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Employment

WNYC News

July Jobs Report Better Than Expected, But Fears Linger

Friday, August 05, 2011

There was a glimmer of good news Friday morning in the U.S jobs report, which beat many forecasters’ estimates. Speaking in Washington, President Barack Obama said “We are going to get through this. Things will get better and we are going to get there together.”

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WNYC News

Bad Day on Wall Street As Dow Plunges More than 500 Points

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Thursday was a bad day for the markets as the Dow fell 513 points, or more than 4 percent. Why? Continued worries about Europe, Italy and Spain in particular, plus some sell-off that could be attributed to the monthly jobs report due out Friday.

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The Takeaway

Your Take: Foreign Workers

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Yesterday, we talked about why employers continue to hire foreign workers at a time when so many Americans are out of work. Many of you had opinions and anecdotes about employment, like a listener named Anthony who called us and said:

"I think employers are more than happy to allow this stigma about American workers being lazy to perpetuate. I think it makes it easier for them to take advantage of immigrant laborers. I consider myself a hardworking American, and I'm finding it harder to find a second job because it's in no small part due to all the immigrant laborers out there."

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The Takeaway

How the Debt Ceiling Compromise Will Affect Unemployment

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The new debt ceiling compromise comes with $2.1 trillion in cuts over the next decade. With the flailing economy and anemic job market, how will these cuts affect unemployment? When it comes to jobs, are there any sure-fire professions or regions of the country left? Beth Kobliner talks about what segments of the economy we can expect to expand in the new climate and what will suffer. In addition to being the author of "Get a Financial Life," Kobliner is also an appointee to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability.  

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The Takeaway

How Can We Get the Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work?

Monday, August 01, 2011

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release the latest unemployment numbers on Friday. In anticipation of what could be discouraging news, we're kicking off a weeklong series about unemployment-related issues. Today we focus on the long-term unemployed. What can be done to get them back in the job market? Our guest says one solution is offering incentives to employers to hire the long-term unemployed over those who already have jobs.

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The Takeaway

Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Levels in Four Months

Thursday, July 28, 2011

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.

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The Takeaway

Number of Americans Taking Vacation Hit a Low Point

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A 2011 poll conducted by Marist found that only 45 percent of respondents plan to take a vacation this summer. That’s the lowest number in the survey’s 11 year history. And only 35 percent of those who are planning getaways will be taking longer trips, as opposed to weekend jaunts. Why aren't more Americans taking vacations? And how does forgoing vacations affect both employers' and employees' bottom lines?

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Features

NEA Says US Cultural Sectors Primed the Pump by $278 Billion

Friday, July 22, 2011

The report, "Arts and the GDP: Value Added by Selected Cultural Industries," drew on data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and looked at the performing arts, museum, sports, motion picture, sound recording and publishing industries.

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The Takeaway

Helping America’s 14 Million Unemployed – One Job at a Time

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

As the economy continues to struggle, almost 14 million Americans remain unemployed. More than six million of those have been unemployed for more than half a year. Two weeks ago, we spoke with two small business owners, Frank Goodnight, President of Diversified Graphics in Salisbury, North Carolina, and Marva Allen, owner of the Hue Man Bookstore in Harlem. They weren’t hiring. Carla Emil hopes to change that, with a website she set up in February, OneJobForAmerica.org, which encourages American businesses to sign up to the website and publicly pledge to hire one more person.

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WNYC News

New Yorkers Make More Money, More Likely to Work in Arts: Survey

Friday, June 24, 2011

A survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms what many New Yorkers already knew: they earn more money than most Americans, and are more likely to work in the arts.

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WNYC News

Unemployment Rate Falls in New York City

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The unemployment rate in New York state dropped slightly last month to 7.9 percent, down from 8.7 percent a year ago.

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Transportation Nation

Digging into the Brookings Report: Transit Only Works if It Takes You To Work

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

(Andrea Bernstein and Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) We were swamped last week, and didn't have a chance to dig into the heroic Brookings Institution report "Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metro America."

(The head of Brookings said doing the report meant looking at  "literally billions of daily trips in the United States, 500 gigabytes of data, 100 metropolitan areas, 371 transit agencies, two staff hospitalized").

The top line -- some 70 percent of Americans have access to transit, but only 30 percent can reach their jobs within 90 minutes.   There are several reasons for this, Brookings says, beginning with the fact that  America's transit systems were primarily laid out on the spoke-and-hub model.  Think about New York City.  It's relatively easy to get to your job in Manhattan on the subway  if you live in Park Slope in Brooklyn, Elmhurst, in Queens, or Mott Haven, in the Bronx.  But what if you live in Bushwick and work in Queens, an increasingly common pattern in New York City? (This phenomenon was also documented in a recent Center for an Urban Future report.)

In the Bay Area, you can get to downtown SF more or less easily on BART or the Cal Train, but if you live in Oakland and work in Redwood City across the bay, you're not so lucky -- even where there's express bus it may be so difficult to get from your house to the bus, and then from the bus to your job, that it feels not worth it.

And those are the cities with the good transit systems.  There are other problems, the report says -- more people live and work in the suburbs, which were built only with automobile transport in mind,  and as poverty continues to move out to the suburbs, poor people find themselves increasingly reliant on cars, or on shrinking bus systems.

"You can have lots of transit, and still fail to reach a lot of regional jobs within a reasonable amount of time," writes Alan  Berube, senior fellow and research director of Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program. "Conversely, you can have modest, unsexy transit and deliver workers from their homes to a majority of regional job centers efficiently."

The report is a sobering bucket of icy water at a time when the rising price of gas is causing people to look for transit options -- at the same time many localities have cut transit entirely because of budget constraints.  And as Monday's Urban Land Institute report showed, budgetary pressure mean more of these cuts are in store.

It also comes as the federal government is expressing an anti-spending mood.

One note on the Brookings methodology -- the institution famously considers metro areas, as defined by the U.S. Census.  So New York includes a number of suburban counties with little transit (Rockland, Orange, parts of NJ, even eastern Pennsylvania).   Ergo New York ranks 13th in connecting people to jobs via transit -- while Honolulu ranks first

The report calls for making job access a key factor in transportation decision making -- as well as integrating land use, housing, and infrastructure decisions. Coinciding with the release of the report, Brookings brought together some key stakeholders -- including  Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan -- to discuss these issues. (See the video, below). And you can download a pdf of the full report here.

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The Takeaway

Facing Long Term Unemployment

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"If we don’t get this unemployment rate down, eventually it’s going to stick," former chairwoman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors Christina Romer warned on Monday's show. "We’re going to have discouraged workers, people who have lost many skills. They may have a higher unemployment rate forever after, and that would be a true disaster.”

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WNYC News

JP Morgan Chase Overtakes Citi as City's Largest Private Employer

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Despite shrinking payrolls by more than 4,000 last year, a new index still puts city government at the top of a lost of the city's biggest employers.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Overcoming Employment Hurdles

Monday, April 04, 2011

Christine McMahon, president and CEO of Fedcap, a non-profit organization for people facing barriers to employment, and Phillip Caprio Jr., president for the Atlantic Region of ISS Facility Services, Inc., a Fedcap business partner for 10 years, talk about Fedcap's new center in The Bronx and their overall mission.

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WNYC News

Slight Rise in Unemployment for City, State

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

New jobs figures for January indicate the state's unemployment rate rose slightly from the month before, from 8.2 to 8.3 percent.

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It's A Free Country ®

Where We Stand: The State of Our Union

Friday, January 21, 2011

As President Obama gets ready to address the country on the State of the Union on Tuesday, here at It’s A Free Country we thought we ought to do our own check-in, so here are some stats on where we stand. 

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It's A Free Blog

My Background with Federal Background Checks

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I remember my background check. I thought it was intrusive, a violation of my privacy and unnecessary.

Now, 17 years later, the U.S. Supreme Court has passed on the very question that's been sitting at the back of my mind, ever since: Does the government have the power to insist that federal employees candidly answer intrusive personal questions — including whether they have received treatment or counseling for illegal drug use?

For the Supreme Court, the answer was so clear, it was a slam-dunk: 8-0 voting yes.

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Transportation Nation

Study: Biking Infrastructure Creates More Jobs Than Auto-Based Road Projects

Friday, January 14, 2011

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation)  This study comes to us via Ray LaHood, the U.S. Transportation Secretary.  It's brief -- but by giving it the imprimatur of his blog, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is forcing us to pay attention.

Workers install bike lane. Photo: Marianne McCune, WNYC

The Political Economy Research Institute, a University of Massachusetts, Amherst-linked public policy group, looked at 2008 data from Baltimore, and found that while road projects created about 7 jobs per million dollars spent, bike projects created 11-14 jobs per million, and pedestrian projects, 11.

The report says  this is because bicycling and pedestrian projects have a high ratio of engineers to construction workers, and that engineering jobs are both more labor intensive and have a great "multiplier" effect -- meaning each engineering job creates more demand for labor in supporting positions, like clerical jobs.

We are fascinated that LaHood is calling this to our attention, particularly at a time when road builders are giving a bit of a sneer to the Obama livability agenda.

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

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The Takeaway

Deconstructing Minimum Wage and 12-Cent Raises

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On January 1, about 650,000 minimum wage workers in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington saw their paychecks rise by up to 12 cents per hour. Who makes the minimum wage these days, and is it enough to live on?

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