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Jobless Rate Declines from 8.3% to 8.1%, 96,000 Jobs Added in August

The unemployment rate declined from 8.3 percent in July to 8.1 percent in August, with 96,000 jobs added last month, according to data out this morning from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The improvement in the unemployment rate was due to workers dropping out of the labor force, not to an increase in employed workers, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). 

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Labor of Love or REAL Work?

Eileen Boris (foreground) and Jennifer Klein authored Caring for America./Bill Petros

The women and men—mostly women—who care for our aging and ill relatives, providing both physical and emotional support, sometimes for many years, are among a workforce that has long been underpaid, overlooked and, all-too-often, looked down upon. Yet these home health aides, personal care assistants and domestic workers toil in occupations described by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as among the fastest growing in the United States.

So what does this say about us as a nation?

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President Obama: 'I Have Never Been More Hopeful About America'

Many people told President Barack Obama saving the auto industry was too bold, too risky, Vice President Joe Biden told the delegates at the Democratic National Convention tonight. President Obama met with policy and economic experts, members of Congress and other advisers to decide how to handle the imminent bankruptcy of Chrysler and General Motors in 2009. Despite the opposition, the president knew what a bankruptcy would mean to the auto industry workers and the American people. "He understood something they didn’t. He understood that this wasn’t just about cars. It was about the Americans who built those cars and the America they built."

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NLRB Decision a Victory for Illinois Mine Workers

Photo courtesy of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO Flickr stream:

The decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) yesterday that upheld last December's decision by an administrative law judge (ALJ) that the Mine Workers (UMWA) fairly won the representation election at Big Ridge Inc.'s Willow Lake coal mine in Harrisburg, Ill., is a tremendous victory for miners, says UMWA President Cecil Roberts.

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Crystal Sugar Workers Appeal to Shareholders, Neighbor to Neighbor

Sugar Neighbor 2

This is a cross-post from Crystal Greed, the blog for workers locked out of their jobs at American Crystal Sugar plants in Iowa, North Dakota and Minnesota.

Beet growers who own Crystal Sugar—the cooperative that’s been locking 1,300 workers out of their jobs for the past 13 months—haven’t had to walk through a picket line on their way to work each day.

Until now.

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The War on Voting: The Southern Strategy

With the spotlight on Southern states during both of the political conventions, a look at voter suppression efforts in that region is revealing. Diversity is broadening daily in Southern states—while the Republican-led war on voting rages there, perhaps harder than in any other region.

In "Voter Suppression: the Confederacy Rises Again," blogger Ari Berman, with The Nation magazine, lays out the details.

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Jobs Crisis Spreads to Young Workers Worldwide

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 (ILOreport shows (click chart to enlarge).

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Victory for Texas Nurses: More Than 1,500 RNs Win First Contracts

Photo courtesy of National Nurses United (NNU).

In a major win for nurses, patients and three Texas communities, registered nurses (RNs) in El Paso, Corpus Christi and Brownsville gave final approval to contracts yesterday in first-ever collective bargaining agreements, reports National Nurses United (NNU). 

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Education: Affordable and Accessible Only for the Privileged?

Photo of the National Labor College 2012 graduation by Page One Photography.

2007 Boston Globe report on college admissions data that has been making the rounds on Twitter lately reveals that “about 15 percent of freshmen enrolled at America's highly selective colleges are white teens who failed to meet their institutions' minimum admissions standards,” most of whom “are students who gained admission through their ties to people the institution wanted to keep happy, with alumni, donors, faculty members, administrators and politicians topping the list.”

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Labor Day Memories from the 1950s in Cleveland

For most of us who lived in the blue-collar and lower socioeconomic areas bounded by Buckeye Road, 93rd Street, Lee Road and Miles Avenue (John Adams High School district) in Cleveland, Labor Day was a major holiday—a day filled with celebrations, fireworks, parades with marching bands, veterans and labor union members wearing their union logos (e.g., Teamsters, AFL-CIO, Steelworkers). 

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