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Posts tagged ‘Unemployment benefits’

What to Expect From Friday’s Jobs Report.


Friday, economists expect the Labor Department to report the economy added 181,000 jobs in January, up from the disappointing 74,000 scored in December. That’s about half the pace needed to bring unemployment down to acceptable levels and motivate the Federal Reserve to raise targets for short-term interest rates.

The economy did grow at a solid 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter. Consumer spending accelerated and growth was more broadly supported by business investment and improvements in exports.

The Fed has well-founded confidence in the long-term stability of the recovery and is well-advised to continue tapering purchases of longer-term Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities. Recent turmoil in currency and stock markets notwithstanding, the fundamentals underneath U.S. equities remain sound.

Editor’s Note: 38 Trades That Could Turn $1,000 Into $49,000 

However, expansion in the housing, autos and manufacturing sectors — the bright stars of the 18-quarter expansion — showed signs of tiring, and these trends carried over into January data. For example, contracts for sales of new and existing homes and the Institute for Supply Management data for manufacturing have not been encouraging.

The unseasonably cold winter slowed housing sales, which should rebound by March. Autos and other manufacturing activities are troubled by Japan’s efforts to suppress the value of the yen against the dollar and accomplish price competitiveness and exports unjustified by underlying comparative advantages.

The jobs report may reflect continued restructuring among large retailers — many big names sold large volumes of goods at very thin margins during the holiday season and remain overexpanded — and uncertainty in healthcare owing to the rocky rollout of Obamacare.

Economists generally believe consumer spending got out ahead of income gains in the fourth quarter, and households will consolidate their finances and slow purchases through the spring. Overall, first quarter growth in the range of 2 to 2.5 percent — in line with the trend for the recovery since 2009 — is expected, and jobs growth in the range of 180,000 for January would support that expectation.

The unemployment rate should stay at about 6.7 percent, largely because so many adults remain discouraged or stuck in part-time jobs, with the latter condition worsening as Obamacare mandates for full-time employees in 2015 come into more immediate focus.

Going forward, the December termination of federal support for unemployment benefits administered by the states in excess of the customary 26 weeks will likely help depress the unemployment rate. The experience of North Carolina, which ended long-term benefits in July, indicates many adults will cease actively looking for work and not be counted in federal jobless statistics.

That experience does raise serious questions about the need for long-term assistance among many who have been collecting benefits, especially given that extended unemployment benefits raise wages demanded, generally, and discourages hiring on a broad scale.

Factoring in part-time employees who would prefer full-time work and discouraged adults, the jobless rate is 13.1 percent.

Getting headline unemployment down to 6 percent, while employing those folks at the margins of the labor market, would require about 365,000 jobs each month for three years — about double the pace accomplished since the economic recovery began and during the George W. Bush expansion.

It bears noting Presidents Reagan and Clinton accomplished more robust growth and jobs creation with lighter regulations, lower taxes, less emphasis on entitlement programs and fewer efforts to suppress criticism of their administrations’ policies.

Both capitalized on the dynamic opportunities offered by new technologies and private initiative by encouraging robust public debate about appropriate directions for public policy, as opposed to tolerating efforts to quiet their voices through law enforcement and muffle dissent through the administration of the tax laws.

Throughout the world, over and over again, new technology and private initiative have instigated more growth and created more good-paying jobs when debate is untethered by fears of retribution and unsettling to those in power.

Editor’s Note: 38 Trades That Could Turn $1,000 Into $49,000 

© 2014 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

By Peter Morici Twitter @pmorici1

CBO Report Underestimates Obamacare Damage to Employment, Economy.


In a new report, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) once again underestimates the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, on labor-force participation and the economy.

Gross domestic product (GDP), growth and employment for most workers will be harmed.

It estimates employment will be cut by 1.5 percent to 2 percent, thanks to workers choosing to cut hours or not work at all to obtain Obamacare subsidies for private insurance or maintain eligibility for Medicaid.

According to the report, lower employment only translates into a 1 percent reduction in worker compensation, owing to the concentration of those in low-wage categories.

However, the report fails to adequately calibrate the impact of higher Medicare taxes and the surcharge on interest, dividends and capital gains on the participation of older workers — especially high-productivity and entrepreneurial workers and business owners above age 50 but heretofore not yet inclined to cut hours or retire.

In addition, it fails to consider the consequences of distorted career paths on labor productivity, negative effects on research and development (R&D) spending and lower investment overall in the United States. Those activities will be lost to China, Japan and Germany and other competitors in Asia and Europe because of their lower healthcare costs.

Major industrialized competitors in Europe and Asia spend 9 percent to 12 percent of GDP, and often attain higher healthcare outcomes, while the United States spends 18 percent. And Medicare and Medicaid’s own actuaries expect the latter figure to rise under Obamacare, thanks to the inadequacies of cost controls.

Whether paid through direct taxes, business outlays for health insurance or penalties for failing to provide healthcare, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, those costs weigh heavily on cost competitiveness and decisions to locate manufacturing and service activities in the United States, especially those critical to R&D effort and innovation.

The Obama administration argues that subsidies for healthcare and Medicaid give Americans more personal choices, and decisions not to work improve the performance of the economy.

Taken to its logical conclusion, the administration should provide direct cash payments to workers to abstain from seeking employment.

Rolling it all up, the impact on the economy beginning this year and escalating through the decade is likely in the range of $240 billion to $320 billion. This will damage the viability of the Social Security trust funds and shake state and local government finances.

More cities, like Detroit, will face bankruptcies. States like Illinois will face lower credit ratings and be forced to reduce funding for education, public safety and the like.

By failing to address the handicap imposed on American businesses by higher healthcare costs, the Affordable Care Act, like other efforts to equalize income, will slow growth to a pace more akin to lethargic European economies than emerging competitors in Asia.

Editor’s Note: 18.79% Annual Returns . . . for Life? 

© 2014 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

By Peter Morici Twitter @pmorici1

Pope Francis Equates Unemployment With Impending Suicide, Says Wealth Must Be Redistributed.


VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis extolled the benefits of sharing wealth with the poor on Tuesday, warning that “unjust” social conditions like unemployment can lead to sin, financial ruin and even suicide.

pope-francis-declares-vatican-to-be-church-mother-whore-revelation-17

Do YOU know of any other city that sits on 7 hills, wears purple and scarlet and is drunk on the blood of all the saints they killed?

The Jesuit pope has frequently railed about the excesses of capitalism and income disparity in a globalized world, and his message for Lent issued Tuesday echoed those same concerns.

Lent is the solemn period leading up to Holy Week and Easter, when the faithful recall Christ’s death and resurrection. It’s a time when Christians often fast, and Francis urged the faithful to deny themselves certain things this Lent “to help and enrich others by our own poverty.”

“When power, luxury and money become idols, they take priority over the need for a fair distribution of wealth,” he said in the short message. “Our consciences thus need to be converted to justice, equality, simplicity and sharing.”

He said it’s not enough to just make charitable offerings. “Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance. I distrust a charity that costs nothing and does not hurt,” he wrote.

While calling for Christians to actually touch poverty and make it their own, Francis distinguished material poverty or destitution from moral destitution, which he said “consists of slavery to vice and sin.”

“How much pain is caused in families because one of their members – often a young person – is in thrall to alcohol, drugs, gambling and pornography!” he lamented. Sometimes “unjust social conditions” like unemployment lead to this type of destitution by depriving people of the dignity of work and access to education and health care, he said.

“In such cases, moral destitution can be considered impending suicide.”

Francis has riled some conservative Americans for his denunciation of capitalism and trickle-down economic theory, which is says is based on a survival of the fittest mentality “where the powerful feed upon the powerless” with no regard for ethics, the environment or even God.

His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, however, espoused the exact same concerns, writing an entire encyclical in 2009 in which he denounced the profit-at-all-cost mentality blamed for bringing about the global financial meltdown and called for a new world financial order guided by ethics and the search for the common good. source – AP

by NTEB News Desk

Reid Seeking Votes for New Jobless Benefits Deal.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday he is seeking votes for a new measure that would extend jobless benefits for three more months for people out of work the longest.

Reid, D-Nev., said he still lacks the 60 votes needed to end Republican delaying tactics against the measure. But he told reporters that he has 58 or 59 votes and hopes his chamber will debate the package next week.

Democrats are pushing the bill amid an election-year effort to portray themselves as defenders of families struggling to make ends meet during the sluggish recovery from the Great Recession.

The proposal would cost a bit over $6 billion and be paid for by giving large corporations more time to meet their pension obligations, Democratic officials said.

That would raise federal revenue over the short term because it would lower companies’ pension fund contributions, which are tax deductible. It would reduce federal revenue later as corporate pension contributions increase.

The bill’s details were described by Democratic officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss private talks.

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., has been a leading Republican in efforts to round up GOP support for a compromise. Nevada’s unemployment rate of 8.8 percent last month was one of the nation’s highest.

“Sen. Heller is continuing to talk with his Democratic and Republican colleagues about a number of ideas to move unemployment insurance legislation forward,” said Heller spokesman Chandler Smith.

The program expired on Dec. 28, cutting off benefits for more than 1 million long-term unemployed people.

Efforts to revive the benefits have stalled in the Senate, where most Republicans have opposed the proposed extension.

Under the expired program, an average $256 weekly had gone to laid-off workers who exhausted their state-provided benefits, which generally last 26 weeks. Federal payments were available for up to 47 more weeks, depending on unemployment in each state.

 

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Rove: SOTU Intent Was to Give Democrats Talking Points.


President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday was intended to give Democrats talking points, and then blame Republicans if they “didn’t get what they want” in Congress during the year, Karl Rove said Wednesday.

“This was all designed to do two things. One is to give Democrats a series of talking points about what they were supposedly trying to achieve this year. And, then, to be able to blame the Republicans, if they didn’t get what they want,” Rove told Fox News’ “Happening Now.”

Story continues below video.

Rove, who served as deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, said much of President Obama’s speech contained “old familiar themes,” such as minimum wage increases, unemployment benefits, immigration reform, and climate change. He said what was new in the speech was “relatively small and very unimpressive.”

The statements the president made about Obamacare were meant to “stiffen the spine” of Democrats facing reelection in the fall, Rove explained. He said the topic of women getting paid less than men was simply to “add to the narrative of what (Democrats) are all about.”

Rove stressed the president does have authority to issue executive orders, as President Obama has threatened to do if Congress does not act on legislative issues. He said the test of its legality was whether or not the president’s actions were based in statute. On this point, Rove claimed President Obama “doesn’t seem to care what the law has to say.”

“There is no statutory authority for a president to exempt an entire class of people from immigration law enforcement, and yet he did it.

“There is no provision in the Affordable Care Act that gives him ability to unilaterally suspend the employer mandate, but he did it,” he said.

Rove maintained the president might act through executive order and then “dare somebody” to take him to court. He said he thought the president’s threat of executive orders was “more bluster and bluff than reality.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Wanda Carruthers

GOP’s Heller Pushes Bill to Extend Jobless Benefits.


Image: GOP's Heller Pushes Bill to Extend Jobless Benefits

By Drew MacKenzie

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller has raised eyebrows among his Republican colleagues by putting his name to a bill to extend unemployment benefits to 1.3 million jobless Americans.

Co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the legislation fails to offset the costs of the welfare with any proposed cuts to the federal budget — so breaking GOP pledges to keep entitlements and government spending down.

Editor’s Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

The legislation, which could be introduced in the Senate in early January, has been hailed by President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but is likely to upset many Republicans, especially conservatives, says Rhode Island’s Providence Journal.

Republicans have argued that they will vote against extending benefits unless other cuts are put forward to counter the cost of the unemployment benefits.

The object of the emergency bill is to give the government time to come up with a comprehensive plan to make changes to the program and find ways to pay for it.

The benefits available to workers unemployed for 26 weeks or more are set to expire on Saturday.

Democrats had hoped to include a one-year extension to the benefits, at a cost of $25 billion, to the two-year federal budget, which was negotiated by the Senate and House finance committee chairs, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

But the extension was omitted from the legislation, which was signed into law Thursday by President Barack Obama during his Christmas vacation in Hawaii.

Heller and Reed have a particular interest in the unemployment problem because their two states have the highest jobless rates in the country. Extensions to unemployment benefits are given to jobless workers in states with the worst unemployment rates, with Nevadans eligible for the maximum 73 weeks, says the Las Vegas Sun.

On Reed’s official website, Heller said, “Providing a safety net for those in need is one of the most important functions of the federal government. As Nevada’s unemployment rate continues to top the charts nationwide, many families and individuals back home do not know how they are going to meet their basic needs.

“I am pleased to join Senator Reed on this legislation, which aims to help people across the nation who have fallen on hard times.”

Reed said he had introduced the “emergency spending” measure so that the unemployed aren’t “cut off, thrown off the cliff starting literally this week.” He suggested that a year-long extension of jobless benefits could be paid for by closing tax loopholes and reducing offshore tax breaks.

The legislation has already received the support of leading Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Reid said he was “pleased and proud of my colleague Sen. Dean Heller” for introducing “a good bill, and it deserves a vote.”

And White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett has declared that Obama’s administration “strongly support” the bill, adding, “We think it’s very important; we think they’ve made a very good case for it.” She also said the president would help “galvanize support for it.”

Editor’s Note: ObamaCare Is Here. Are You Prepared?

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Senate panel OKs changes to unemployment claims.


Senate panel OKs bill shifting burden to unemployed to prove they should collect payments

PHOENIX (AP) — A pro-business measure moving forward in the Arizona Legislature would make it harder for recently unemployed people to obtain unemployment insurance benefits.

The measure would require unemployed workers to present documents showing they were fired before they can receive benefits. Under current law, the burden is on employers to fight fraudulent claims.

The Republican-led effort would prevent people who quit from collecting benefits, proponents argued. The proposed change follows complaints from business groups about workers who walk off jobs and then file for benefits. A Republican-led Senate committee approved the measure in a 4-3 partisan vote Wednesday.

Critics said it would be nearly impossible for workers to prove they were let go because employers often don’t provide documentation informing workers of their dismissal.

“We are talking about individuals who are struggling day to day, not millionaires,” said Democratic Sen. Ed Ableser of Tempe.

The Republican-led House passed the measure in a 36-23 vote along party lines in February.

The U.S. Department of Labor has raised concerns about the legality of the bill. Under federal law, applicants must have a lost a job through no fault of their own and be able to work to receive benefits. The burden of proof is not on the employee.

“It is the state’s responsibility to make reasonable efforts to obtain the information necessary to determine whether an individual is eligible,” federal officials wrote to lawmakers this week.

Thousands of people could be impacted by the proposed change. Arizona’s unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in December, according to the Department of Labor.

Arizona is already tougher than many other states when it comes to unemployment claims. The maximum weekly unemployment benefit in Arizona is $240. The national average has been $300 since 2010, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C.

The number of people claiming benefits has gone down from a 2010 peak of more than 200,000 per month, to fewer than 75,000 in January, according to the state Department of Economic Security.

Under the measure, applications that don’t include documents validating the unemployment claim would be deemed invalid. Employers would be allowed to claim that the employee submitted a verbal resignation to prove the worker voluntarily left the job. Employers also could avoid paying the claims if they say the worker skipped work.

“If you have an employee that walks out and doesn’t come back, we believe the burden should be on that employee to prove or at least state why they believe they should be eligible for unemployment,” said Eric Emmert of the East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance.

An amendment to the bill approved Wednesday would require the state to make a final determination based on all submitted evidence, but critics complained that change does little to protect terminated workers.

Ellen Sue Katz, litigation director for the William E. Morris Institute for Justice in Phoenix, said the measure is a violation of federal law because it would allow the state to skirt its responsibility of evaluating each claim, which would overwhelmingly benefit employers.

“This bill rewards employers who have no written policies and do not give separation notices,” according to a statement from the institute to lawmakers.

___

Cristina Silva can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/cristymsilva .

Source: YAHOO NEWS.

By Cristina Silva, Associated Press | Associated Press

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