10 percent unemployment now for a number of years and, of the people who are unemployed, about 45 percent have been unemployed for six months or more. This is unheard of.” - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke (source)

President Obama: "It's Time to Build an Economy that Lasts"

More Jobs Means Less Debt


Guest Post:

The following is a guest post written by Elizabeth C., on behalf of is a job application site dedicated to job seekers that are looking for companies that are offering hourly positions. The sole purpose of this site is to help job seekers find hiring links, as well as downloadable job applications that can be downloaded directly to the computer in the form of a PDF file. Why go to the store when you can print the application in the comfort of your own home? We all know that gas prices are sky high and it’s highly unnecessary to drive store after store to find what you can online.

Focus On the Long-Term Unemployment Crisis

The unemployment crisis, and especially the long-term unemployed, is becoming more of a concern in Washington: H.R. 589 has been on the table for some time, but now it's been joined by President Obama's American Jobs Act, S. 1549, and by Rep. Schakowsky's emergency jobs program, H.R. 2914.One of the components of the American Jobs Act is the Reemployment NOW Program, whose goal is to facilitate the reemployment of EUC claimants and those who have exhausted benefit claims - the 99ers. One of the components of the Reemployment NOW program is the Bridge to Work program, which "would let businesses try out workers without having to pay them."It's in everyone's interest to resolve the unemployment crisis. Bills like the ones above represent one approach, but not the only one. The WorkPlace, one of Connecticut's regional workforce development boards, has put together a program called Platform to Employment, which they describe as "a public-private part…

Happy Constitution Day

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

We need a one-two punch to solve the 99ers crisis

As seen on the Storify transcript of today's White House Office Hours online chat: On one hand, Mr. Furman is right - "a job" is the best answer.But we know the numbers, all too well. 14 million unemployed; 3 million job openings. A job is not going to happen until those odds drastically improve.We need the American Jobs Act passed... and we need H.R. 589 passed with it.

Barbara Lee, Congressional Progressive Caucus Present Plan to Rebuild American Dream

September 14, 2011Contact Kristal DeKleer (202) 225-1882Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement at the Congressional Progressive Caucus press conference:“While I am pleased that the President made a strong case for his bill last week, I certainly think that we need to go bigger and bolder. After touring the country and listening to the American people on this summer’s Speak Out for Good Jobs! Tour, the Congressional Progressive Caucus is determined to rebuild the American dream. “Today, we present the Rebuild the American Dream Platform, a comprehensive effort to put Americans back to work. The six principles outlined in the platform address three key ideals: In America, every good worker deserves a good American job. America should work again for people who work for a living. Working Americans should use their strength in numbers to counter corporate dollars.“We need to invest in workers, provide targeted relief to the most vulnerable stru…

The American Jobs Act and the 99ers

Title III of President Obama's American Jobs Act (S. 1549) (Scribd link) focuses on providing assistance for the long-term unemployed – people who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer.

One specific mention is made of the 99ers. Other highlighted provisions in the bill can also provide assistance to the 99ers community.

Title III is organized into four subtitles:
Subtitle A supports unemployed workers;Subtitle B addresses long-term unemployed hiring practices;Subtitle C establishes the Pathways Back to Work Fund;Subtitle D prohibits discrimination on the basis of being unemployed. Here's what you need to know:

Subtitle A, Part I, the "Supporting Unemployed Workers Act of 2011," does the following:
it extends the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) and Extended Benefits (EB) programs for one additional year;it requires the States to provide reemployment services and eligibility assessment activities to benefit recipients, and it requires those recipients to…

Guest Post: Introducing

The following is a guest post written by Bob Roth, Director of Community & Engagement for

Stop listening to talk about jobs… and start working.

Jobs. They’re the talk of the town, of the nation, and even in your local coffee shop and living room. President Obama recently toured the Mid-west to listen and talk about jobs. Political candidates are already stumping about jobs. Radio and TV shows are talking about how to create more jobs (or why we’re not creating jobs).

That’s a lot of talk, with no action.

There’s no doubt that this is a different world than the one our parents and grandparents worked in. When McDonald’s hired 60,000 persons in April earlier this year—backfilling a lot of full-time management positions with part-timers—it was the first time in most of our lives that 3 generations of Americans competed with each other to become cashiers and cooks. No longer is the gold watch given after years of loyal service; this is the part-time job economy of the golden …

99ers: The Real Lives of the Long-Term Unemployed

President Obama Introducing the American Jobs Act


Tampa Bay Online: "Deadline looms for millions of unemployed Floridians"

Kevin Wiatrowski reporting in the Tampa Tribune on the long-term unemployed and 99ers in Florida state:
Since August 2009, nearly 5 million Floridians have (lived on an unemployment check), seeking help from the three types of unemployment benefits now available: state unemployment benefits and federal emergency and extended benefits. As of July, 2.6 million of them had exhausted some or all those benefits, according to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation.Thousands more Floridians could find themselves in the same boat by early 2012. That's when the last few federal unemployment checks will end if federal officials can't agree on another extension. The bulk of federal and state unemployment benefits run out between Christmas and New Year's, according to Workforce officials.What remains – short-term state benefits – will be available for the newly laid-off. But the length of those benefits will drop to a maximum of 23 weeks in January and could go as low as 12 weeks …

Grand Central Terminal, Saturday Afternoon, August 27, 2011.


Barbara Lee Calls on President to Help Jobless Workers and Their Families

August 25, 2011

Contact Kristal DeKleer (202) 225-1882

Washington, D.C.– Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to address the needs of jobless workers in his forthcoming jobs plan. The letter urged the President to not only maintain the current extension of unemployment benefits to America’s jobless workers, but to also incorporate H.R. 589, The Emergency Unemployment Extension Act. Congresswoman Lee sponsored the bill to extend unemployment benefits by fourteen more weeks for all unemployed workers.

“Extending unemployment benefits for an additional fourteen weeks would serve as an immediate resuscitation for people who have reached the end of their 99 weeks of unemployment benefits,” said Congresswoman Lee. “Not only do jobless workers need assistance for food and shelter month to month, but unemployed workers immediately spend the assistance receive,which stimulates the economy and contributes to jo…

The Daily Show: World of Class Warfare

Out of Whack

From @ediclick:

Sen. Bernie Sanders: We Must Deal With The Jobs Crisis

Links: Part 2 - Part 3

Unemployed or Underemployed and Depressed?

(via Help A Reporter Out)Hey There, I'm looking to write a story on how long bouts with unemployment and underemployment brought on by our weak economy has impacted the mental health and well-being of people living in and around the Washington, DC area. I'm looking for 2 or 3 personal accounts of how unemployment or underemployment has affected individual's peace of mind and mental well being, and how they and their families are dealing with it.To respond, send an email to this address: query-1fms@helpareporter.comThe deadline for responses is 7:00 PM EST - August 19

Can you see the miracle?

h/t Democracy In America, The EconomistMuch is being made of the "Texas Miracle" - an economy that weathered the recession relatively well.Judging from the chart below, it's hard to argue that anything of the sort actually happened. The chart compares the unemployment rates of Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois.Look at the numbers from a different perspective: the number of unemployed in each state: So, where's the miracle?

If you want to create jobs, create jobs.

Rep. Schakowsky on Countdown discussing her jobs bill:

The "Help Wanted" Project

What does 9.2% unemployment mean? How can we understand a statistic like 14.2 million unemployed?Maybe by remembering that each of these numbers represents a person.“I am intelligent, experienced, professional, lead with integrity and have excellent references,” a reader wrote in response to a Post article asking the unemployed to write about their experiences. “How did my life come to this? I am exhausted, I need peace of mind and I need a job. I am scared and recently called a suicide hot line... God forgive me.”“Every application not responded to is rejection – being told I am worthless, useless and unwanted,” another unemployed reader wrote. “Every job posting telling me I am not good enough, that all my life work is worth nothing, tells me I do not measure up. I feel like I have been told a 1,000 times to just die.”The Washington Post has collected stories from six families who have been affected by unemployment. You can read their accounts at Help Wanted: Stories of Unemployment

TRMS: The Patience of Jobs

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"The Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act"

Learn more about Congresswoman Schakowsky's bill on her website.

Eric Cantor Wants Your Resume

h/t and inspiration from Joan McCarter

"Jim, the most important thing we can do for somebody who’s unemployed is to see if we can get them a job."

That was GOP Leader Eric Cantor speaking with Jim Cramer about the July labor numbers. The full quote (from Joan's article:)
CANTOR: Jim, the most important thing we can do for somebody who’s unemployed is to see if we can get them a job. I mean, that’s what needs to be the focus. For too long in Washington now we’ve been worried about pumping up the stimulus monies and pumping up unemployment benefits and to a certain extent you have states for which you can get unemployment for almost two years and I think those people on unemployment benefits would rather have a job. So that’s where our focus needs to be.

KRAMER: I just want to be very, very clear, on a day when we have a good unemployment number, that’s terrific, but not a great one and you confirmed not a great one, you are not in favor and will go against the president’s wi…