Banks Rake In Profits – Largely From Government Supports

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 3:37 pm

It goes without saying that you should not weep for the banking industry. In the years following a Great Recession they caused, they still manage to churn out record profits. This is the 13th straight quarterly rise in profits for financial institutions. The industry’s third-quarter earnings jumped 6.6% from the same period in 2011, to [...]

Deficit-Obsessed Media Leaves Unemployment Story at the Side of the Road

By: Wednesday November 28, 2012 2:07 pm

Not to harp on Raul Grijalva, but his media critique in this op-ed is spot-on, even if you strip away the partisan lens through which he frames this. The real story is that we have a jobs shortage crisis in this country, and Republicans haven’t lifted a finger to help. Democrats have put up the [...]

Sandy-Induced Unemployment Spike Shows Need to Focus on Jobs, Not Austerity

By: Thursday November 15, 2012 7:02 am

First-time jobless claims spiked to 439,000 after nearly a year under 400,000. The reason for this sudden weakness in the US economy? Suprestorm Sandy. This sharp increase is due to Hurricane Sandy as claims increased significantly in the impacted areas. Note the spike in 2005 related to hurricane Katrina – we are seeing a similar [...]

Liberal Groups Fighting Grand Bargain – For Now

By: Friday November 9, 2012 11:43 am

As we try to soak in what the President just had to say, keep in mind that there’s a growing citizen-led movement, backed by labor and progressive groups, to push Democrats away from anything approaching a grand bargain that would cut Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security (they should also be protective of regular discretionary spending, [...]

Natural Disasters and Economic Disasters Require the Same Urgent Response

By: Friday November 2, 2012 7:45 am

David Callahan had a smart column in The American Prospect about natural and economic disasters, and why they must be met with the same level of urgency. If most of us take for granted that we should be there for our fellow citizens during natural disasters, using the tool of government, why is it so [...]

Economy Adds 171,000 Jobs in October; Topline Unemployment Rate at 7.9%

By: Friday November 2, 2012 6:14 am

The US economy continues to add jobs, and October’s establishment survey showed a solid increase of 171,000, with upward revisions to August (to +192,000 from +142,000) and September (to +148,000 from +114,000). The unemployment rate in the household survey, however, which went down markedly to 7.8% in September, ticked up to 7.9% in October. The [...]

The Early Line on Tomorrow’s Jobs Report

By: Thursday November 1, 2012 7:00 am

I’m skeptical that monthly job reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics move voters in any way. People live in the real economy, and they’ve already made up their minds about it. Nevertheless, tomorrow’s jobs report, which despite Hurricane Sandy will arrive on schedule, will no doubt get hyped as TEH MOST IMPORTANT JOBS REPORT [...]

The Low-Wage, Part-Time New Normal Economy

By: Monday October 29, 2012 11:39 am

Consumer confidence numbers have picked up steadily over the past three months, and Americans now feel better about the economy as a whole and their personal economic conditions. Further evidence for this can be seen in the rise in consumer spending in September, at twice the rate of the rise in personal income. Whether it’s [...]

BLS May Delay October Jobs Report Due to Frankenstorm

By: Monday October 29, 2012 10:45 am

The known late-campaign “surprise” were the final pre-election jobs report scheduled for Friday. Both campaigns were poised to jump on whatever positive or negative numbers came out of the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But the unknown late-campaign “surprise,” Hurricane Sandy, which before it even hits land has flooded coastal areas all over New York and [...]

White House Denies Report of Making Work Pay Tax Cut Proposal

By: Monday October 29, 2012 7:00 am

As is typical for Washington trial balloons, the White House is denying a report that they would push for a tax cut similar to Making Work Pay to replace the payroll tax cut and continue the stimulative wage subsidy effect amid an economy that’s still growing too slowly. Allowing the payroll tax cut to expire, [...]

GDP Increased to 2.0% in the Third Quarter of 2012

By: Friday October 26, 2012 7:01 am

The Bureau of Economic Analysis rates 3rd quarter GDP with a preliminary estimate of 2.0%, an increase from the previous quarter but not the kind of economic growth normally associated with reducing the unemployment rate in rapid fashion. GDP in the second quarter increased 1.3%, so this represents an acceleration on growth, albeit a modest [...]

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