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More Jobs, Flat Wages: Trade and the Trade Deficit Continue to Hurt Us

April’s employment report showed a gain of 223,000 jobs and a further one-tenth percent decline in the unemployment rate to 5.4%. The good news is the report shows the economy continues to nudge forward and create jobs for newcomers into the labor force. The bad news is the economy is not growing fast enough to raise wages.

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223,000 New Jobs in April Dip Jobless Rate to 5.4%

223,000 New Jobs in April Dip Jobless Rate to 5.4%

The economy added 223,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 5.4% compared to 5.5% in March, according to figures released this morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of new jobs is a big increase from March’s revised downward number of 85,000.

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Does That Star-Spangled Banner Yet Wave?

Courtney Jenkins

Welcome to Baltimore, Md. My home for the entire 27 years I’ve been on this earth. Home of crab cakes, Old Bay and our nation’s national anthem, "The Star- Spangled Banner." Baltimore also is home to some not-so-great things like poverty, high unemployment, crime, drugs and a public education system that lacks the proper resources for students and teachers. Baltimore could be any city in the United States today.

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Reich: The Minimum Wage Should Be $15

Economist Robert Reich concisely and clearly explains seven reasons why the minimum wage should be $15 per hour. The video undermines not only general opposition to raising the minimum wage, but also the arguments against making the minimum wage a living wage.

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Economic News Roundup

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), Think Progress, the Institute for Policy Studies and Robert Reich have released important research, news and commentary about the economy recently. Here's a look at some of the key facts they have uncovered about the U.S. economy.

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Workers and Wages Aren’t a ‘Cost,’ We’re an Investment

Reading today’s Politico Morning Shift column, this sentence stood out in a short piece on Wisconsin Republicans’ efforts to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law: “That’s an 80-year law requiring that workers on construction jobs for local and state governments be paid a wage that the state determines to represent the prevailing norm—a calculation that tends to raise labor costs.” The bias in that construction is pretty simple, and it's one that is often repeated by journalists despite it being a very clear anti-worker frame: Workers are a “cost” and not an investment and not the part of a business that does the work that creates the company’s profits. In other words, this common construction says workers are a pesky obstacle instead of the source of revenue a company needs to survive and grow.

photo courtesy of tSeve Rhodes

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7 Key Findings in EPI's New Report on Race and Unemployment

Photo courtesy Simon Cunningham on Flickr

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) released a new report this week that takes a deeper look at unemployment, particularly when it comes to racial disparities in the recovery from the Great Recession. The report, written by Valerie Wilson, argues that the projected decline in unemployment for 2015 won't lift African Americans out of the employment crater caused by the recession.

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Let’s Call It Like It Is

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released data on the labor market’s performance in February. The online version of their report links to supplemental tables normally left out of stories. One of those tables shows the unemployment rates of young workers 16 to 24 years old, by whether they are enrolled in school and by their education attainment and race. The table for those who are no longer enrolled and presumably completed with their education was very telling. It reported those out of school, white high school drop-outs had an unemployment rate of 17.5%, while black college graduates had an unemployment rate of 17.7%.

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Productivity vs. Wages

In the latest Worker's Watch from the Alaska AFL-CIO, Deputy Political Director Kim Hays explains the disconnect between recent increases in worker productivity and stagnating wages. Take a look.

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8 Things You Need to Know About That Gallup Poll on Trade

Photo courtesy Stop Fast Track on Flickr

On Monday, Gallup released a new poll on America's attitudes toward trade. Before getting too caught up in potential spin regarding the poll, it's important that anyone interested in the state of public opinion on trade think about a few key points. Here are eight things you should know about the poll and what Americans think about trade-related issues.

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