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BUSINESS
February 6, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
A fascinating debate has broken out among economists and economic pundits concerning the Congressional Budget Office's projections that the Affordable Care Act will allow -- or induce -- some workers to leave the job market. The debate is over whether, or how much, this is a "distortion" of the labor market caused by the healthcare law. Tyler Cowen of the free-market Mercatus Center takes a shorthand look at the issue here . But the real question should be whether Obamacare is distorting the labor market or removing a distortion that previously existed.
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BUSINESS
April 10, 2014 | By Shan Li
Initial jobless claims plunged last week to their lowest level in nearly seven years, a sign that the labor market was picking up traction. The number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits dropped to 300,000 last week, a decrease of 32,000 from the week before, the Labor Department said Thursday. The last time claims were this low was in May 2007. The four-week average, which is a less volatile barometer, fell by 4,750 last week to 316,250. The Labor Department said "there were no special factors" that affected the week's data.
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BUSINESS
September 19, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Wednesday took a pretty dim view of the employment situation, calling the gains uneven and unsatisfactory, as he announced an unexpected delay in pulling back on monetary stimulus. But on Thursday morning, the Labor Department said 309,000 people filed for first-time jobless claims last week. That's up 15,000 from a distorted undercount in the previous week, yet the latest tally was still one of the lowest in several years.
BUSINESS
April 9, 2014 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - An account of the Federal Reserve's last meeting suggests that policymakers aren't as eager to take away the punch bowl as the market thought. The minutes of the March 18-19 meeting state that Fed officials worried that their individual projections for when the central bank would start raising interest rates "could be misconstrued" as indicating a shift by the Fed committee to tighter monetary policy. The average projections released after the March meeting showed a slight move forward in the anticipated timing of a Fed rate increase, and Fed Chairwoman Janet L. Yellen herself gave the impression in a news conference that day that a rate hike could be made by mid-2015, earlier than what the market had been expecting.
BUSINESS
June 20, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Initial jobless claims jumped by 18,000 last week, but remained at a level that indicates moderate labor market growth. There were 354,000 people who filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ending Saturday, up from a revised 336,000 the previous week, which was near a five-year low, the Labor Department said Thursday. The increase was more than expected. Analysts had predicted that the number would rise to about 340,000. But the less-volatile four week average rose just 2,500 to 348,250.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2013 | By Alana Semuels
Lawmakers may have avoided another recession by coming to a last-minute deal on the so-called fiscal cliff, but they did little to boost the lackluster labor market, indicating job seekers may have a tough time finding work in the first half of 2013, economists say. Congress did not postpone a scheduled increase in payroll taxes, which means that employed Americans will see less take home pay than they did last year. That means they'll spend less initially while they readjust their budgets to the new reality.
BUSINESS
September 6, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - It was two steps forward, one step back last month for the sluggish labor market. A modest net gain of 169,000 jobs in August combined with a large downward revision for the previous two months to raise new doubts about whether the economy is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to start dialing back one of its key efforts to boost growth. Although the unemployment rate ticked down to 7.3% last month - the lowest level since December 2008 - it fell largely for the wrong reason.
BUSINESS
May 18, 2012 | By Ricardo Lopez
California's jobs engine sputtered in April as employers trimmed their payrolls, breaking a streak of eight consecutive months of employment growth. Employers shed 4,200 jobs, according to figures released Friday from the state's Employment Development Department. The unemployment rate dipped last month to 10.9% from 11% in March, but only because discouraged workers  departed the labor force. "The loss this month is clearly a disappointment," said Esmael Adibi, director of Chapman University's A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2014 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy should grow at a solid rate over the next few years, but the labor market will continue to recover only slowly, according to new projections by the Congressional Budget Office. In its latest budget and economic outlook, the CBO on Tuesday forecast that economic growth will rise to 3.1% this year, boosted by gains in housing construction and business investment. And growth in economic output is projected to speed up to 3.4% in each of the next two years.
OPINION
May 31, 2003
"For Grads, Finding Work Is a Tough Job" (May 25) implied that some college graduates have resorted to unpaid internships after failing to secure paid employment. The piece could have used a comment about the legality of this practice. The entertainment industry is especially flagrant in using unpaid men and women under the guise of internships. They are nonstudents performing work without compensation and benefits. Both the intern and paid employees are victimized, while businesses profit from free labor.
BUSINESS
March 31, 2014 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, saying the job market is far from normal, made clear Monday that the central bank remains committed to providing extraordinary support for the economy for some time to come. Yellen's remarks in Chicago were meant to reassure investors and others after statements earlier this month that indicated the Fed might start raising short-term interest rates as soon as early next year - sooner than many had been expecting. “She is backtracking some from her hawkish-sounding remarks from the press conference a couple weeks ago,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer of BMO Private Bank in Chicago.
BUSINESS
March 5, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
Bad winter weather helped put a freeze on the labor market last month, with the private sector adding a disappointing 139,000 net new jobs, payroll processing firm Automatic Data Processing said Wednesday. The figure, which was below economists' expectations, does not bode well for the government's February jobs report coming Friday. Analysts have been forecasting that the Labor Department data, which cover the private and public sectors, will show a pickup in job growth to about 150,000 last month, after a weak 113,000 in January.
BUSINESS
February 17, 2014 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON - Brutal winter weather contributed to a downturn in job growth and other economic data, raising questions about the strength of the recovery and testing the Federal Reserve's resolve in unwinding its key bond-buying stimulus program. Fed policymakers will have another month of data to consider when they next meet in mid-March. But if the views of John C. Williams are any indication, the Fed is likely to hold course. As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, one of the Fed's 12 district banks, Williams has a seat at the mahogany table where top Fed officials meet regularly to discuss the economy and make policy decisions.
BUSINESS
February 7, 2014 | By Andrew Tangel
NEW YORK -- Stocks rallied about 1% despite the U.S. Labor Department's report showing weaker-than-expected employment growth last month. Investors appeared to look on the brighter side of the federal government's closely watched barometer of the labor market even though it fell far below estimates for the second consecutive month. The federal government said Friday that the U.S. economy added a disappointing 113,000 net jobs last month. But that was still more than the 74,000 jobs gained in December.
BUSINESS
February 6, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
A fascinating debate has broken out among economists and economic pundits concerning the Congressional Budget Office's projections that the Affordable Care Act will allow -- or induce -- some workers to leave the job market. The debate is over whether, or how much, this is a "distortion" of the labor market caused by the healthcare law. Tyler Cowen of the free-market Mercatus Center takes a shorthand look at the issue here . But the real question should be whether Obamacare is distorting the labor market or removing a distortion that previously existed.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2014 | By Jim Puzzanghera
A top Federal Reserve official expects the central bank to continue reducing a key stimulus program even though he sees more modest growth this year than many analysts have projected. Jeffrey Lacker , president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va., said Tuesday he supported the decision by central bank policymakers in December to start reducing the monthly bond-buying program. The Fed now is purchasing $65 billion a month in bonds after the Federal Open Market Committee voted to cut the amount by $10 billion at its December and January meetings.
BUSINESS
June 30, 2000 | From Washington Post
Three more pieces of economic data released Thursday all suggested that U.S. economic growth is slowing and that the nation's extremely tight labor markets, a keen concern of Federal Reserve officials, may be loosening up a bit. With other recent figures also pointing to some slowing in what had been a very rapid rate of growth, Fed policymakers on Wednesday chose to leave the target for overnight interest rates unchanged at 6.5%.
BUSINESS
March 9, 1997 | STUART SILVERSTEIN
Workers aren't the only ones uneasy about their future amid the upheaval in the American job market. Many employers also live in fear--although, in their case, the worries are about whether they can keep finding staffers with prized technology-related skills. In an unprecedented effort to deal with the employment insecurities among workers and companies alike, 10 high-profile corporations have teamed up to form a nonprofit consortium, the Talent Alliance.
BUSINESS
February 4, 2014 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. economy should grow at a solid rate over the next few years, but the labor market will continue to recover only slowly, according to new projections by the Congressional Budget Office. In its latest budget and economic outlook Tuesday, the CBO forecasts that economic growth will rise to 3.1% this year from 1.9% last year, boosted by gains in housing construction and business investment. And growth in economic output is projected to speed up to 3.4% in both 2015 and 2016.
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