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Archive for the ‘Unemployment’ Category

Thursday, February 16, 2012 9:28 EST

Raw Story   By- David Ferguson

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits has fallen to its lowest since March of 2008, the Associated Press reported Thursday morning. The national economy added 243,000 jobs in January, lowering the employment rate to 8.3 percent, according to the Department of Labor.

A government report noted that weekly unemployment application numbers have fallen from 361,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000. These numbers mean that businesses are laying off fewer workers and that the hiring situation may be improving as the economy struggles to come back to life. This is the fifth straight week that unemployment claims have been down.

The AP says that the economy has added an average of 201,000 jobs per month for the past three months.

A pick-up in retail sales has followed a short holiday slump. While many economists predict that the economy may slow down again as manufacturers have less need to replenish their stores of goods for sale, there is confidence that the economy is gaining its footing, growing at a 2.8 percent annual rate in the last quarter, a full percentage point over the previous quarter.

Nearly 13 million Americans eligible for jobs are currently out of work.

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Huff Post- First Posted: 02/14/2012 6:15 am Updated: 02/14/2012 8:38 am

By- Jennifer Bendery

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is going on the offense Tuesday, raising pressure on congressional Republicans to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance benefits. But it is unclear if the president will accept a GOP effort to separate the two issues.

With weeks before both provisions expire, Obama will host an event at the White House and release a video to nudge Congress to act soon. The White House event, expected to kick off around 10:40 a.m., will feature Americans sharing stories about what the loss of $40 per paycheck means to them. That amount is about how much they would lose if the payroll tax cut isn’t extended.

Obama solicited help from the public in December when Congress last fought on the issue. Then, lawmakers failed to pass a yearlong payroll tax cut extension because they couldn’t agree how to pay for it, so they opted for a two-month extension for  time to reach a long-term deal. That extension expires in late-February.

“To everyone who went online last December and told us what it would be like to lose $40 in every paycheck, you should know that you made all the difference. Your voices changed the debate and reminded Washington what was at stake,” Obama says in the new video. “Well, once again, I need you. We all need you to speak out because if Congress fails to act soon, then taxes on the middle class will go up. So use the #40dollars hash-tag on Twitter or head to whitehouse.gov, and tell everyone what $40 means to you.”

White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer reiterated that Congress needs to reach an agreement by the end of February or 160 million Americans will be hit with a tax hike.

“In December, we asked America to tell us what losing $40 per paycheck would mean for their family, and the answers came from across the country — from students trying to stretch the budget a little bit further. From moms who need to buy their children lunch every day in the school cafeteria. And from commuters who are filling up the tank and looking at rising gas prices. Using Twitter, email and Facebook, they told us clearly that $40 can make all the difference in the world,” Pfeiffer wrote in a Tuesday morning blog post.

Obama’s latest push on the issue comes a day after House Republican leaders unveiled their own plan for a way forward: passing a 10-month payroll tax cut extension that isn’t offset and that isn’t connected to an unemployment insurance extension.

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Worldwide War: 50 Years of the Military Industrial Complex

David Swanson | Global Research | Posted on: September 28, 2011

Did you know that redirecting a fraction of our military spending to education, green energy, healthcare, and tax cuts would create a job for every unemployed or underemployed person in the country (including those losing war industry jobs during this conversion)? It’s true.

Did you know we’re fighting drone wars that create enemies by killing innocents, in large part because the CIA created a bureaucracy for drone wars and wants to use it? Now you do.

We’ve got a choice to make between the military industrial complex and our future.

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Tuesday morning on CNBC, the spazzy white guys in lower Manhattan were debating how the administration and Congress can best repair the economy, and mainly the jobless numbers. At one point, Rick Santelli, the hyperkinetic shoutcaster and instigator of the tea party movement, began to flail around, waving his arms above his head while yelling, “Stop spending! Stop spending! Stop spending!”

And contrary to accusations from one of the other spazzy white panelists, Santelli insisted he wasn’t calling for more tax cuts. Just a freeze in government spending. Somehow.

Fine. Show us another time in American history when a spending freeze — and a spending freeze alone — jump-started an economic recovery following a deep recession and high unemployment. Show us. Where in the world is Santelli getting this?

It doesn’t really matter from which hole Santelli’s latest television meltdown was extricated. Suffice to say, there is no historical precedent for any such thing. In fact, the often-referenced spending cuts of 1937 caused the opposite effect: a backslide in the economic recovery during the Great Depression. Oh, sorry. There we go again — referencing actual “history” instead of just screeching incongruous, contradictory and unsubstantiated nonsense, which seems to be the accepted style of discourse these days.

Santelli’s rant is just another performance in a broader strategy by the Republicans and tea party movement to deliberately sabotage the economic recovery. Not unlike Santelli’s “stop spending” idea, this is a strategy which also, to the best of my knowledge, has no historical precedent. For the first time ever — and this is worth repeating — one of the two major political parties in America is sabotaging a delicate economic recovery for the sake of humiliating the president and his party, and subsequently recapturing a political majority.

More than a year ago, Rush Limbaugh both predicted this and set the table for it to occur. They want the president to fail, and now it’s clear that they’re willing to take the economic recovery down in order to make it so. Is there any doubt who leads the Republican Party?

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Stewart Schools Jim Bunning For Repeated Objections (VIDEO)

First Posted: 03- 2-10 08:32 AM   |   Updated: 03- 2-10 08:41 AM

While Jon Stewart seemed optimistic about the progress made by last week’s health care summit, the media’s overall consensus was that nothing had been accomplished. But as he pointed out last night, it wasn’t the only issue bogged down by Republican opposition. Stewart took on Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning, mocking his repeated objections to a bill that would extend unemployment benefits for 30 days.

Making Bunning out to be a villain who’ll obstruct anything from legislation to birthday pizza, Stewart noted that in the Senate it often takes 60 votes to get anything done, but “sometimes in the Senate it only takes one person to cock the whole thing up.” How draining were Bunning’s nine objections? Toward the end, Al Franken began to look like a broken down old man.

Stewart acknowledged that despite the Democrats’ hopes that he’d get sleepy, Bunning was willing to stay up as long as necessary — even if it meant missing the basketball game he’d planned on watching. Stewart summed up his ridiculousness: “You see that’s the difference between Jim Bunning’s pain and the pain of the unemployed. Jim Bunning’s pain can be fixed by a Tivo.”

WATCH:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Jim Bunning Impasse Puts Federal Employees Out Of Work

JOAN LOWY | 03/ 1/10 10:34 AM | AP

WASHINGTON — Two thousand federal transportation workers were furloughed without pay on Monday, and the Obama administration said they have a Kentucky senator to blame for it.

Federal reimbursements to states for highway programs will also be halted, the Transportation Department said in a statement late Sunday. The reimbursements amount to about $190 million a day, according to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The furloughs and freeze on payments were the result of a decision last week by Republican Sen. Jim Bunning to block passage of legislation that would have extended federal highway and transit programs, the department said. Those programs expired at midnight Sunday.

The extension of transportation programs was part of a larger package of government programs that also expired Sunday, including unemployment benefits for about 400,000 Americans.

Bunning objected to the $10 billion measure, saying it would add to the budget deficit. He didn’t respond to a request Monday for comment.

The impasse has provided the administration with an opening to excoriate Republicans for allowing popular programs to run out, even if only for a short time.

“As American families are struggling in tough economic times, I am keenly disappointed that political games are putting a stop to important construction projects around the country,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.

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