A study released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) finds that 400,000 jobs could be lost if Congress fails to extend the federally funded extended Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits program when it expires at the end of 2012. Unemployment benefits not only provide a lifeline to unemployed workers struggling to get by, but also provide critical support for the economy. According to EPI, “economists widely recognize that extending unemployment benefits is one of the most effective tools for generating jobs in a downturn” because cash-strapped jobless workers immediately spend their UI benefits, and this spending generates activity throughout the economy. EPI finds that if Congress refuses to extend UI, the unemployment rate will be 0.3% higher next year than it will be if Congress continues the program.
The economy added 171,000 new jobs in October—the 32nd straight month of positive job growth—according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The nation’s unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9%, up slightly from September’s 7.8%. The labor force grew by more than half a million workers in October, which is a positive sign, as more workers are seeking and finding jobs. The number of discouraged and involuntary part-time workers has fallen since last year.
The newly created jobs exceeded most economists’ predictions of 100,000 to 125,000 new jobs for the month. Also, September payrolls were revised to a gain of 148,000 from an initially reported 114,000, and August to 192,000 from 142,000.
Americans faced with a tough economy face significant struggles when they lose their jobs. Since the 1930s, workers who are without jobs through no fault of their own have had the safety net of the unemployment compensation program to serve as a backup plan until they get back on their feet. Under new rules implemented by Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his allies in the state legislature, it's getting harder and harder for working families who have lost their jobs to obtain the unemployment compensation that they have earned.
The unemployment rate declined from 8.1% in August to 7.8% in September, with 114,000 jobs added last month, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There has been positive private-sector job growth for more than two and a half years. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says this morning’s jobs report:
confirms that the economy is finally beginning to build some momentum, as we work to dig out of the devastatingly deep hole that President Obama inherited from George W. Bush and a generation of flawed policies. Now we need the President and Congress to build on this momentum and keep their focus on job creation, including by passing the American Jobs Act.
This is the first of a four-part series describing what went wrong with America’s economy and how to fix it. See Part 2 tomorrow—and please leave a comment to tell us what you think. (Click the chart to enlarge.)
The Great Recession officially ended more than three years ago, but working families know there’s still something wrong with the U.S. economy. If we want to fix our economy, we first have to understand what’s wrong with it. (Click chart on the left to enlarge).
Starting today, in a series of four posts and infographics, we’ll spell out what we see as the short-term and long-term causes of our economic problems and we’ll point to specific solutions.
Just who was Mitt Romney referring to in his secretly recorded comments at a Boca Raton, Fla., fundraiser as people who don’t “take personal responsibility and care for themselves”?
61 percent of them work but don’t earn enough to owe income tax.
17 percent are students (who will pay plenty of taxes once they’re out of school), military families, people with disabilities and people who have lost their jobs—including victims of outsourcers like, well, Mitt Romney.
Young workers in the euro zone have been among the hardest hit by the global economic crisis, and now even those in regions like East Asia, where economies have remained strong through the recession, are struggling to get jobs, a new International Labor Organization (ILO) report shows (click chart to enlarge).
America’s workers are existing on the edge of financial disaster: 40 percent say they live paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent CareerBuilder survey. Worse, 37 percent say they sometimes need to rely on the next payday to make ends meet. Although the percentage of those literally living for payday has decreased from 42 percent in 2011 and from 46 percent in 2008, the height of the recession, this is not good news.