Annual Unemployment rate
Disproportionate Unemployment Filling the Line
Published Friday, June 26th, 2009
The news of unemployment may be all around us right now, but what is not really understood is the makeup of the unemployment percentage. The overall number is just that: a composite of different numbers, averaged together, and displayed as a percentage of the overall unemployed among the labor force. For example, “The Labor Force” is just a way of describing us all, blue collar and white collar. Yet, there are those who can withstand recession woes (who can save for a rainy day) and those who cannot (check to check living). What is missing from that single unemployment percentage number is that the recession does not hit everyone equally.
The pre-recession unemployment was at 5% of the overall labor force. Yet, now we are edging on 9.4% unemployment with 5.7 million jobs lost since the beginning of the recession, as May provided 345,000 new jobless claims. Making up a majority of those in the unemployment line are manufacturing and construction workers who tend to be less educated and/or recent immigrants. For minorities such as the black and Latino groups, the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the rate of unemployment is edging on 20%, leading many to fall instantly into poverty and straining State budgets.
Unemployment Benefits of the ARRA 2009
Published Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Within the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), there are provisions for those who have become unemployed. Here are some of the major benefits now available. According to the ARRA, a new temporary Federal Additional Compensation program that suggests states up the unemployment benefit $25 per week for the period beginning February 22, 2009. States may also extend the number of weeks benefits available from 13 to 20. The average length of unemployment is 22-weeks. The Act also creates a tax break which exempts the first $2,400 of workers’ 2009 unemployment benefits from taxation. As for COBRA health benefits, there are 2 changes. Eligible individuals are now only required to pay 35% of the COBRA premium instead of the full amount. Another change allows beneficiaries to elect coverage under a second special election period, which skirts HIPAA’s pre-existing condition exclusion rules. Older workers will also benefit, as an additional $120 million is earmarked for the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which trains older workers for new jobs. Further, states that modernize their unemployment compensation systems to include those workers who are looking for part-time work will receive federal dollars to compensate.
These are welcome changes as the unemployment rate for the nation has reached, as of March, 7.9% of the eligible workforce. That is a 3.4 percentage point increase from March 2008. Nationally, those who are searching for less than full-time for economic reasons have reached 8.6 million workers according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, the recession has had an adverse affect on those who are of the age to retire as the rate of those exiting the work force has decreased from 1.6 million to 1.3 million between 2000 and 2008.
Only Health Care Survives the Rise in Job Cuts
Published Tuesday, March 10th, 2009
Layoff announcements from last month continued across the industrial spectrum, according to the US Department of Labor, including Macy’s, Time Warner Cable, Estee Lauder, Goodyear, and General Motors. Of the sectors, the service-sector fell the most at 375,000. This includes the businesses and professional services 180,000), financial sector (44,000), retail (40,000), leisure and hospitality (33,000). Temporary employment fell 80,000, and government shed 9,000. Of the goods-producing industries, jobs fell by 276,000. Manufacturing firms cut 168,000 jobs, and construction lost 104,000 jobs. The only bright spot that continues to add jobs is the health care sector, which rose 26,900.
During February, the US economy shed 651,000 jobs, which bring the cumulative job loss to over 4.4 million from December 2007 according to the U.S. Labor Department. Also in this report, December and January’s declines were revised to show much steeper declines. The unemployment rate jumped a 0.5 percentage point to 8.1%, the highest since December 1983. Including the part-time workers, the rate jumps to 14.8% last month, which is 6 percentage points higher than last year. A bit of good news, the average hourly earnings increased $0.03, or 0.2%, to $18.47.
Jobless Claims to 25 Year High
Published Thursday, November 6th, 2008
As reported from the Department of Labor, the number of jobless claims has reached a 25 year high. President-elect Barack Obama has put forth a few economic stimulus proposals, which may gain bipartisan support, to increase the economic growth. A few of his ideas include temporarily exempting the unemployed from having to pay income tax on their unemployment benefits, extending unemployment benefits, spending more on infrastructure to create jobs, and temporary tax credits for businesses that create jobs in the United States.
The most current data available shows that the number of jobless claims increased by 122,000 for the week ended Oct .18 leading the number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits to 3,843,000. A year ago, the number stood at 2.59 million. For the four week period ending in Oct. 18, the moving average was 477,000, this time last year: 324,000. The number of jobless claims spiked in late September to 499,000, the highest level recorded since the 517,000 claims filed in wake of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The Department of Labor’s monthly unemployment report states that 200,000 jobs were lost in October and that the unemployment rate grew to 6.3% from 6.1% a month earlier.
U.S. Department of Labor: Unemployed - http://www.dol.gov/dol/audience/aud-unemployed.htm
The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of the job seekers, wage earners, and retirees of the United States by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities for profitable employment, protecting their retirement and health care benefits, helping employers find workers, strengthening free collective bargaining, and tracking changes in employment, prices, and other national economic measurements.
U.S. Job Corps - http://jobcorps.dol.gov/about.htm
Job Corps is a no-cost education and vocational training program administered by the U.S. Department of Labor that helps young people ages 16 through 24 get a better job, make more money, and take control of their lives.