After four years of economic downturns, there's finally some good news: in the past 3 months, 650,000 workers aged 16 to 24 have found jobs. This age group, dubbed by some as "the lost generation," have been hit hardest by these ongoing problems: in 2010, only 16.9 million of them were employed.
Amid all of the doomsday talk this week about the debt ceiling, there is a flicker of hope for the U.S. economy this morning. Weekly jobless claims dropped below key 400,000 level for the first time since early April — a sign of stable job growth. Tomorrow, the government is expected to report that the economy grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate.
As Capitol Hill approaches a deal on the debt ceiling an economist says there’s a simple way for Americans to help erase the country’s debt: work for extra decade beyond the current retirement age of 65. Pippa Malmgren, who was financial market advisor to George W. Bush from 2001-2002, told The Takeaway on Thursday that "the bottom line" is that the U.S. "can fix our problems pretty easily, everybody just has to work ten years longer."
Federal unemployment benefits are set to expire by the end of the year. The benefits were extended in the wake of the recession, but they have become a statistically significant driver of the nation's economy, as the more than 14 million jobless Americans use the benefits on items like clothes and groceries. Will the expiration of the benefits have an effect on an already anemic recovery?
Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke speaks today at an annual Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. What will Bernanke say about where our economy stands, in light of some recent grim numbers we've received this summer? And do we face a real threat of a "double-dip recession?"
With Wall Street indexes down for a third straight day yesterday and poor economic reports in recent weeks, the outlook for global economies does not look bright.
Two gentlemen asked Ebenezer Scrooge for his "liberality" to help the destitute. Scrooge immediately asked if something had perhaps happened to the prisons, the union workhouses, and the treadmill, all means of punishing the poor. When assured that these institutions were in fact all active and busy, Scrooge rubbed his hands together and chortled, "I'm very glad to hear it!" An economist answering questions about unemployment benefits always feels a bit like Scrooge. Because the answer to the question "Couldn't we do more to help the poor?" is always, "Yes, but..."
So, should we rethink unemployment compensation? Yes. But...
Around 1.3 million people in the U.S. have lost their unemployment benefits since the beginning of 2010.
Yesterday, we talked with two people who have recently lost their benefits: Donovan Marsden in New York and Michelle Ives in Texas. And we asked: does the extension of unemployment benefits provide a disincentive to finding a job? We got an overwhelming number of responses on both sides of that argument. Some listeners thought it was callous even to suggest that people receiving unemployment benefits don't want jobs. A few listeners actually admitted that receiving benefits has made them lazy. Today, we get an economic perspective.
A study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute released Wednesday shows that more Americans are waiting longer to retire because they are not financially secure.
Unemployment is rising, and the job market is painfully lean — but, hey, did you know the recession is over? GDP numbers out this morning say the economy is officially rebounding. We talk to Duke University economist Mike Munger about why a bad job market may actually be boosting company profits. We also speak with Rick Holguin, owner of the recruitment firm Latinos for Hire, and Rhoda Quick, who was recently laid off from her job as a legal assistant in Minneapolis. (A tip of the hat to MPR News' Bob Collins, who originally interviewed Quick back in August.)