Category: Employment Issues

Why Did Walmart Raise its Minimum Wage?

Beginning April of this year, Walmart will bump its entry-level wage to $9 an hour, with an eventual increase to $10 an hour next year.  Protestors and living wage advocates are giddy – confident that their black Friday demonstrations, blocking traffic, yelling at shoppers and carrying misspelled signs frightened Walmart into paying up.  But this […]

The “Not-So-Secret” Secret

Last week, Gallup CEO Jim Clifton made headlines when he called the 5.6 percent unemployment rate stated by the BLS as a “big lie.”  While Clifton made it sound as though this was some type of cover-up, it really is no surprise.  The real unemployment (U-6) rate – including those who are working only part-time […]

Are Weekly Jobless Claims Numbers a Concern? Yes and No.

Economists’ predictions were a bit off this week pertaining to the number of applications filed for unemployment benefits, according to Shobhana Chandra in Bloomberg.  Forty-eight economists surveyed predicted 290,000 jobless claims for the week ending January 10.  But the actual count was 316,000, the most since early September.  Is this a cause for concern?  In and of […]

Is Having a Job a Necessity or Simply an Option?

According to Josh Zumbrun in the Wall Street Journal, the improving economy is simply not enough to get people back into the labor force.  Zumbrun features three “nagging indicator” charts showing that a dramatic share of the unemployed are simply leaving the workforce (particularly since 2008), the rate of unemployed reentering the workforce is the lowest […]

Will Minimum Wage Hikes Help Red States or Hurt Them?

Last night voters in four “red” states approved minimum wage increases over the next few years.  The highest wage on the ballot was in Alaska, which will increase to $9.75 an hour by 2016 (indexed to inflation).  One on hand, it should be up to states to decide what their wages will be.  They have a better idea of how […]

Los Angeles Planning to Hike the Minimum Wage for Hotel Employees

Just when I thought the granola state could not get any nuttier, here comes a city-council approved plan (to be subject to a final procedural vote and the mayor’s signature), to hike the minimum wage for employees of large hotels to $15.37 an hour. The law would apply to hotels with 300 or more rooms […]

What’s In a Wage?

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its quarterly report (June 2014) on the cost of employee compensation.  The average hourly wage for U.S. workers in the private sector was $21.02.  Broken down: The average hourly wage for private sector full-time workers in all industries was $24.04.  For part-time workers it was $12.37. The average […]

More Evidence: Unemployment Benefits Hurt the Unemployed

In an earlier post, I highlighted a study from the Federal Reserve concluding that the extension of unemployment benefits through December 2013 may have prolonged unemployment. Several previous studies over the past decades have suggested this same effect of unemployment benefits.  To add to the body of evidence, a study just released from the House […]

Surprise! Washington, D.C. is Still the Worst Place for Teens to Find Employment

Townhall’s Political Calculations found that Washington, D.C. tops the list for the worst teenage employment/population ratio in the United States.  Based on their chart, it appears that only 15 percent of D.C. teenagers age 16 to 19 are actually working, and they have taken the lead with dismal statistics for many years.  Keep in mind […]

New Fed Study On Unemployment Benefits

If the North Carolina experience with unemployment benefits was not convincing enough for naysayers, a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis finds that the expiration of unemployment benefits in December 2013 may have reduced unemployment in early 2014.  No surprise here, but worth noting.