Zero Job Growth Latest Bleak Sign for U.S. Economy
By SHAILA DEWAN, The New York Times
Published: September 2, 2011
August brought no increase in the number of jobs in the United States, a signal that the economy has stalled and that inaction by policy makers carries substantial risk.
Mr. Obama, who instructed the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday to pull back on more stringent standards on ozone emissions in response to complaints that they would hurt hiring, is expected to propose tax incentives to promote hiring and infrastructure spending. He also is expected to renew the payroll tax cut and extend unemployment benefits, both of which are set to expire.
Much of the movement that did appear in the jobs report went in the wrong direction. Revised numbers showed that job growth in June and July was smaller than previously indicated. In August, wages fell and the average number of hours worked inched down – a sign that businesses had less for employees to do.
Governments continued to cut jobs, the Labor Department reported. Small gains at the state level were attributed in part to the return of workers from the government shutdown in Minnesota. Local governments lost 20,000 jobs as they continued to struggle with budget shortfalls and the disappearance of federal stimulus money.
Black unemployment: Highest in 27 years
By Annalyn Censky @CNNMoney
September 2, 2011: 3:13 PM ET
Black unemployment surged to 16.7% in August, its highest level since 1984, while the unemployment rate for whites fell slightly to 8%, the Labor Department reported.
Overall, black men have it the worst, with joblessness at a staggeringly high 19.1%, compared to 14.5% for black women.
Black unemployment has now remained above 10% for four straight years, and the given current economic sluggishness, some experts say it’s safe to predict the rate will remain above 10% for four more years.
White House Expects Persistently High Unemployment
By JACKIE CALMES, The New York Times
Published: September 1, 2011
The White House budget office forecast on Thursday that unemployment would remain at 9 percent through the 2012 presidential election year, an outlook that it said calls for the sort of the job-creating tax cuts and spending President Obama will propose next week.
The unemployment outlook for the next 16 months reflects a 9.1 percent rate this year, down slightly from the 9.3 percent forecast when President Obama made his annual budget request in February. Next year, the projected jobless rate is 9 percent, up from 8.6 percent in the February forecast.
Unemployment will not return to the 5 percent range until 2017, the budget office said, reflecting the intensity of the hangover from the most severe recession since the Great Depression.
While the budget office’s unemployment forecast for 2012 is no surprise given similar private sector projections, it amounts to the White House’s official acknowledgement of the political hurdle in Mr. Obama’s path to re-election.
Labor unions adjust to new reality under Obama
By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press
3 hours ago
It’s a far cry from the early optimism unions had after Obama came into office. Back then, unions hoped a Democratic-controlled Congress would pass legislation to make it easier for unions to organize workers. But business groups fought that proposal hard, and it never came to a vote.
Union leaders grew more disappointed when the president’s health care overhaul didn’t include a government-run insurance option. Then Obama agreed to extend President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy.
Obama came out in favor of trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama that most unions say will cost American jobs. Despite campaigning in favor of raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.50 an hour, Obama hasn’t touched the issue since taking office.
(L)abor’s frustration with Obama reached new heights this summer as Trumka accused him of working with tea party Republicans on deficit reduction instead of “stepping up to the plate” on jobs.
Labor unions and other liberal groups want Obama to push a major stimulus bill with hundreds of billions of dollars in new spending on infrastructure projects like roads, bridges and transit systems. Even if it’s rejected in the GOP-controlled House, unions want to see Obama show more leadership and take a bold stand in favor of stimulus spending.
That’s not likely to happen.
(U)nions have begun shifting money and resources out of Democratic congressional campaigns and back to the states in a furious effort to reverse or limit GOP measures that could wipe out union rolls.
The AFL-CIO’s president, Richard Trumka, says it’s part of a new strategy for labor to build an independent voice separate from the Democratic Party.
Union donations to federal candidates at the beginning of this year were down about 40 percent compared with the same period in 2009, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Last month, a dozen trade unions said they would boycott next year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., over frustration on the economy and to protest the event’s location in a right-to-work state.
Good luck with that Labor vote Barack. Thanks for nothing.