The upswing reached throughout the Bay Area geographically and was bolstered by strength in a wide array of industries.
“Santa Clara County is on fire, the San Francisco metro (area) is on fire, and now the East Bay is joining with strong job gains,” said Stephen Levy, director of the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.
“The quality of the job growth really stands out to me,” said Jordan Levine, director of economic research with Beacon Economics. “A lot of it is well-paying jobs. It’s not just seasonal and holiday jobs.”
Santa Clara County added 8,600 jobs, including 5,600 in tech, 900 in the hotel and restaurant business and 700 construction positions, according to a Beacon analysis of the EDD figures.
And until we have accurate data about women’s health too, we may design programs that are destined to fail or simply fail to deliver what might have been a transformational impact.
The World Bank Group, along with many of our partners, is focused more intently now on finding and filling these data gaps. We are working with Data2X, UN agencies, and others to address some of these knowledge black holes.
But it is not just data. Sometimes our definitions fall short. Take, for example, the way we view income and labor. It simply doesn’t cover enough of the work that women, and in particular poor women, are doing—especially in their own households and the vast “informal” economy in which most of the world’s poorest people work.
We are working to implement new international definitions of work and employment that recognize all productive activities, paid and unpaid, as work. They also introduce the concept of “own-use production work,” which includes goods and services women provide for a household, such as a meal.
The PDF linked in the article is for a Power Point that shows that only part of what we we consider “work” is actual paid work. The myth of the lazy unemployed is too simple. The economic value of individual work is far more complex.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Midway through the last game of the 2013 Carolina League season, after he’d swept peanut shells and mopped soda off the concourse, Ed Green lumbered upstairs to the box seats to dump the garbage.
Green was already 12 hours into his workday. He rose at dawn to lay tar on the highway. As the sun sank, he switched uniforms and drove to BB&T Ballpark, where he runs the custodial crew for a minor-league baseball team. Now it was dark and his radio was crackling. It was his boss, asking him to head back downstairs. Green walked onto the first-base line and into a surprise. In front of 6,000 fans, the Winston-Salem Dash honored him as the team’s employee of the year.
The crowd applauded. The game resumed. Green walked back upstairs. The trash wasn’t going to empty itself.
Green once held a middle-class job. Now, to make enough money to send his children to college, he works the equivalent of two full-time jobs: one maintaining highways for the state of North Carolina and one ushering fans and collecting trash for a variety of sports teams around Winston-Salem.
The American economy has stopped delivering the broadly shared prosperity that the nation grew accustomed to after World War II. The explanation for why that is begins with the millions of middle-class jobs that vanished over the past 25 years, and with what happened to the men and women who once held those jobs.
Millions of Americans are working harder than ever just to keep from falling behind; Green is one of them. Those workers have been devalued in the eyes of the economy, pushed into jobs that pay them much less than the ones they once had.
Today, a shrinking share of Americans are working middle-class jobs, and collectively, they earn less of the nation’s income than they used to. In 1981, according to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of American adults were classified as “middle income” — which means their household income was between two-thirds and double the nation’s median income. By 2011, it was down to 51 percent. In that time, the “middle” group’s share of the national income pie fell from 60 percent to 45 percent.
For that, you can blame the past three recessions, which sparked a chain reaction of layoffs and lower pay.
Millions of American jobs disappeared during the 1990, 2001 and 2008 recessions. That’s what happens in recessions. But for decades after World War II, lost jobs came back when the economy picked up again. These times, they didn’t. And it was a particular sort of job that disappeared permanently in those downturns, economists from Duke University and the University of British Columbia have found: jobs that companies could easily outsource overseas or replace with a machine.
Economists call those jobs “middle-skill” jobs. They include a lot of factory work — the country is down about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since 1990, according to the Labor Department — but also a lot of clerical and sales tasks that can be handled easily from a country where workers make a fraction of what they make here.
We don’t have to cover the bad bets in Vegas.
So why do we have to cover, their bad bets on Wall Street?
Why do we have to bailout Citigroup to the tune of a half trillion dollars then,
and now likely AGAIN in the TBTF future too?
It’s a quirky tradition from 1919
The London Fix
A Florida jewelry manufacturer is serving as the plaintiff for a class-action suit that claims the prices of platinum and palladium have been manipulated to enrich certain banks and dealers.
In a complaint filed Nov. 25 in New York federal court, Sarasota-based Modern Settings charges that the three banks and one metals dealer that set the prices via twice-daily teleconferences have used the process for their own ends.
“By their very design, the platinum and palladium fixings give the defendants the opportunity to collusively discuss and/or signal desired non-competitive price moves, while the rest of the market is left in the dark,” says the suit, which targets teleconference participants Goldman Sachs, HSBC, Standard Bank, and BASF Metals Ltd.
During the record breaking 49 consecutive months of steady job growth unemployment has been dropping slowly but steadily and wages have basically been stagnate. Nothing to get excited about. But November’s report was nothing but good news. 321k jobs added in November, with upward revisions of 44k for September and October. Average weekly hours increased as 177k part-time workers got full-time jobs. And an average wage increase of nine cents an hour, a 4.4% annual rate, as apparently the tightening labor market is finally forcing employers to give workers decent raises. Combined with the rapidly dropping price of gasoline, we may finally be in a virtuous cycle in which consumers’ growing purchasing power fuels further employment growth. The economy will add 3 million jobs this year, the most of this century. Merry Christmas, America, Santa thinks you have been very, very good this year!
Let’s get real.
The minimum wage of $1.60 an hour in 1968 would be $10.90 today when adjusted for inflation [see the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index inflation calculator.]
Except you were talking about Los Angeles, which has a much higher cost of living than the national average.
In California, cost of living is fairly high for most areas, and Los Angeles is no exception. Overall, the Cost of Living in Los Angeles is 50 percent above the national average. The cost of housing has the greatest impact on the overall cost of living. Housing in Los Angeles is 157 percent higher than the national average, a significant difference compared to most other United States cities.
So if you do the math it becomes obvious that a $15.37 minimum wage is still below the level that would bring the minimum wage up to parity with 1968 national standards ($10.90 X 1.5 for the +50% modifier = $16.35/hr)
Which is funny, because you chastised Skip Intro for the very mistake you then proceeded to flagrantly commit yourself, conflating the national wage with local conditions.
Dude this is an article and Page about Los Angeles and within it’s city council. Not the whole country! That’s a big misread.
Read more at littlegreenfootballs.com
So what’s changed since the 1960s and ’70s? Overtime pay, in part. Your parents got a lot of it, and you don’t. And it turns out that fair overtime standards are to the middle class what the minimum wage is to low-income workers: not everything, but an indispensable labor protection that is absolutely essential to creating a broad and thriving middle class. In 1975, more than 65 percent of salaried American workers earned time-and-a-half pay for every hour worked over 40 hours a week. Not because capitalists back then were more generous, but because it was the law. It still is the law, except that the value of the threshold for overtime pay—the salary level at which employers are required to pay overtime—has been allowed to erode to less than the poverty line for a family of four today. Only workers earning an annual income of under $23,660 qualify for mandatory overtime. You know many people like that? Probably not. By 2013, just 11 percent of salaried workers qualified for overtime pay, according to a report published by the Economic Policy Institute. And so business owners like me have been able to make the other 89 percent of you work unlimited overtime hours for no additional pay at all.
Charlie Pierce led me to this piece. As he rightly points out, it’s a bit of a surprise to find this kind of article on economic inequality in Politico (I consider it the Morning Joe of online publications). I’ll highlight what I think are a couple of key paragraphs but the piece should be read in its entirety.
So let me be specific. To get the country back to the same equitable standards we had in 1975, the Department of Labor would simply have to raise the overtime threshold to $69,000. In other words, if you earn $69,000 or less, the law would require that you be paid overtime when you worked more than 40 hours a week. That’s 10.4 million middle-class Americans with more money in their pockets or more time to spend with friends and family. And if corporate America didn’t want to pay you time and a half, it would need to hire hundreds of thousands of additional workers to pick up the slack—slashing the unemployment rate and forcing up wages.
It is my sense, based on my conversations with government officials, that the administration is buying the line from corporate lobbyists who are arguing that such rule changes would devastate their bottom lines, forcing them to lay off workers. You know, the old trickle-down gambit—if workers earn more money, it would be bad for business, the economy and workers. The Obama team, in other words, is buying into the same discredited theories that were used to erode the threshold in the first place. Officials will very likely raise the overtime threshold just enough to say they’re doing something, without actually doing much of anything for the middle class or our demand-starved economy at all.
Now obviously, take away our license to force 10.4 million Americans to work extra hours for nothing, and smart capitalists like me would try to limit overtime as much as possible. I mean, time-and-a-half pay sure adds up fast! So many of you would be unlikely to see much of an immediate bump in take-home pay. Instead, we capitalists would be forced to hire millions more people to do the work you currently do for free. That would drive down unemployment. And a tighter labor market would drive up wages for the first time in 40 years.
So you see, when I say that the overtime threshold is the minimum wage for the middle class, I’m not just playing with words. In the exact same way that the erosion of the federal minimum wage—from an inflation-adjusted peak of about $11 an hour in 1968 to only $7.25 an hour today—has held down wages for low-income Americans, the simultaneous erosion of the overtime threshold has also held down wages for the American middle class. And just like raising the minimum wage would nudge up incomes for those workers earning somewhat above it, restoring the overtime threshold would push up incomes for many workers currently earning above $69,000 too.
Of course, capitalists like me will tell you that when we cut into profits, the entire economy is damaged. And think of all the investment that corporate profits make possible. What do executives like me do with all that extra money? Why, invest in creating good-paying jobs for middle-class Americans like you, of course.
Unfortunately, that’s not exactly true either. Mostly, we use profits to manipulate our stock price for personal gain.
Again, please go read the whole thing.
Two of the major manufacturers of chocolate revealed recently that, ahem, we might have a problem: the world is facing a chocolate shortage problem because we are eating way too much of the stuff. Everyone stay calm. I repeat. Stay calm.
I’M FREAKING OUT!!!! According to an exhaustive report in Bloomberg, the world demands more chocolate than chocolate manufacturers can humanly provide:
As this future year unfolds, the gap between how much cocoa the world wants to consume and how much it can produce will swell to 1 million metric tons, according to Mars Inc. and Barry Callebaut AG (BARN), the world’s largest chocolate maker. By 2030, the predicted shortfall will grow to 2 million tons. And so on.
State officials said this week that the tax cuts championed by Gov. Sam Brownback would force them to start a new round of substantial budget cuts before the end of June.
They need to cut $279 million, $239 million of which is attributable to lower-than-expected personal income tax collections. Those aren’t small numbers in a state budget of approximately $6 billion and where revenues have already declined sharply. Kansas state revenues dropped 11 percent in the fiscal year 2014 (which ended in June) after the tax cuts took effect.
But that may not even be the whole picture. A close look at the state’s new revenue projections makes clear they are highly optimistic, even after this week’s cut in the forecast. Kansas says it expects to collect slightly more personal income tax this year than it did last year, even though, with four months of collections in, they are 11 percent behind last year’s pace.
There may be even bigger challenges coming. In addition to the likelihood the state will face another unpleasant revenue surprise in the spring, a pending court decision could obligate the legislature to add hundreds of millions of dollars a year to state aid to school districts. And bond rating agencies, which already downgraded the state’s debt this year, could be expected to react negatively to both of those events.