Category: Employment Issues

The New Normal

We are awaiting the May jobs report numbers but is there something of greater concern of which we should discuss.  The current forecasts are estimating a May jobs growth number somewhere around 200,000. Of course it will be touted as a positive – and we all want to see Americans getting back to work. However, this […]

Minimum Wage for Thee But Not for Me…

From the department of when the left eats their own- Last week the Los Angeles City Council approved a minimum wage hike to $15 an hour, which would be phased in by 2020.  Labor activists clamored for it, despite small business owners’ objections that they would be harmed by it.  Now the very labor activists that […]

Does Extending Unemployment Benefits Really Help the Unemployed?

The Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program, introduced during the Great Recession, provided the long-term unemployed a maximum 99 weeks of benefits. The program ended in December 2013, and Congress decided not to reauthorize the unprecedented benefit extensions. Recent studies show that the economy had not been affected by the benefit cut, and unemployment kept decreasing thereafter. […]

Let’s Not Talk About Those Unemployment Numbers…

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released their unemployment statistics for March –  on a Friday, of course, without much fanfare.  The first paragraph of the press release reads: Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 126,000 in March, and the unemployment  rate was unchanged at 5.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  […]

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 […]