Posts belonging to Category Unemployment



3.7 percent unemployment rate in US

A 49-year low

For a solid decade after the collapse of Lehman Brothers touched off a global financial crisis, there was good reason to think the U.S. economy remained broken, from skepticism about the health of the labor market to tepid economic growth and the moribund rate of interest paid on U.S. Treasury bonds.

In a heartbeat, that seemed to change this week, adding facts on the ground to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s glowing portrait of a historically rosy and extended period of super-low unemployment, modest inflation and steady growth.

It came through Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) move to a $15 minimum wage, possibly setting the bar for companies nationwide. It came through a jump in long-term bond yields that signaled faith the gears of growth will remain engaged for a record-long recovery.

http://www.reuters.com

Boris Johnson humiliated Theresa May

Tory members cheered every word

Imagine being Theresa May, at half past 12 this afternoon. Walking, with your party chairman, through the venue of your party conference – when you happen upon a swarm of photographers. But those photographers aren’t here to see you. And nor, not far from the swarm, are the hundreds upon hundreds of your party members, who are currently standing in the most enormous, snaking queue.

The queue isn’t for the main hall, where your ministers are giving speeches to promote your policies. The main hall is practically empty. Your members aren’t interested. They don’t want to see your ministers, or hear about your policies.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

Amazon Could Open Up to 3,000 Cashierless Stores by 2021

Shoppers use a smartphone app to enter the store

Amazon.com Inc. is considering a plan to open as many as 3,000 new AmazonGo cashierless stores in the next few years, according to people familiar with matter, an aggressive and costly expansion that would threaten convenience chains like 7-Eleven Inc., quick-service sandwich shops like Subway and Panera Bread, and mom-and-pop pizzerias and taco trucks.

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos sees eliminating meal-time logjams in busy cities as the best way for Amazon to reinvent the brick-and-mortar shopping experience, where most spending still occurs. But he’s still experimenting with the best format: a convenience store that sells fresh prepared foods as well as a limited grocery selection similar to 7-Eleven franchises, or a place to simply pick up a quick bite to eat for people in a rush, similar to the U.K.-based chain Pret a Manger, one of the people said.

An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment. The company unveiled its first cashierless store near its headquarters in Seattle in 2016 and has since announced two additional sites in Seattle and one in Chicago. Two of the new stores offer only a limited selection of salads, sandwiches and snacks, showing that Amazon is experimenting with the concept simply as a meal-on-the-run option. Two other stores, including the original AmazonGo, also have a small selection of groceries, making it more akin to a convenience store.

Shoppers use a smartphone app to enter the store. Once they scan their phones at a turnstile, they can grab what they want from a range of salads, sandwiches, drinks and snacks — and then walk out without stopping at a cash register. Sensors and computer-vision technology detect what shoppers take and bills them automatically, eliminating checkout lines.

http://www.bloomberg.com

Bernanke, Paulson and Geithner discuss the 2008 financial crisis

The three bailed out Wall Street to help Main Street

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and New York Fed President Timothy Geithner reflected on the financial crisis during a forum in Washington, D.C. A decade later, the three officials who helped pull the U.S. out of the financial crisis now struggle with the choices they made, particularly considering that the public still sees the moves as a bailout for Wall Street.

The three spoke during a forum at the Brookings Institution in a talk moderated by CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, who wrote “Too Big to Fail,” a chronicle of the crisis told from the inside of those who experienced it first-hand.

“We stepped in before the banks had collapsed and we did some things to fix the financial system which are very hard to explain because they are objectionable things,” Paulson said. “In the United States of America there’s a fundamental sense of fairness that the American people have. … You don’t want to reward the arsonist.”

Boris Johnson says May’s Brexit plan ‘worse than status quo’

Tory Brexiteers have attacked Theresa May’s Brexit plan

Boris Johnson and other leading Tory Brexiteers have attacked Theresa May’s Brexit plan at an event putting the economic case for leaving the EU without an agreement on trade. The Economists For Free Trade report said the UK had “nothing to fear” from a “clean break” from the EU and using World Trade Organisation rules. This could give an £80bn boost to the tax base and cut prices by 8%, it said. But the claims were branded “Project Fantasy” by Labour MP Chuka Umunna. And Chancellor Philip Hammond said the economic assumptions behind the analysis were “not sustainable” and out of line with other forecasts.

Mr Hammond, who earlier on Tuesday announced Bank of England Governor Mark Carney would be extending his contract until January 2020 to provide continuity after Brexit, has issued a fresh warning of “some turbulence” if the UK left the EU in March without a deal.

Stiglitz: US has a major monopoly problem

Economy dominated by large corporations has failed the many and enriched the few

The Nobel Prize winner argues that an economy dominated by large corporations has failed the many and enriched the few. There is much to be concerned about in America today: a growing political and economic divide, slowing growth, decreasing life expectancy, an epidemic of diseases of despair. The unhappiness that is apparent has taken an ugly turn, with an increase in protectionism and nativism. Trump’s diagnosis, which blames outsiders, is wrong, as are the prescriptions that follow. But we have to ask: Is there an underlying problem that can and must be addressed?

There is a widespread sense of powerlessness, both in our economic and political life. We seem no longer to control our own destinies. If we don’t like our Internet company or our cable TV, we either have no place to turn, or the alternative is no better. Monopoly corporations are the primary reason that drug prices in the United States are higher than anywhere else in the world. Whether we like it or not, a company like Equifax can gather data about us, and then blithely take insufficient cybersecurity measures, exposing half the country to the risk of identity fraud, and then charge us for but a partial restoration of the security that we had before a major breach.

Bernie Sanders wants to slap a special tax on Amazon

“Wages are so low, employees forced to depend on food stamps”

Senator Bernie Sanders wants to slap a special tax on Amazon and other big companies that employ workers who collect food stamps and other public assistance. But Amazon disputes Sanders’ depiction, saying its pay and benefits are competitive with other retailers. The progressive icon from Vermont has been on the attack lately, posting a series of Facebook videos over the past week calling out Amazon (AMZN) and Walmart (WMT) for not paying a living wage, which he lists in some posts as $15 an hour. In one video, titled “Get Amazon Off of Corporate Welfare,” he highlighted that CEO Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest person and earns $260 million a day, while many of his workers are on food stamps.

“Mr. Bezos continues to pay many thousands of his Amazon employees wages that are so low that they are forced to depend on taxpayer-funded programs, such as food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing in order to survive,” Sanders said in the video, stressing that taxpayers foot the bill for these benefits. “Frankly, I don’t believe that ordinary Americans should be subsidizing the wealthiest people in the world because they pay their employees inadequate wages.”
http://www.cnn.com

Pollution in the city lowers education level by one year

The maths and verbal skills are at risk

Chronic exposure to air pollution can cause harm to cognitive performance, a new study reveals. Researchers believe that the negative impact increases with age, and affects men with less education the worst. Over four years, the maths and verbal skills of some 20,000 people in China were monitored by the US-Chinese study.  Scientists believe the results have global relevance, with more than 80% of the world’s urban population breathing unsafe levels of air pollution.

The study was based on measurements of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulates smaller than 10 micrometres in diameter where participants lived. It is not clear how much each of these three pollutants is to blame. Carbon monoxide, ozone and larger particulates were not included in the study. Described as an invisible killer, air pollution causes an estimated seven million premature deaths a year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

http://www.nanocomputer.com

No-deal Brexit could see hospitals run out of medicine

Status of EU workers at risk

Hospitals will be in danger of drug shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit, NHS trusts have warned privately. Poorly coordinated ministers and health service bosses have failed to properly prepare for the possibility of the UK crashing out of the European Union, according to a leaked letter fromNHS Providers, which represents the trusts. “Public health and disease control coordination could suffer,” said the organisation’s chief executive Chris Hopson, who warned a hard Brexit or no deal could negatively impact upon “the entire supply chain of pharmaceuticals”.

Brexit could also jeopardise the status of EU workers ”on which the NHS relies”, he added.

https://www.independant.co.uk

62% of America’s Jobs Pay Less Than $20 Per Hour

US has 130 million jobs overall

Almost two-thirds of America’s jobs aren’t paying a cent more than $20 an hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That means 62 percent of the nation’s jobs offer their employees less than $41,600 a year! The BLS report (h/t Horizon Credit Union) notes that the US has 130 million jobs overall.  Of those positions, 18 million pay less than $10 an hour and a startling 63 million pay between $10 and $20. Add it all up and you’ve got 81 million jobs (out of 130 million) paying their workers less than $20. This includes administrative assistants, personal care aides, and retail workers.

Employers that offer a more generous salary, more than $42,000 a year, make up about 38 percent of the nation’s jobs. According to CNN Money, 27 million jobs offer an hourly pay between $20 and $30. That includes plumbers, office supervisors, electricians, and insurance sales agents — all four positions have an hourly pay that hover around $24 an hour, an annual salary of about $50,000.

https://www.madamenoire.com/

Wage floor for Uber’s ride-hail drivers

The goal is to pay drivers $17.22 an hour, or $15 an hour after expenses like gas.

The New York City council passed first-of-its-kind legislation this afternoon setting a wage floor for ride-hail drivers and capping the number of ride-hail vehicles in the city. Below, our story from before the historic vote.

Uber drivers make about as much money as minimum wage workers.

In some cases they can even make less. That’s because Uber drivers are considered independent contractors, rather than employees, and aren’t protected under federal, state, and local minimum wage laws.

Uber drivers aren’t being recognized as employees (that legal battle is ongoing). But in New York City, the city council is poised to pass a package of bills that, for the first time ever, would set a wage floor for Uber drivers and their peers in the ride-hail industry.

https://qz.com/

Artificial intelligence (AI) could create more jobs than it displaces

PwC suggested AI could create 558,000 Scottish posts by 2037

Over the same period 544,000 jobs could be lost as a result of automation – resulting in a net increase of 14,000. PwC said the new jobs could come from innovations such as drones, robotics and driverless vehicles. It argued that AI would create employment as productivity and real incomes rise, and new and better products are developed.

PwC’s latest Economic Outlook indicated that health, education and professional, scientific and technical services would benefit most, with manufacturing, transport and storage and public administration set to be the biggest losers. Its report suggested that the affect of AI on the jobs market would be most positively felt in London, followed by south-east England. Scotland came third in the list of 12 nations and regions.

http://www.bbc.com

Nigeria and India, champions of the extreme poverty in the world

Nigeria overtakes India

Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty, with an estimated 87 million Nigerians, or around half of the country’s population, thought to be living on less than $1.90 a day. The findings, based on a projection by the World Poverty Clock and compiled by Brookings Institute, show that more than 643 million people across the world live in extreme poverty, with Africans accounting for about two-thirds of the total number.

In Nigeria, as with other countries on the continent, that figure is projected to rise. “By the end of 2018 in Africa as a whole, there will probably be about 3.2 million more people living in extreme poverty than there are today,” the researchers write.
Despite being the largest oil producer in Africa, Nigeria has struggled to translate its resource wealth into rising living standards.

U.S. jobless claims back off 48-year low

The labor market to be near full employment

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rebounded last week from a more than 48-year low, but the trend continued to point to robust labor market conditions.

That was underscored by other data on Thursday showing job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers fell 20 percent in February. Federal Reserve officials consider the labor market to be near or a little beyond full employment. The tight jobs market is seen boosting wage growth and spurring inflation.

“The well looks increasingly dry to many companies seeking skilled workers, and time will tell whether the lack of labor will slow the overall economy in future months,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York.

http://www.reuters.com…  March 09, 2018

China February exports surge most in three years

Global trade war fears build

China’s exports unexpectedly surged at the fastest pace in three years in February, suggesting both its economy and global growth remain resilient even as trade relations with the United States rapidly deteriorate.

Trade tensions have jumped to the top of the list of risks facing China this year, with planned U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum signaling more measures may be on the way, Zhou Hao, senior emerging markets economist at Commerzbank, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum this week.

China’s February exports rose 44.5 percent from a year earlier, far more than analysts’ median forecast for a 13.6 percent increase and January’s 11.1 percent gain, official data showed on Thursday.

Imports grew 6.3 percent, missing forecasts for 9.7 percent growth and down from a sharper-than-expected 36.9 percent jump in January.

http://www.reuters.com…  March 08, 2018

Trump announces plans for heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports

Ugly trade war with China

President Trump unveiled plans Thursday to slap hefty tariffs on global imports of steel and aluminum, catching much of his administration by surprise, sending stocks plunging and sparking widespread fears that he was leading the United States into an ugly trade war with China as well as key American allies. Trump said he would sign an order next week to impose 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% duties on aluminum, using his authority under an obscure trade law provision that permits the president to take sweeping measures in the name of national security.

Trump has long been a critic of U.S. trade policies, and he was elected partly on the promise to revamp the way Washington does business with the rest of the world. On Thursday, Trump assured U.S. manufacturers that they will “have protection for a long time .… You’ll have to regrow your industries. That’s all I’m asking.” For months, administration officials with less nationalistic views on trade, such as chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, have tried to dissuade Trump from imposing broad tariffs in response to America’s big trade deficit and what the president views as the world taking unfair advantage of the U.S. The shift was reflected in the recent rise in influence of more hawkish advisors who share Trump’s skepticism of trade, including Peter Navarro.

http://www.latimes.com…  March 02, 2018