Showing posts from December, 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 …