Category Archives: Labor

June jobs report rebounds

Steve Benen has the June jobs report. Job growth picks up steam as spring turns to summer:

Monthly job growth was a little underwhelming as 2017 got underway, leading to questions about when we might see more robust numbers. Apparently, we now have an answer.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the U.S. economy added 222,000 jobs in June, which is a very healthy total. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, inched higher to 4.4%.

June Jobs

As for the revisions, the totals for April and May were both revised up, and combined they show a net gain of about 47,000 jobs.

Above you’ll find the chart I run every month, showing monthly job losses since the start of the Great Recession.

Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.

June Private
Continue reading

What are Democrats Doing for Disillusioned Trump Voters in Mobile Home Parks??

There’s a groundswell of new volunteers at the Democratic Party. Candidates are talking about healthcare, gay rights, and Planned Parenthood. This plays great with progressive voters. But we are all talking to ourselves inside a bubble.

What are we doing for all the white and Latino working class people who voted for Trump? Are we going to totally blow it in 2018 because we ignored the victims of bad housing because we didn’t knock on doors in trailer parks? These are the people who elected Trump, and they are losing confidence in him.

Consider this:

  • 44,000 people live in mobile home parks in Tucson. They are Trump voters if they voted.
  • There are 430 mobile home parks where tenants are living in a housing nightmare, being abused and taken advantage of by park landlords. They live at the whim of the landlord.
  • 10% of housing stock in Tucson is mobile home parks.
  • There is no regulation of mobile home parks in Arizona.

It is Dickensian and it’s right here in town. In my Precinct, #238, I knocked on doors and made phone calls to people who live in beautiful condos and grand houses sitting on enormous lots. As Tamar Rala Kreiswirth pointed out, 25% of these Democrats in Tucson didn’t vote in 2016.

You know that lily-white Republicans would never leave their country clubs to  dirty their hands by going into a trailer park.

Are we going to let it happen again?

Are we afraid to see poverty in person? Do we lack the guts to meet housing victims face-to-face? Are we too prissy and effete to actually go to the homes of people who need our help?

Or are we Democrats people with cojones, guts and heart?

The National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that a typical Arizona renter needs to work 70 hours a week just to pay rent.

A person working in zip code 85705 makes $13.27 per hour or $520 per month. The Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom home is $690 per month.

Read some of the headlines:
Two weeks without water for mobile home park residents

Tucson’s aging mobile homes: Problems run deep, but solutions do exist

Goal: Hold irresponsible trailer-park landlords accountable in Tucson

So put on your camo baseball cap, change out of your sandals and get into some shoes from Walmart. Put on a shirt from Bass Pro Shops. Leave your jewelry behind and stop reading The New Yorker and read Hillbilly Elegy.

We may be able to win seats in the 2018 mid-term election, but not if we sit in our comfortable houses and ignore voters who are being viciously mistreated. Get out there and be real Democrats, dammit.

May jobs report fails to meet expectations

Earlier this week, our always insecure egomaniacal Twitter-troll-in-chief claimed that he has created “more than 1 million private sector jobs.”

How do you know when Donald Trump is lying? His lips are moving. Trump takes credit for 1 million jobs. Not true: “Official government data from the Labor Department show only 601,000 private sector jobs have been added since January, when Trump took office. Trump is trying to take credit for far more.”

This is yet another example of how Tea-Publicans can’t do math. Trump Budget Based on $2 Trillion Math Error. And this example. Trump’s argument for withdrawing from Paris agreement contains multi-trillion dollar math error.

The Washington Post reports, U.S. job market falls short of expectations in May, adding just 138,000 jobs:

U.S. job growth came in below expectations in May with employers adding just 138,000 jobs while the unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent, the lowest it has been in more than 16 years, federal economists reported Friday morning.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected an increase of 180,000 in non-farm payrolls, which would have been in line with average monthly gains seen over the past year.

Continue reading

Rev. William Barber Is reviving Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘Poor People’s Campaign’

The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Mondays movement that opposed North Carolina’s “most restrictive voting law in the nation,” recently scored a major victory against this TeaPublican tyranny. Strict North Carolina Voter ID Law Thwarted After Supreme Court Rejects Case:

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to revive a restrictive North Carolina voting law that a federal appeals court had struck down as an unconstitutional effort to “target African-Americans with almost surgical precision.”

The court’s decision not to hear an appeal in the case effectively overturned one of the most far-reaching attempts by Republicans to counter what they contended, without evidence, was widespread voter fraud in North Carolina. The law rejected the forms of identification used disproportionately by blacks, including IDs issued to government employees, students and people receiving public assistance.

Fresh off this victory, Rev. Barber announced last week that he will step down as president of the North Carolina NAACP and lead a new national initiative that aims to end poverty and begin what Rev. Barber calls “a national moral revival.” The Nation reports, The Rev. William Barber Is Bringing MLK’s Poor People’s Campaign Back to Life:

This new Poor People’s Campaign will pick up where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. left off 50 years ago when he turned his focus to uniting poor people across lines of race and geography and pushing their priorities onto the federal agenda.

The campaign, which launches in partnership the Kairos Center at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, will bring together organizations with a longstanding commitment to confronting poverty and inequality—local and national groups such as Picture the Homeless in New York and the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization. Barber said a task force made up of poor people and economists, theologians, and other experts will in September release a report called “The Souls of Poor Folks” that will lay out the campaign’s agenda.

Continue reading

April jobs report: employment rebounds from weak March

Last week the Bureau of Economic Analysis released data that real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of only 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2017.  CNBC reported, US first-quarter growth weakest in three years, as consumer spending falters:

The U.S. economy grew at its weakest pace in three years in the first quarter as consumer spending barely increased and businesses invested less on inventories, in a potential setback to President Donald Trump’s promise to boost growth.

Gross domestic product increased at a 0.7 percent annual rate also as the government cut back on defense spending, the Commerce Department said on Friday. That was the weakest performance since the first quarter of 2014.

* * *

The pedestrian first-quarter growth pace is, however, not a true picture of the economy’s health. The labor market is near full employment and consumer confidence is near multi-year highs, suggesting that the mostly weather-induced sharp slowdown in consumer spending is probably temporary.

“First quarter GDP tends to underperform because of difficulties with the calculation of data that the government has acknowledged and is working to rectify.”

Steve Benen has the April jobs report today. Job market improved as winter turned to spring:

After a sluggish month for the U.S. job market in March, many were eager to see whether the slide would continue, or whether we’d seen an improvement as winter turned to spring.

As is turns out, it now looks like the latter is true. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in April, more than double March’s total. The unemployment rate inched lower to 4.4%, the lowest since the summer of 2007, before the start of the Great Recession.

AprilJobs

Continue reading

Queue the Spooky Organ Music: It’s Budget Time in the #AZLeg (video)

FY2018 Arizona budget

Watching the budget discussion on Cap TV. This JLBC update will be archived on the azleg.gov website.

The much-anticipated FY2018 Arizona state budget was dropped yesterday. On Tuesday, just before 5 p.m. both the Republican and Democratic Appropriations Committees heard the JLBC review of the Republican budget.  Thus begins the mysterious whirlwind of the Arizona budget finalization process, which is scheduled to end in the wee hours of Friday morning.

As a citizen, I always scratched my head as to why the Arizona budget is always passed in the middle of the night. Obviously, the suspicion is that there is something the majority party wants to pass, and it doesn’t want you to know or to be there when it happens. There’s an element of that, for sure, because we have seen some scary stuff passed in the middle of the night by Republicans– like the voter suppression omnibus bill and blowing the doors off of campaign finance by dramatically boosting campaign limits. The majority party schedules the third day of the budget process just after midnight because they don’t want their members to go home between the debates in the Committee of the Whole (COW) and the 3rd Reading vote. If members go home, someone could say, “What are you thinking?” and change votes.

Check out the budgetary known knowns, known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns below.

Continue reading