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  • The Skills Gap Might Be a 'Zombie Idea'

    The popular theory is that there's a "skills gap," a wide gulf between those looking for a job and the necessary know-how and certification that employers require. This trope has become a fixture in most media coverage of the economy and the plight of the long-term unemployed. Today, in a New York Times op ed, Paul Krugman explains why it just might be nonsense.

  • The Department of Labor Has Your Back

    The federal Department of Labor (DOL) budget for fiscal year 2015 is official, and it includes new programs and additional protections for workers and employees. This is exciting news for millions of Americans, including the long-term unemployed, students who want to work when they graduate, and current employees whose employers may not be following the law as they should. Check out the changes that are being put in place to help you.

  • If You're Unemployed for More Than 6 Months, Getting a Job Becomes Really Hard

    Lately, we tend to talk the fate of the long-term unemployed in terms of extending their unemployment benefits, partly because the machinations of Congress are easier to discuss than the vague hope that folks who've been out of work for 27 weeks or more will be able to find jobs. Worse, there's good evidence that many of them won't find work -- perhaps ever.

  • Low Wages Are Poverty Wages

    How would you like to put in full-time hours at your job, work hard to perform your job well, manage your household, and yet still spend time waiting in lines for general assistance and charity to pay for your basic expenses, including food and heat? If you are a member of the growing population of minimum- and low-wage workers, this could be you. And the problem affects all of us.

  • Senate Reaches Bipartisan Deal on Long-Term Unemployment Benefits

    Yesterday, the Senate announced a bill that would extend unemployment benefits for the two million Americans whose benefits lapsed in December, for a period of five months.

  • President Obama Wants YOU to Receive Overtime Pay

    Good news coming down the pike for the millions of American workers who have been exempted from overtime pay. The New York Times reports that tomorrow, Thursday, March 13, President Obama will direct the federal Department of Labor to stop classifying a series of jobs as "professional" or "executive." How will this affect you?

  • BLS Jobs Report: Economy Beats Expectations, Adds 175,000 Jobs in February

    Economists were predicting gains of 152,000 jobs, and unemployment falling from 6.6 percent to 6.5 percent. This morning's jobs report, on the other hand, showed 175,000 added jobs, and a slightly higher unemployment rate of 6.7 percent. Add that to an ADP report on Wednesday that was worse than expected and you have a fairly confusing picture of the economy. So what the heck is going on here?

  • Seattle Debates Raising Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour

    Yesterday, hundreds of minimum-wage earning workers packed an assembly at Seattle Town Hall to encourage Mayor Ed Murray's Income Inequality Advisory Committee to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Washington's current minimum wage of $9.32 an hour is the highest in the country, but that doesn't mean it's enough to support a family, workers contend.

  • ADP Jobs Report: Economy Adds 139,000 Jobs in February

    The private sector added 139,000 jobs last month, a number that's "well below average," according to Carlos Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of ADP, which compiles the report using its payroll data.

  • Pentagon Food Service Workers Allege Illegal Retaliation for Strike Against Contractor Employer
    Recently, The Huffington Post reported that food service workers in the Pentagon filed a complaint against their private-sector employer. They say that they were illegally retaliated against in response to asserting their right to protest for better working conditions.
  • The Sometimes Surprising Truth About the Value of the Minimum Wage

    The real value of the minimum wage is going down. Ten different charts on two different websites paint the same picture of how the relative value of the minimum wage has declined over time. In short, when you take inflation and cost of living data into account, minimum-wage workers can buy less for their earnings than they could a few years ago.

  • Are Prevailing Wage Laws Discriminatory?
    If you work as a contractor on projects with federal funding, prevailing wage laws may be pertinent to your rate of pay. An opinion piece published in the Albuqurque Journal makes the argument that "prevailing wage" laws are discriminatory. Understand what these laws say and how they affect you.
  • CBO: Minimum Wage Increase Would Have Mixed Results

    The Congressional Budget Office released a report this week examining the effects of raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, the number proposed by President Obama and the current minimum rate for federal workers. Called The Effects of a Minimum-Wage Increase on Employment and Family Income, the report found that although a hike would lift 900,000 families out of poverty, it would also reduce total employment by 500,000 workers.

  • Well, at Least Your CEO Is Doing OK

    While many of us consider unemployment numbers and whether jobs will be available, hope long-term unemployment benefits are extended, or root for an increase in the minimum wage, there is, of course, at least one person in most companies who seems to be doing OK -- the CEO. In fact, you may be surprised how OK they really are.

  • When One Job Won't Pay the Bills

    Officially, only 4.9 percent of working Americans toil at more than one job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's down from 5.2 percent in 2008, at the height of the Recession. So why are some commentators concerned that workers are being forced to work harder than ever to make ends meet? Three words: the underground economy.

  • Fewer People Lost Their Jobs in 2013, But Hiring Is Still Slow

    The economy added a net 1.9 million jobs over the course of 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Job Openings and Labor Turnover survey, which was released Friday. Over the course of last year, 51.4 million people lost or voluntarily quit their jobs, while 53.3 million people were hired. Those are the lowest job lost numbers for any year in the 21st century -- but don't celebrate just yet.

  • How Do the Long-Term Unemployed Survive, When Benefits Stop?

    Six weeks after the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program expired, Congress appears to be no closer to an agreement that would restore benefits to more than 1 million Americans whose regular unemployment has lapsed. A recent Washington Post article looks at some of the creative solutions some workers have cobbled together, to keep themselves afloat.

  • BLS Jobs Report: Economy Adds Just 113,000 Jobs, Unemployment Dips to 6.6 Percent

    This morning, the Labor Department released the Employment Situation Summary for January, and the numbers are lower than economists had predicted: 113,000 jobs added last month, as opposed to the expected 185,000 jobs. This comes on the heels of Wednesday's ADP report, which saw 175,000 jobs added in January, and a lackluster December 2013, in which the BLS said the economy added only 75,000 jobs (revised upward from 74,000).

  • Will Obamacare Kill 2 Million Jobs?

    Recently, the Congressional Budget Office released an updated report, which included data on the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday, several conservative commentators and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor fired off tweets, Cantor claiming that "millions of hardworking Americans will lose their jobs" because of the Affordable Care Act." So will this come to pass?

  • 3 Reasons Employers Aren't Hiring Recent College Grads

    The unemployment rate for the youngest members of the workforce is significantly higher than the general population -- 14.8 percent, in fact, as of November, 2013, according to the Center for American Progress, compared to the 7 percent or so we've been seeing for the general population. All indications are that Millennial workers are not recovering from the Great Recession at the same rate as other age groups. But why?