Friday, August 05, 2011
By Charlie Herman : Business and Economics Editor
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.”
Thursday, August 04, 2011
By Charlie Herman : Business and Economics Editor
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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?
Friday, July 22, 2011
By Luna Lin
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.
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.
Friday, June 24, 2011
By Ilya Marritz
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.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
By Kate Hinds
(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.
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.”
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
By Ilya Marritz
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.
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.
Friday, January 21, 2011
By Alec Hamilton : Assistant Producer, WNYC News
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.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
By Jami Floyd : IAFC Blogger
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.
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.
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.
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?