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The Brian Lehrer Show

Moving Working Families Forward

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

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The Takeaway

Obama Withdraws from Stricter Smog Standards

Monday, September 05, 2011

Last Friday, President Obama withdrew a new draft of the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards. This means smog standards will not be updated but instead will remain at the same level since 2008 — levels that George W. Bush’s science advisers declared inadequate. Current EPA administrator Lisa Jackson declared this decision "not legally defensible." Obama cited regulatory uncertainty and burden as the reasons for his decision.

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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

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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The Takeaway

Americans Becoming More Financially 'Fragile'

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The age-old, personal finance rule-of-thumb is that every American household should have about three months salary tucked away in savings in the case of a really rainy day. In the the best of times, Americans are pretty poor savers; so, how feasible is a three-month financial cushion in these troubled economic times? A new study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research decided to find out. Researchers asked Americans whether or not they would be able to raise $2,000 in cash within thirty days. The results of the poll may surprise you.

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The Takeaway

New Evidence of America's Financial Fragility

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Unfortunately, Americans have always been terrible at saving: There have been lots of surveys and statistics that have proven this through the years. But a new survey provides shocking evidence that not only do many people not have any emergency savings on hand, they don’t even have a Plan B – no credit, no family to rely on, no belongings to pawn. They are the “financially fragile.”

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WNYC News

Financial 411: Coping With Workplace Stress in a Stressful Economy

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

These days, it's one of the few things you can count on in this economy: rising stress levels at work.  We'll talk about coping in a stressful economy.

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The Takeaway

How to Get a Job After College

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The job market has been tough for college grads in the past few years. As we near yet another cycle of transitions, we’re taking a look at the current state of the job market, and checking in with recent graduates about what they’ve been facing. Takeaway contributor Beth Kobliner is here. Author of "Get a Financial Life,” she is also an appointee to the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability.

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The Takeaway

Minimum Wage Increase Coming to Several States

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This month, minimum wage workers in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington will see paycheck increases of three to 12 cents per hour. For those earning low wages, increases do help with living expenses, but is such a small raise really noticeable? We speak with Ashley Kinsinger, who has worked for minimum wage as a supermarket cashier, and Beth Kobliner, work contributor for The Takeaway about the issue.

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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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The Takeaway

Long Tradition of Holiday Bonuses Likely To Continue

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Many sounds, sights and traditions have long been hallmarks of December…from decorating a Christmas tree to the singing of carols. And at least one seasonal tradition is specific to the workplace: the holiday bonus. But where did this tradition come from? And in our current economy, will it disappear?

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The Takeaway

Congress Weighs Unemployment Benefits

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Earlier this month, a bill to extend benefits for three months for the long-term unemployed was defeated in Congress. The cost of extending benefits would have equaled roughly $12 billion.

But while Capitol Hill has thus far been unwilling to spend $12 billion for the unemployed, Republicans on the Hill have also announced their intention to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans. The price tag to do so for 2011? Roughly $36 billion.

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The Takeaway

So Long to Affirmative Action in Utah?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

For this week's segment on the workplace, we look at the battle over affirmative action. Arizona just passed anti-affirmative action legislation earlier this month, and soon, Utah could follow suit.  An anti-affirmative action bill could be reintroduced for a vote in the Utah House of Representatives early next year. With a new crop of Republicans taking over for ousted Democrats after the mid-term elections, the bill looks more and more likely to pass.

For details on this bill and its implications, we speak with KCPW reporter Elizabeth Zeigler, in Utah.

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The Takeaway

Your Take: What Can Get You Fired?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yesterday we asked: What is a sackable offense at your place of work? And you gave us plenty of responses, from your own personal stories to the larger questions about getting sacked. 

On facebook, James wrote: 

Employers are enjoying their control over employees. I know of a company that is so petty, they are terminating all their long time employees and hiring newbies for less... Things are going to get worse before they get better; if they ever do!

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The Takeaway

Delayed Dreams and Low Pay for the Malemployed

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

We all know the words unemployment and underemployment, but are you familiar with the term "malemployment?" Chances are, even if you don’t know the word, you know some who’s suffering through it. Malemployment, unlike underemployment, isn’t about workers having too little work. It’s about college degree holders working jobs that don’t require college degrees. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Reshaping the Work-Family Debate

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Joan Williams discusses why the United States has the most family-hostile public policy in the developed world, and she shows how that disadvantages men as well as women. In Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter, Williams looks at why new mothers are often pushed out by discriminating and inflexible workplaces that pit men against woman, and she examines the often-ignored role of class in work-family issues.

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The Takeaway

A Small Time Business Owner Competes with Unemployment Benefits

Friday, September 24, 2010

Anthony Fraccia hoped that offering a job in Michigan at his small business — a part-time position that would become full-time depending on performance — he'd get plenty of applicants. But one potential employee who called told him they wouldn't take the job because "I make more on unemployment." It took a minute for it all to sink in, but it left Fraccia wondering if extending unemployment benefits was actually bad for business.

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The Takeaway

Social Security Disability Insurance: Worthwhile or Wasteful?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

As the economic climate continues to suffer, the number of former workers seeking Social Security disability benefits has spiked.

Ten years ago, roughly five million disabled workers collected Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). Today, more than eight million ex-workers do. And as the economic climate of America continues to suffer, the number of SSDI applications continues to rise. This year, they’re up 21 percent over last year.

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The Takeaway

Discrimination and Language: The Word 'Boy'

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Sometimes a word is just a word. But other times, it’s an indicator of something more troubling on the part of the speaker. Take, for example, the word “boy.” When being used to refer to a small child, most of us don’t think twice. But when the word “boy” refers to an adult black man, and the speaker is his white supervisor who’s just passed him up for a promotion, it takes on a much different meaning.

It’s for this reason that John Hithon, an employee of the Tyson chicken processing plant in Gadsden, Alabama, sued his employers for workplace discrimination.

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