Posts Tagged ‘employment’



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Ohio lost 112,500 jobs due to trade with TPP countries – EPI

| 07 March 2016 | Ohio lost 112,500 jobs in 2015 resulting from the United States’ trade deficit with countries that are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute. That places Ohio sixth, in terms of the percentage of jobs lost to trade with TPP countries, among the 50 states and the District of Columbia ranked in the report released Thursday by the liberal Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The lost jobs represent nearly 2.2 percent of employment in Ohio, according to the analysis. (graphic)

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While the September jobs number was an absolute disaster, here is the real punchline: in September, the people not in the labor force soared by a whopping 579,000 to a record 94.6 million, up from the previous record 94.0, even as number of people employed – according to the household survey used to calculate the “5.1%” unemployment rate – tumbled by 236,000 to 148.8 million.


And as a result of this latest surge in people who aren’t working, nor want to work, the participation rate crashed yet again, and sliding from 62.6% to 62.4%, it was the lowest since October 1977.


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While the seasonally-adjusted headline Establishment Survey payroll print reported by the BLS moments ago may be indicative of an economy which the Fed will soon have to temper in an attempt to cool down, a closer read of the November payrolls report shows several other things that were not quite as rosy. First, the Household Survey was nowhere close to confirming the Establishment Survey data, suggesting jobs rose only by 4K from 147,283K to 147,287K, and furthermore, the breakdown was skewed fully in favor of Part-Time jobs, which rose by 77K while Full-Time jobs declined by 150K.


And then for those keeping tabs on the composition of the labor force, the same adverse trends indicated over the past 4 years have continued, with the participation rate remaining flat at 62.8%, essentially the lowest print since 1978, driven by a 69K worker increase in people not in the labor force.


The ratio of Civilian employment to the total population, which plunged during the onset of the recession, has still barely budged higher as shown in the chart below:


Finally, anyone hoping that young people, those aged 16-24 are finally entering the workforce in droves, sadly that is not the case once again, with the employed ranks of Americans in that age group down by 169K in the past month. The good news: aged workers, those 55 and over, just rose to a new all time high of 32.814 milllion.


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The number of Americans 16 and older who did not participate in the labor force climbed to a record high of 92,120,000 in June, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

This means that there were 92,120,000 Americans 16 and older who not only did not have a job, but did not actively seek one in the last four weeks.

That is up 111,000 from the 92,009,000 Americans who were not participating in the labor force in April.

In June, according to BLS, the labor force participation rate for Americans was 62.8 percent, matching a 36-year low. The participation rate is the percentage of the population that either has a job or actively sought one in the last four weeks.

In December, April, May, and now June, the labor force participation rate has been 62.8 percent.
Before December, the last time the labor force participation rate sank as low as 62.8 percent was in February 1978, when it was also 62.8 percent. At that time, Jimmy Carter was president.

At no time during the presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton or George W. Bush, did such a small percentage of the civilian non-institutional population either hold a job or at least actively seek one.

While the number of Americans not in the labor force increased, the unemployment rate dropped — from 6.3 percent in April to 6.1 percent in June.

@ http://patriotrising.com/2014/07/03/record-92120000-americans-working-looking/

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Introducing Anti-Unionol

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The Trends Few Dare Discuss: Social Security And The Decline In Full-Time Employment

Believing official reassurances based on Fantasyland projections of ever-rising payroll taxes and employment does not magically make the Social Security system viable.

Questioning the financial viability of the Social Security system is often taken as an attack on the program itself. Nothing could be further from reality. Anyone who truly wants Social Security to continue as is should take an active interest in structural trends rather than focusing all their energy on attacking those who question the official reassurances that the the system is sound until 2033.

The two primary trends are obvious:

1. A structural decline in full-time employment

2. A historically unprecedented increase in Social Security benefits paid

Take a look at this chart I prepared from St. Louis Federal Reserve and Social Security Administration (SSA) data: Social Security beneficiaries, by year

Notice that the ratio of full-time workers to SSA beneficiaries was comfortably higher than 2-to-1 for decades. Simply put, the number of full-time workers rose at roughly the same rate as the number of people drawing SSA benefits.

The full-time worker/beneficiary ratio was 2.56 in 1970 and 2.49 in 2000–basically the same ratio held for 30 years as full-time employment expanded along with the number of SSA beneficiaries.

But the trendlines are separating as the number of people drawing SSA benefits is soaring while the number of full-time jobs is stagnating. The increase in beneficiaries fro 1970 to 1980 was a steep 9.8 million, but full-time jobs increased by about 16 million despite the stagflationary economy.

The increases in beneficiaries in the next two decades was modest: 4.3 million more between 1980 and 1990, and 5.6 million more between 1990 and 2000. Meanwhile, the economy added roughly 30 million full-time jobs over those two decades.

The increase in beneficiaries between 2000 and 2010 was almost 10 million, while the number of full-time jobs in 2010 actually declined from 2000.

The ratio of full-time workers to SSA beneficiaries is now 2-to-1 and will fall below 2-to-1 as the number of beneficiaries rises.

The recession of 2008-9 revealed a deeply structural decline in full-time employment. Why focus on full-time employment? Only full-time workers pay enough payroll taxes to fund the system. Around 38 million workers make less than $10,000 a year, which means the SSA contributions they and their employers pay is on the order of $1,000 or so a year.

Workers paying in $1,000 or so a year (adjusted for inflation) will receive far more than their contributions in benefits, and so the system depends on higher-income workers.

The problem is full-time work is in structural decline for a number of reasons that aren’t going away: globalization, robotics, advances in software, fast-rising cost of employee healthcare benefits and so on. We can clearly see this structural decline in these charts:

Here is full-time employees as a percentage of the population, courtesy of Lance Roberts:

The same trend in a chart of civilian employment, which includes part-time jobs:

Labor’s share of the economy is in near-freefall:

Notice the trajectory of Social Security benefits: to the moon, while full-time employment has stagnated.

The Social Security system ran a $55 billion deficit in 2012, meaning that payroll tax receipts did not cover benefits paid. (Recall that SSA is “pay as you go,” meaning that current taxpayers fund the benefits paid to current beneficiaries.)

The fiction of the Trust Fund enables some intergovernmental sleight-of-hand, as the Treasury borrows money on the global bond market and pays the SSA interest on the fictional Trust Fund, but the bottom line is that the SSA deficit is funded by the Treasury borrowing money by selling Treasury bonds.

If the global economy slides into recession in the years ahead, as seems increasingly likely, full-time employment in the U.S. could slip to 100 million while the number of beneficiaries continues to soar by 10+ million a decade. All the official projections assume steady, strong increases in payroll taxes and full-time employment; the system’s deficits will explode higher if full-time employment sags while the number of beneficiaries increases from 57 million to 70 million and then on to 80 and 90 million.

Anyone who cares about the viability of Social Security had better wake up to the widening divergence of full-time employment and SSA beneficiaries.

Believing official reassurances based on Fantasyland projections of ever-rising payroll taxes and employment does not magically make the system viable.

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‘Twinkie-maker Hostess continues to screw over its workers. The company is in the process of complete liquidation and 18,000 unionized workers are set to lose their jobs. More troubling – they could lose their pensions.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal , Hostess’ CEO, Gregory Rayburn, essentially admitted that his company stole employee pension money and put it toward CEO and senior executive pay (aka “operations”). While this isn’t technically illegal, it’s another sleazy theft by Hostess executives – who’ve paid themselves handsomely while running their company into the ground. Just last month, a judge agreed to let Hostess executives suck another $1.8 million out of the bankrupt company to pay bonuses to CEOs.

If there’s no way to recover the money for the Hostess pension plans for workers, then we the taxpayers – through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. – will have to foot the bill to make sure workers get the retirement money they paid in.’

Read more: Twinkie CEO Admits Company Took Employees Pensions and Put It Toward Executive Pay

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Two unions at Hartford Healthcare are objecting to the health network’s new mandatory vaccination policy.

Unions at Windham Hospital in Willimantic and Natchaug Hospital in Mansfield, both part of the Hartford Healthcare network, which includes Hartford Hospital, have pushed back against the network policy — enacted for the first time this year — that requires flu shots for all employees.

The policy allows for medical and religious exemptions, and employees granted these exemptions must wear masks at work until the end of flu season. For now, though, officials at Hartford Healthcare say they’ve made a one-time-only exception for union members at Natchaug and Windham: Members who don’t want flu shots but don’t qualify for a medical or religious exemption can get a “personal exemption” this year. That option won’t be available next year.

More hospitals are beginning to require flu vaccinations. This year, 19 of the state’s 29 acute care hospitals require that all employees get flu shots. That’s a sharp increase from last year, when there were only five.


David Lucier, an official with Local 1199, the union at Natchaug Hospital, said Hartford Healthcare officials have been “heavy-handed” in pushing the new policy. He said 37 employees at Natchaug have refused to get the shot.

“We believe we should have right over our bodies,” Lucier said. “Some people are very serious about that.”

Lucier said union officials also object to the requirement that employees wear a mask if they don’t get the shot, calling it “a scarlet letter.”

“It’s done for ostracization and it’s done to punish and it’s done to give people a reason to get the shot,” Lucier said.

Rocco Orlando, chief medical officer for Hartford Healthcare, said masks aren’t a perfect solution but they do significantly diminish the risk of spreading the flu. He said the two unions are the only ones in the Hartford Healthcare network to take up the issue in collective bargaining.

As far as the legal issues of requiring flu shots for all employees, Orlando said, there’s “a fair amount of disagreement” that’s being worked out in courts in the U.S. “There is not an answer to that question yet,” he said.

Jenae Aguilar, a mental health worker at Natchaug Hospital, said she simply doesn’t want to put vaccines in her body.

“I am a healthy individual and my kids are healthy,” said Aguilar, 28, from Norwich. If she gets the flu, she said, she’ll use her sick days. And since Natchaug Hospital is a psychiatric hospital and not an acute care facility, the patients she deals with aren’t particularly susceptible to influenza.

If anything, Aguilar said, the mask will make her less effective at work.

“I do therapy with kids, and when you talk to someone face to face, you go off facial expressions,” she said. “They’re just going to think ‘What the heck is wrong with this lady?'”

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CINCINNATI —One of Cincinnati’s largest employers fired approximately 150 employees Wednesday for failing to get a required flu shot

TriHealth offered all of its 10,800 employees free flu shots. Employees had a month to get the flu shot. The deadline was Nov. 16. Employees who did not get the shot were terminated Wednesday, a company spokesperson said.

Employees who were terminated can appeal to be reinstated after receiving the shot.
Read more:

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The BLS JOLTS report, or Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey describes the pathetic job market. Once again, little has changed, the never ending drum beat and mantra of our dead in the water labor market never ceases. The August 2012 statistics show there were 3.52 official unemployed persons for every position available*. There were 3.561 million job openings for August, a -0.9% decrease from the previous month of 3,593,000. Openings are still way below pre-recession levels of 4.7 million. Job openings have increased 63% from their August 2009 Mariana Trench trough, yet real hiring is a distant memory. There were 1.8 persons per job opening at the start of the recession, December 2007. The job market is horrific and worse than last month. Below is the graph of official unemployed, 12.088 million, per job opening.


job openings per official unemployed August 2012


Job openings are all types of jobs, temporary, part-time, seasonal and full-time. Hires are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, illegals and foreign guest workers.

If one takes the official broader definition of unemployment, or U-6, the ratio becomes 6.5** unemployed people per each job opening. The August U-6 unemployment rate was 14.7%. Below is the graph of number of unemployed, using the broader U-6 unemployment definition, per job opening.


u6 jolts job openings per alternative unemployment rate August 2012


We have no idea the quality of these job openings as a whole, as reported by JOLTS, or the ratio of part-time openings to full-time.

The rates below mean the number of openings, hires, fires percentage of the total employment. Openings are added to the total employment for it’s ratio. Openings rate dropped a 10th of a percentage point from the previous month, the hires rate, which is what is important here, ticked up a 10th of a percentage point. Separations increased 0.3 percentage points from July and even worse news, that’s because fires and layoffs increased by 0.2 percentage points. The job market is stagnant and a dead pool.

  • openings rate – 2.6%
  • hires rate – 3.3%
  • separations rate – 3.3%
    • fires & layoffs rate – 1.4%
    • quits rate – 1.6%

    more here

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departing LAX

departing LAX (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Andre Damon
20 September 2012

American Airlines, the third-largest US airline, announced Tuesday that it plans to send layoff notices to over 11,000 mechanics, ground workers and other support personnel as part of its bankruptcy court-mediated restructuring. Thousands of notices have already been sent to employees.

Of those who receive notices, the airline said it expects to actually lay off 4,400. The company said in February it planned to cut up to 14,000 jobs but it reduced that number after ground workers and flight attendants accepted concessions contracts that included bonuses for workers who left voluntarily. Some 1,800 flight attendants and 800 ground workers have left so far, the Associated Press reported.

American Airlines’ parent company, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection in November. It did so in order to rip up its employee contracts and implement a restructuring program designed to slash labor costs by 20 percent and total costs by $1.1 billion.

The airline operates about 1,700 flights a day and had 78,000 employees when it filed for bankruptcy.

The layoff announcement coincided with an apparent sick-out and coordinated work slowdown by employees. The airline has had to cancel over 300 flights since the weekend because an unusually high number of workers have called in sick and others have filed large numbers of maintenance requests on aircraft.

American Airlines canceled more flights on Sunday and Monday than any other US-based airline, and only half of its flights arrived on time, according to data from flight tracking service FlightAware.com.


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While a majority of jobs lost during the downturn were in the middle range of wages, a majority of those added during the recovery have been low paying, according to a new reportfrom the National Employment Law Project.



The disappearance of midwage, midskill jobs is part of a longer-term trend that some refer to as a hollowing out of the work force, though it has probably been accelerated by government layoffs.

“The overarching message here is we don’t just have a jobs deficit; we have a ‘good jobs’ deficit,” said Annette Bernhardt, the report’s author and a policy co-director at the National Employment Law Project, a liberal research and advocacy group.

The report looked at 366 occupations tracked by the Labor Department and clumped them into three equal groups by wage, with each representing a third of American employment in 2008. The middle third — occupations in fields like construction, manufacturing and information, with median hourly wages of $13.84 to $21.13 — accounted for 60 percent of job losses from the beginning of 2008 to early 2010.

The job market has turned around since then, but those fields have represented only 22 percent of total job growth. Higher-wage occupations — those with a median wage of $21.14 to $54.55 — represented 19 percent of job losses when employment was falling, and 20 percent of job gains when employment began growing again.

Lower-wage occupations, with median hourly wages of $7.69 to $13.83, accounted for 21 percent of job losses during the retraction. Since employment started expanding, they have accounted for 58 percent of all job growth.

The occupations with the fastest growth were retail sales (at a median wage of $10.97 an hour) and food preparation workers ($9.04 an hour). Each category has grown by more than 300,000 workers since June 2009.



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According to the latest survey from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) hiring over the next six months looks grim.

A NABE Poll Shows Fewer U.S. Companies Planning to Hire

Only 23 percent of the firms polled in June plan to add to staff in the next six months, the National Association for Business Economics said on Monday.

NABE’s prior survey, conducted in late March and early April, had shown 39 percent of companies planning to add workers.

A July 6 Labor Department report, showed companies asked employees to work longer hours last month, even though they slowed the pace of hiring.

Among companies that produce goods rather than provide services, the impact was even greater, with nearly four in five reporting a Europe-driven decline in revenues.

Three months earlier, only about a quarter of total firms polled thought sales had fallen


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On Friday, July 6, President Obama signed into law a bill that would renew transportation programs and extend low interest rates on student loans for one year. While this minimal gesture resulted in, no doubt, sighs of relief from those burdened by student debt, tucked away within the bill’s pages was a little-noticed proposal to further erode the funding of workers’ pensions. The bill was a brilliant sleight of hand where what it appeared to be giving with one hand distracted the public from what it was taking away with the other.
Aside from the more publicly known parts of this bill, it also reduced the amount that corporations pay into an already grossly underfunded pension system. The way it achieved this is with a complex equation factoring in interest rates, changes in how businesses calculate what they must contribute to retirement premiums, and how these contributions are tax deductible. The end result of this opaque process of number crunching is that, according to the Society of Actuaries, employer pension contributions will be reduced overall from a mandatory $80 billion to $45 billion this year alone. Next year this amount will be slashed by $73 billion. (1)
While the amount of company pension contributions would increase afterwards, there is no guarantee that this can be counted on to make up for the short-term cuts. Without a fundamental change in the political climate, it can be assumed that this distant increase will be reversed.
Some have said that these employer pension payment deductions will not amount to much given the $1.9 trillion employers have already invested into these plans over the decades. Yet the political importance of this bill cannot be calculated by arithmetic alone. It is another example of a pattern of how politicians have enabled corporations to minimize their responsibility towards their employees’ pensions to the point where the entire system is in danger and the dream of a comfortable retirement is approaching collapse.
How far has the pension system fallen into disrepair? According to The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), the quasi-government agency responsible for retirement funds, the public employees pension was being funded at 103 percent in 1999. The pension funds for the private sector were likewise robust.
By 2008, according to the Pew Center, the public sector pensions were short $452 billion. By 2009 the PBGC reported a funding shortfall of $355 billion and a shortfall of $407 billion for “single employer pensions.”
Why this dramatic change? The corporations, their politicians, and media lay the blame on growing pension costs (though many have been frozen) and an increased number of workers retiring. This is turning the reasons behind the pension system’s shortfall on its head. Fundamentally, the reason for the growing threats to retirement is corporate greed, backed up by their political power, as well as the effects of the economic crisis.
There are numerous examples of how big business and their two parties, the Democrats and Republicans, have colluded to erode their legal responsibility to fund pensions. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 enabled pension funds to partner with high-risk speculators, resulting in massive loses to the system in 2008-2010. Corporations have been allowed to declare phony bankruptcies in order to dump their pensions on the PBGC. They are also allowed to divert funds that should go into pension funds towards covering health care costs as well as buying back company stocks and making dividend payouts to stockholders. The list could go on for the ways the political system lets the corporations off the hook at the cost of threatening workers’ retirement. The effect of these measures is to starve the pension system in order to fatten corporate profits.
In addition, the Great Recession has also had a debilitating effect on pension funding. A jobless recovery means fewer workers able to contribute. If corporations were adequately taxed on the trillions they are hoarding to finance a real jobs program, this would not be a problem. Instead, the corporations and their politicians are pursuing the opposite course. They are using the bad economy to justify making the problem worse by cutting away at company obligations to their workers and their pensions.
The provision of the bill Obama signed into law on July 6th regarding pension funding demonstrates the bipartisan priorities geared towards benefiting corporations at the expense of workers. The public justification for this scheme is that the economy is bad and it wouldn’t help workers if these companies went broke as a result of trying to cover the pension shortfalls.
This is a variation of the same line of argument used to justify all austerity measures. Playing on the assumption of common cause between the economic elite and workers, corporations plead poverty and sermonize on the need for “shared sacrifice.” The truth, however, is that big business isn’t broke. There is plenty of money to assure a comfortable retirement for all workers, not to mention universal health care, social security, and full employment. The problem isn’t fiscal, it’s political. The corporations do not want to pay their fair share, and they own the political system.
Solutions to the pension crisis will not be found within the Democratic or Republican Parties. It will take the force of an independent social movement to make the rich pay. Such a social movement could start with the demands of “Jobs – Not Cuts” “Tax the Rich.” From this starting point, it could mature to take on other issues that unite workers such as a solution to the pension crisis.

What kind of solution could be proposed?

A demand that a mass movement can get behind. In order for this to happen the demand would have to solve the crisis, be easily understood to inspire, and make a clear demarcation between the interests of the 99% and 1%. To do this a social movement around the pension crisis should call on the federal government to takeover pensions with a heavy tax on corporations that would ensure that they are fully funded and fine those who have willfully failed to properly pay into their pension funds. Then we could demand that Social Security be strengthened so that it could gradually replace the precarious pensions offered in both the public and private sectors. But demands around pensions should be linked to the more immediately pressing demand for most workers, namely a massive jobs creation program. In this way working people will be united and in a position to mount a massive campaign.

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