Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:52 am
When former General Electric CEO Jack Welch tweeted on Friday that the drop in the unemployment rate last month was "unbelievable" and that President Obama and his campaign aides "will do anything ... can't debate so change numbers," he aligned himself with conspiracy theorists who were asking if some sort of "October surprise" had been pulled.
Job seekers line up to register at a Miami job fair in January. A new study shows that Florida voters discuss joblessness in ways quite different from those in Ohio and Virginia, two other presidential battleground states.
Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 4:21 pm
Dante Chinni is the director of Patchwork Nation, which uses demographic, voting and cultural data to study communities. It is part of the nonpartisan, not-for-profit Jefferson Institute, which teamed with NPR to examine what can be learned about different communities through online text analysis. The project had Knight Foundation funding.
Since the beginning of the Great Recession, unemployment has driven much of the national conversation, and with good reason.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 2:22 pm
With a new report showing the nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, the Obama administration got good news Friday: Jobs are indeed growing. But, as Republicans noted, the pace remains well below the level needed to provide paychecks for the 12.1 million people seeking them.
The truth is, each party could find evidence to support either a positive or negative spin on the labor market, which is recovering — yet weak.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 12:09 pm
To become president and to be re-elected president takes much luck (among other factors, like money and political skill.) And President Obama appears to be one of the most fortunate presidents in recent memory with the release of the latest employment report.
Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 10:27 am
The nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August even though just 114,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
Those hard-to-reconcile figures — a decline in the jobless rate even though job growth was relatively weak — appear to be at least partly explained by a sharp increase in the number of Americans who found part-time jobs and counted themselves as employed.
Job seekers fill out applications Aug. 21 at a construction job fair in New York. Polls show voters want the presidential candidates to provide more details on how they would reduce unemployment, change tax policy and alter government spending.
Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 12:48 pm
As this presidential election year was kicking off, strategists were saying the focus would be on the economy. But now — even as absentee ballots are being filled in — the candidates are still dodging details about how to improve growth.
"President Obama doesn't have a plan," says Kevin Hassett, an economic adviser to Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Jeffrey Liebman, an economic adviser to President Obama, says Romney has revealed no plan other than "going back to the failed policies of the past decade."
Mechelle Baylor's home in the Shaw area of Washington, D.C., has been in her family since 1929. She says she's seen her neighborhood change a lot as her neighbors move out and higher-income earners move in.
The income gap is receiving much attention lately as more Americans are isolating themselves around "people like us."
More accurately, they surround themselves with people who earn similar incomes, and it is now fueling a rise in residential segregation. One recent study suggests the income gap might be greater today than even during colonial times – even when you account for slavery.
Unemployment ticked down in Louisiana in August as some people left the labor force.
The state's jobless rate fell to 7.4 percent, down from 7.6 percent in July but above the 7.3 percent unemployment rate of August 2011.
Louisiana's jobless rate never rose as high as the nation's, and fell to a post-recession low of 6.9 percent in January. Since then, jobless rates had risen in five out of six months. August was the first improvement since January.