Tag Archives: unemployment

The Real Misery Index: Unemployment Increases the Hardship

Marcus Baram The Huffington Post

The rise in unemployment continues to prolong the hardship for millions of Americans, according to the latest update of the Huffington Post’s Real Misery Index.

The index rose to 32.2 in August 2009, after peaking at 29.2 in July, largely due to the increase in the U6 unemployment rate, which tracks part-time workers looking for full-time employment and those who’ve given up looking for work. The index would be even higher if it weren’t for a slight rebound in housing prices.

Rising unemployment — and the accompanying increase in the number of Americans who have been out of work for more than 6 months (5.4 million as of September) — threatens to diminish the chances of a speedy recovery.

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New Report: Middle Skill Jobs, the Backbone of Rhode Island’s Economy, Will Account for 42 Percent of State’s Job Openings in 2016; State Workforce Not Ready to Meet Demand

Rhode Island’s Economic Recovery Tied to Preparing Workers for Jobs Requiring More than High School Diploma, Less than College Degree; Rhode Island Must Use Economic Downtime to Boost Skills of Workforce.

PROVIDENCE, R.I., Oct. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In what will play a major role in Rhode Island’s economic recovery, 42 percent of all job openings projected for the state by 2016 are “middle-skill” – jobs that require more than a high school diploma, but less than a four-year degree — concludes a new study released today by The Workforce Alliance and the Skills2Compete-Rhode Island campaign, an affiliate of the national Skills2Compete campaign. But to unleash the full economic benefits of these openings, Rhode Island will need to invest in proper training and education for its embattled workforce.

While the recession is stifling current employment growth, more than 68,000 “middle-skill” job openings (including new jobs and replacement) would account for 42 percent of all Rhode Island job openings between 2006 and 2016. Low- and high- skill jobs will account for 26 percent and 32 percent respectively.

The report, which for the first time tracks Rhode Island’s jobs at the middle-skill level, notes that federal funds from the recovery bill are also expected to create thousands of new jobs — particularly in industries dominated by middle-skill occupations, like environment/energy, construction, healthcare, manufacturing, and transportation.

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As layoffs persist, good jobs go unfilled

CHRISTOPHER LEONARD | 10/ 4/09 08:05 PM | AP

In a brutal job market, here’s a task that might sound easy: Fill jobs in nursing, engineering and energy research that pay $55,000 to $60,000, plus benefits.

Yet even with 15 million people hunting for work, even with the unemployment rate nearing 10 percent, some employers can’t find enough qualified people for good-paying career jobs.

Ask Steve Jones, a hospital recruiter in Indianapolis who’s struggling to find qualified nurses, pharmacists and MRI technicians. Or Ed Baker, who’s looking to hire at a U.S. Energy Department research lab in Richland, Wash., for $60,000 each.

Economists say the main problem is a mismatch between available work and people qualified to do it. Millions of jobs with attractive pay and benefits that once drew legions of workers to the auto industry, construction, Wall Street and other sectors are gone, probably for good. And those who lost those jobs generally lack the right experience for new positions popping up in health care, energy and engineering.

Many of these specialized jobs were hard to fill even before the recession. But during downturns, recruiters tend to become even choosier, less willing to take financial risks on untested workers.

The mismatch between job opening and job seeker is likely to persist even as the economy strengthens and begins to add jobs. It also will make it harder for the unemployment rate, now at 9.8 percent, to drop down to a healthier level.

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263,000 Jobs Lost in September, Far More Than Forecast

By JACK HEALY

October 2, 2009 New York Times

The American economy lost 263,000 jobs in September — far more than expected — and the unemployment rate rose 9.8 percent, the government reported on Friday, dimming the prospect of any meaningful job growth by the end of the year.

The Labor Department’s monthly snapshot of unemployment dashed hopes that the pace of job losses would continue to slow as the economy clawed its way back from a deep recession. Economists had been hoping for 175,000 monthly job losses.

In one bright spot, fewer jobs were lost in August than originally reported — with 201,000 positions gone instead of earlier figures of 216,000.

But overall, the report offered little good news for the 15.1 million unemployed people in the United States. The number of hours worked stagnated. Overtime hours slipped in many industries. And temporary help companies — typically, among the first to rebound after a recession — shed 1,700 jobs.

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