Hurricane Isaac caused a spike in initial claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending Sept. 8.
Figures released Friday show initial claims increased to 9,023 from 2,345. That's the most initial claims filed in one week since Hurricanes Gustav and Ike impacted Louisiana in September 2008, resulting in 10,264 first-time claims filed the week ending Sept. 27, 2008.
For a metro area of only about 3.5 million people, the Twin Cities region is unusual in the way it supports not one, but two world-class orchestras. Now, with looming deficits on the horizon and musicians' contracts at both the Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra expiring Sept. 30, the Twin Cities may have two orchestras on strike.
A job fair was held at the The Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., last month. The U.S. unemployment rate declined in August in part because the number of "discouraged workers" climbed.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Geoff Dutton, an unemployed software developer, has given up on finding a job. He says the market has shifted, and he could not keep up. "I wasn't up on the new version of everything anymore," he says.
The U.S. population is growing. In normal times, the labor force — working or not — would be growing too. But these are not normal times, and the labor force is actually smaller than it was four years ago, meaning millions of people who should be there aren't.
The reasons people drop out of the workforce are myriad. People go back to school. Others have health issues or family priorities that keep them from looking for work. But some stop looking because they are discouraged.
Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:09 pm
We've been giving a lot of virtual ink to the problem of food insecurity lately — the challenges people face when they frequently can't put enough food on the table. And sometimes it seems like an insurmountable problem.
Now it's time to open up the pages of the Washington Post magazine. That's something we do just about every week for interesting stories about the way we live now. And today a story about the business of music.
Joining us now to talk about today's jobs numbers is Alan Krueger. He's the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Welcome.
ALAN KRUEGER: Thank you.
SIEGEL: Is it fair to say that the good news here, the lower unemployment rate is produced by bad news, so many people leaving the workforce and that 96,000 jobs in a month is a discouraging jobs report?
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP. HOST: And I'm Steve Inskeep. Hours after President Obama delivered his speech at the Democratic Convention, the latest unemployment report provided a reminder of what's at stake. The unemployment rate dropped in August, which sounds good, but the number of jobs created was below expectations for August.