One of the ugliest side effects of the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression is the continuing practice among many employers of refusing to consider applications of job seekers who are unemployed.
But the New York City Council yesterday overwhelmingly (44-4) passed a bill that prohibits discrimination against the unemployed in hiring.
Paul Krugman reminds us in his New York Times column today that the real economic problem right now is a jobs crisis—not a deficit crisis. The unemployment rate may have dipped, but the number of jobless workers is more stubborn. So why aren’t pundits and the rest of the Inside-the-Beltway crew screaming about unemployment?
The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO partnered with the United Way of Erie County last week to host an unemployment resources fair for jobless workers as part of Project Back on Track, a new program intended to help the unemployed. Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Richard Bloomingdale says several more resource fairs are planned around the state.
Older workers who lose their jobs have the highest rate of long-term unemployment compared to any other age group. In 2011, more than half of jobless workers, ages 50 years and older, were out of work for more than six months. The trend continues this year. Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project (NELP), told the Senate Special Committee on Aging this afternoon:
The prospects are dim for older workers who lose their jobs.
The Republican-controlled Georgia state legislature ended its session. In a victory for working families—and for the Bill of Rights—the anti-free speech bill (S.B. 469), that brought union, faith and tea party activists together to protest the proposal to subject picketers to big fines, died. But not before lawmakers, in a last-ditch attempt to pass the bill in some form, stripped the picketing provisions and turned S.B. 469 into a purely anti-union bill that would affect dues deduction for public employees. But the bipartisan coalition opposed to the S.B. 469 held firm, and lawmakers decided not to take up the bill.
But the victory was bittersweet. Republicans still managed to pass bills that cut jobless benefits severely and require some welfare applicants to pass drug tests.
Stunning, just stunning. Nearly 17,000 people applied for jobs at a Ford plant in Kentucky, according to USA Today. The applications are now going into a lottery and Ford will determine who gets to proceed to be considered for the 1,800 jobs that pay $15.51 an hour. No doubt not everyone who applied is unemployed, to be sure–but it’s likely a good number don’t have jobs.
The June jobs numbers, which came out on Friday, show just how dire and desperate the situation is for unemployed workers. As I travel the country, I hear the heart-wrenching stories over and over—including many of those who have been out of work for months and are on the verge of losing their homes. So this week’s White House announcement on helping homeowners with foreclosures is welcome news. Amidst the worsening foreclosure crisis, millions of unemployed homeowners facing imminent foreclosure will finally get some relief through adjustments made by the Obama administration.
The nation’s unemployment rate jumped to 9 percent in April, up from March’s 8.8 percent, according to the latest government figures. But the monthly payroll survey shows the economy added 244,000 jobs, the largest monthly gain in five years.
On the eve of tomorrow’s unemployment report for April, we get this news from Fortune:
Profits of the 500 largest U.S. corporations soar by 81 percent ($318 billion), the third largest percentage gain in list history…Wal-Mart holds the number one spot for the second year in a row…Exxon Mobil leads profits with $30 billion, for the eighth year in row.