Posts Tagged ‘employment’

The 40 Percent

October 17, 2015

The 40 Percent

On-call, part-time, provisional, and non-permanent workers, freelancers, temporary contract workers, independent contractors and consultants. Put them all together and you’ve got about 40 percent of America’s workers.

It breaks down like this:

Agency temps: 1.3%
On-call workers (work when needed): 3.5%
Contract company workers: 3.0%
Independent contractors: 12.9%
Self-employed workers (shop owners, etc.) 3.3%
Part-time workers: 16.2%

It’s possible to define this group down and pretend that many of these under-employed, under-paid workers are “independent small business owners,” but that doesn’t make their lives any less precarious. Many contingent workers in this “1099 Economy” are also contingent social service clients.


October Employment Numbers

November 8, 2014

October Employment Numbers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released the jobless numbers for October 2014. There’s good news, not-so-good news, and bad news.

Good news: The official unemployment rate is:5.8%214,000 new jobs were added to the workforce last month, 2.3 million so far this year.

Not-So-Good News: The real unemployment rate is 11.1% (U6, includes people who no longer get unemployment benefits, need work but have stopped looking because it’s futile, or have only found part-time work). Learn more here.

Bad News: Wages for those new jobs are low. Very low, down where they were in 2009. And 2.9 million people have been out of work for half a year or more.

The economy may suck for working people, but Wall Street is doing just fine, thank you.


“America’s dual economy,” Heather Long and Patrick Gillespie, CNN Money

“American workers are still waiting for their raise,” Matthew Yglesias, Vox

“Job Growth Is Picking Up. But What About All the Sidelined Workers?” Josh Bivens, Wall Street Journal blog

“Black Unemployment Falls to 10.9 Percent,” Joyce Jones, BET News


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Image (from a WPA photo) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Congress Gives the Jobless a Christmas Gift

December 28, 2013

Congress Gives the Jobless a Christmas Gift

“More than 1 million Americans are bracing for a harrowing, post-Christmas jolt as extended federal unemployment benefits come to a sudden halt this weekend, with potentially significant implications for the recovering U.S. economy. A tense political battle likely looms when Congress reconvenes in the new, midterm election year.”

— “1.3 Million Losing Unemployment Benefits Saturday,” Bradley Klapper, Associated Press


The 1963 March on Washington Started in 1941

August 28, 2013

The 1963 March on Washington Started in 1941

The Civil Rights demonstration on August 28, 1963 was called the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Jobs came first, since the right to vote means little without job opportunity and a living wage. The event, produced in 8 weeks, had really been 22 years in the making. A. Philip Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters planned such a march for equal employment opportunity in 1941, and was only dissuaded when President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, banning job discrimination in the World War II defense industries.


165,000 New Jobs In April. Maybe.

May 5, 2013

165,000 New Jobs in April. Maybe.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced employment figures for April 2013: 165,000 new jobs. No one knows exactly what that means, but one thing is certain: This number will certainly change. Does that indicate government ineptitude or political manipulation? No.


Low Unemployment Rate, But Low Job Numbers

April 6, 2013

Low UnemploymentRate, But Low Job Numbers

U.S. jobs grew by only 88,000 in March, less than half of recent monthly job increases, yet the unemployment rate was the lowest in four years, 7.6 percent. How come? People stopped looking, went back to school, or were otherwise no longer counted as unemployed. Was job growth a victim of austerity anticipation? Opinions differ.


There Are Only 8 Gazillion Billable Hours In A Year ….

April 1, 2013

There Are Only 8 Gazillion Billable Hours In A Year ....

“The billable-hour system is the way most lawyers in big firms charge clients, but it serves no one. Well, almost no one. It brings most equity partners in those firms great wealth. Law firm leaders call it a leveraged pyramid. Most associates call it a living hell.”


A Living Wage for All Working Americans

February 15, 2013

“Tonight, let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on Earth, no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.” Barack Obama, State of the Union Address, February 12, 2013

“I’ve been dealing with the minimum wage issue for the last 28 years that I’ve been in elected office, and when you raise the price of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it.” House Speaker John Boehner (R, OH-8).

“Economists: A $9 minimum wage won’t hurt jobs,” Natasha Lennard, Salon

“A history of the minimum wage since 1938 [chart],” Annalyn Kurtz, CNN Money

“Obama proposes $9/hour minimum wage. OK, says business owner,” Elizabeth Fuller-Wright, Christian Science Monitor

“40% Of Americans Now Make Less Than 1968 Minimum Wage,”  Dave Johnson, Campaign for America’s Future

“Minimum Wage 101,” Mike Konczal, The American Prospect

“Minimum wage a bad idea? Ask execs who pay even more,” Charles Wilbanks and Alain Sherter, CBS News

“Minimum Wage Battle May Wound Republicans,” Steven T. Dennis, Roll Call

“Who would be affected by President Obama’s proposed minimum wage increase?” Natilie Sabadish and Doug Hall, Economic Policy Institute

“Why isn’t raising the minimum wage considered a no-brainer?” Robert Reich, Salon

“If You Notice That $9 Is More Than $7.25, Are You a Communist?” Kris Benson, Wonkette


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Healthcare Reform & Jobs

November 12, 2012

Healthcare Reform & Jobs

Will “ObamaCare” kill jobs? The new Affordable Care Act healthcare reform law is modeled after the Massachusetts healthcare law, “RomneyCare,” and the Urban Institute recently studied the situation there. So has RomneyCare killed jobs in Massachusetts?


“Will the Affordable Care Act Be a Job Killer?” Lisa Dubay, John Holahan, Sharon K. Long, and Emily Lawton, Urban Institute Health Policy Center

But beware. ObamaCare will affect your job if your boss is a lunatic, right-wing, GOP ideologue:


CEOs to Workers: ‘Vote for Romney or Get Fired’

October 21, 2012

CEOs to Workers: 'Workers for Romney or Get Fired'

Ex-financier Mitt Romney in a conference call to corporate CEOs in June:

“I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope — I hope you pass those along to your employees. Nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision and of course doing that with your family and your kids as well.”



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