The U.S. gained 120,000 jobs in November and the unemployment rate fell to 8.6% from 9.0%, the Labor Department said Friday. The government also revised jobs data for October and September to show that 72,000 additional jobs were created. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 125,000 increase in employment in November and no change in the jobless rate. About half of the drop in the unemployment rate stemmed from a decline in the number of workers in the labor force. Hiring in October was revised up to 100,000 from 80,000 and the job gains in September were revised up to 210,00 from 158,000. In November, companies in the private sector hired 140,000 workers, with retailers adding 50,000. Government cut 20,000 jobs, the Labor Department said. Average hourly earnings fell 0.1% last month to $23.18 and the workweek was unchanged at 34.3 hours. The broader U6 unemployment rate dropped to 15.6% from 16.2% in October.
I don’t get it. If children are our future and we, all, believe that children are the foundation of tomorrow then why are we short changing the most important gift that we can give to our children – their education?
BTW, I don’t care if the president backed down on when he would schedule his speech to Congress. I really don’t. We need jobs now. Not tomorrow or next week. Why couldn’t the Republican candidates debate an hour later or two hours earlier? Why couldn’t the president give his speech today and not next week? I don’t care about these macho contests. I care about jobs. Tomorrow we will have another jobs report. I suspect that this is going to be mediocre – with 60,000 – 75,000 jobs added. We need 10 times that much every month for more than two years in order to put 25 million workers (unemployed and underemployed) back to work in jobs that they want at wages that can truly support them. Shame on the media for pushing this non-story and why isn’t the media showing us a daily segment entitled – JOBS???!?!?
* Libya: “The transitional government of Libya’s triumphant rebels decided Thursday to extend by up to a week the deadline given to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and his remaining fighters to surrender, but the fugitive leader rejected the ultimatum and raged at his enemies in a new broadcast that called for the country to be ‘engulfed in flames.’”
* Better, but still too high: “Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 409,000, the Labor Department said, still pointing to a jobs market struggling to find strength, but well short of a recession signal.”
* Iraq: “Under increased pressure from the United States, an Iraqi crackdown on Iranian-backed Shiite militias has helped produce a previously elusive goal: For the first time since the American invasion of Iraq, an entire month has passed without a single United States service member dying.”
* Maybe someone should do something: “The Obama administration downgraded its forecast for economic growth Thursday, predicting turmoil in the economy will likely keep unemployment above 9 percent through next year’s election.”
* On the other hand, the federal budget deficit will run “20% lower than expected this year.” Tea Partiers will be celebrating the Obama administration’s progress on deficit reduction, right?
* Counter-terrorism: “On a steady slide. On the ropes. Taking shots to the body and head. That’s how White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan described al-Qaida on Wednesday as he offered the first on-record confirmation that al-Qaida’s latest second-in-command was killed last week in Pakistan.”
* The White House’s new “We The People” online petition initiative looks pretty good.
Republicans, as far as I know, have always been and always will be all business, all the time. They are huge supporters of capitalism and, more importantly, unfettered capitalism. They do not believe that capitalism should be restrained by silly government regulations (to them, all regulations are silly). The rest of us understand that unfettered capitalism leads to massive abuse of workers, of customers and of other businesses. The rest of us understand that without appropriate controls capitalism is not about competition but instead it is about crushing your opponents. Capitalism is about making money and that’s it. Yesterday we saw another example of unfettered capitalism – Massey Energy. Massey Energy appears to have wanted to do just about anything in order to make money. Cut corners? Okay, as long as we can make money. Risk miner safety? Okay, as long as we can make money. This is an example of why we need a government big enough to stand up to folks like Massey Energy.
Massey Energy Co. could have prevented the West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 workers last year and the company failed to disclose some hazards in reports it provided to government inspectors, federal safety officials said Wednesday.
Patricia Smith, the U.S. Labor Department’s top lawyer, said not recording hazards where required was a potential criminal violation of the Mine Act and “we have notified the U.S. attorney of that.”
The Justice Department’s probe of the accident is continuing, it said recently. Its investigation has so far resulted in a criminal indictment against the former head of safety at the Upper Big Branch mine for allegedly attempting to destroy evidence. He has pleaded not guilty.
The April 2010 explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch mine in Montcoal, W.Va., was the worst U.S. coal-mining disaster in 40 years. It resulted in several wrongful-death lawsuits against Massey and led to the resignation of the company’s chief executive and the sale of Massey to Alpha Natural Resources Inc. of Abingdon, Va.
At a briefing Wednesday in Beaver, W.Va., Kevin Stricklin, coal administrator for mine safety and health at the Mine Safety and Health Administration, said, “We found there to be two sets of books” kept by Massey. (more…)