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  • President Donald Trump, who has vowed to stop U.S. manufacturing from disappearing overseas, is seeking job-creation advice from at least six companies that are laying off thousands of workers as they shift production abroad. Caterpillar Inc.(CAT.N), United Technologies Corp.(UTX.N), Dana Inc.(DAN.N), 3M Co.(MMM.N), Timken Co.(TKR.N) and General Electric Co.(GE.N), are offshoring work to Mexico, China, India and other countries, according to a Reuters review of U.S. Labor Department records. (Graphic:
  • U.S. job openings surged in December and the number of Americans voluntarily quitting work hit a nine-year high, pointing to labor market strength despite a slowdown in economic growth. The signs of a robust jobs market could ease concerns about the health of the economy, which were underscored by other reports on Tuesday showing a drop in small business confidence in January to a two-year low and further declines in wholesale inventories.
  • U.S. employment increased at a healthy pace in November, in another sign of the economy's resilience, and will most likely be followed by the first Federal Reserve interest rate rise in a decade later this month. Nonfarm payrolls rose 211,000 last month, the U.S. Labor Department said on Friday. September and October data was revised to show 35,000 more jobs than previously reported.
  • The national unemployment rate in October fell to 5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday — the lowest mark of the Obama presidency. Politicians might battle over the "real" unemployment rate, but don't be fooled: The BLS data is trusted by economists, and Friday's new number is a key milestone for economic policy. Namely, 5 percent unemployment means we're on the edge of the 4.9 percent level that the Federal Reserve considers as necessary for "full employment," Sho Chandra writes for Bloomberg.
  • In a jobs report that may influence the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates, the Labor Department says that 271,000 jobs were added in October. The unemployment rate fell slightly to 5 percent, according to the report from the agency's Bureau of Labor Statistics. It's the biggest one-month jobs gain in all of 2015, according to Bloomberg News, which adds that the strong result is one of the positive signs the Fed's economists "are looking for as they consider a year-end boost in borrowing costs."
  • As of this month, the unemployment rate is now lower than it was at any point during Ronald Reagan's administration:
  • After 10 years as a McDonald’s cashier in Los Angeles, Albina Ardon earns just $9.05 an hour. For most of her time there, Ardon, 28, has been deeply frustrated because her pay has barely budged, forcing her and her husband—a cook at the same McDonald’s—to turn to Medicaid and food stamps for their two daughters, ages 6 and 8.
  • The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits last week dropped to its lowest level in more than 41-1/2 years, suggesting the labor market maintained a sturdy pace of job growth in July. Other data on Thursday also offered an upbeat assessment of the economy. A gauge of future economic activity increased solidly in June and another measure suggested growth picked up slightly last month.
  • The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week and confidence among homebuilders held at a more than 9-1/2-year high in July, indicating underlying momentum in the economy. The solid labor market and firming housing sector, underscored by Thursday's reports, suggest the economy likely is strong enough to support an interest rate hike this year. Manufacturing, however, continues to struggle.
  • Barack Obama took to the op-ed pages of the Huffington Post to propose a new plan that he claims will extend overtime pay to 5 million new Americans, by making workers earning under $50,400 per year eligible for overtime wages.
  • It's been a good few days for America. On Thursday, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the Affordable Care Act. It is here to stay. And, Democrats and Republicans in Congress paved the way for the United States to rewrite the rules of global trade to benefit American workers and American businesses.
  • U.S. job openings surged to a record high in April and small business confidence perked up in May, suggesting the economy was regaining speed after stumbling at the start of the year. The economy's stronger tone was reinforced by other data on Tuesday showing a solid rise in wholesale inventories in April, in part as oil prices stabilized. "This is more confirmation that the economy is indeed emerging from that soft patch in the first quarter and can still pick up even faster in the next few months," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.
  • Hillary Clinton asserted her support for union rights by calling in to a convention of fast-food workers in Detroit Sunday. She used the event to take a not-so-subtle jab at Republicans who have sought to limit them and hinted that she might support a $15 minimum wage — the type that her chief rivals for the Democratic nomination back. "We need you out there leading the fight against those who would rip away Americans' right to organize, to collective bargaining, to fair pay ," Clinton told the audience. The Washington Post noted that she used language in her remarks that mirrors that used in the Service Employees International Union's call for a $15 minimum wage.
  • The economy added 280,000 jobs in May, the Labor Department reported Friday, up from April’s increase of 221,000 jobs. Unemployment was 5.5 percent, essentially unchanged from April’s 5.4 percent. And average hourly private-sector earnings were up 8 cents, more than double April’s 3-cent increase and boosting year-over-year average hourly earnings to 2.3 percent.
  • The Los Angeles City Council voted on Tuesday to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020 for companies with at least 25 employees, with smaller businesses having until 2021 to meet the benchmark. The council voted 14-1 to give preliminary approval to the measure, which must come back for a final vote.
  • U.S. employers added 223,000 jobs in April, a solid gain that suggests that the economy may be recovering after stumbling at the start of the year. The job growth helped lower the unemployment rate to 5.4 percent from 5.5 percent in March, the Labor Department said Friday. That is the lowest rate since May 2008, six months into the Great Recession. The gains signal that companies are confident enough in their outlook to hire at a steady pace. The job growth could help fuel an economic rebound after a January-March quarter in which the U.S. economy is thought to have shrunk.
  • The U.S. economy added a solid 230,000 jobs in April, according to government data released Friday morning, a key sign that the labor market is regaining its footing after taking a slide earlier this year. The unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent, a seven-year low.
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter is a very smart man who’s at home in the military-industrial complex, but he’s not very sharp on trade issues. Case in point: Carter’s recent claim in a speech at the start of his Asia trip: “We already see countries in the region trying to carve up these markets.” That was Carter’s attempt to show his support of the Obama administration’s big push to obtain fast-track authority to win eventual passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the implication being that without TPP, America will lose ground in Asia. But all Carter did was show that when it comes to economics, he’s stuck in an earlier century.
  • Happy Basic Income Day! Sure, May 1st may be better known as International Workers' Day, but some activists are trying to rebrand it. "Labor Day should not be about demanding ‘more jobs’ or higher wages," the official Basic Income Day website explains. "Labor Day should be about struggling for the emancipation from unnecessary labor, unchosen labor, exploited labor." And the way to get that emancipation, it argues, is through a basic income. But wait — what is a "basic income" anyway? Here are the basics (get it?) of the idea, in eleven questions.
  • Apr 18 2015
    Demand a Higher Wage, People!
    Chasten Florence was on his lunch break when he decided to join a protest outside a McDonald’s in New York City on Wednesday. To be honest, Florence wasn’t really sure what he was helping protest. But as he lay his body down on the sidewalk at a die-in of low-wage workers demanding a $15 wage and a union, Florence simply explained, “These are my people.” Didn’t Florence need to eat lunch? Sure, but he could spare five minutes. Working concrete on construction jobs, Florence earns more than $15 an hour and thinks everyone else should, too. “I don’t know how you can raise a household on less,” said Florence. And he’s right. You can’t.