The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, one of the country's largest unions, is facing a difficult climate. Local governments are slashing employee pensions and state governments are considering measures to curb collective bargaining rights. Host Michel Martin talks with Lee Saunders, AFSCME's new president.
After he was laid off in 2008, writer T.M. Shine adopted a unique approach to finding a job. He says his new goal is being nice to people, and he put that right at the top of his resume. Host Michel Martin speaks with Shine about his journey from unemployment back to work, which he wrote about for this week's Washington Post Magazine.
No country has enjoyed more spectacular growth in recent decades than China. But the economy that will one day replace America's as the world's largest also faces a lot of challenges. Guest host David Greene talks to NPR's Frank Langfitt, who was a reporter in China in the '90s and returned to Shanghai for NPR last year.
Agriculture is a key job sector in Yuma, Ariz., where the seasonal workforce and migrant labor tend to boost the unemployment rate.
Credit Dale Wetzel / AP
Construction workers ease a steel girder into place as part of a remodeling and expansion of the North Dakota State Penitentiary in Bismarck, N.D. An energy boom has helped the state maintain a budget surplus.
Maria Arvizu continues to fill out job applications even though she has yet to deposit her last paycheck.
Arvizu, 53, relocated to Yuma, Ariz., to become a bus driver for the local school district last year. After school closed for summer break, she was caught off guard when she was laid off. She had expected to get another driving assignment and was denied collecting unemployment because she was still considered a school employee.
Equipment for transporting and housing coal sits idle in Cowen, W.Va. Since the natural gas boom, several mines in Webster County have either slowed or shut down operation, laying off hundreds of workers.
Credit Michael Tomsic/NPR
Rich Lewis worked as a miner for almost two decades before being laid off by Arch Coal. He says he's considering taking a job at another mine, but it's not certain that mine will stay open.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.
There's more gloomy news from the eurozone this week. Italy saw its sovereign debt rating lowered by one agency, at just a couple of notches above junk status. In Spain, civil servants, coalminers, and others took to the streets once again to protest more spending cuts and tax hikes. And Germany's highest court heard arguments challenging the constitutionality of two measures considered central to efforts to try to contain the euro crisis.
As the French people celebrate their revolution on Saturday, Bastille Day, the founding principles — liberte, egalite and fraternite — seem to be alive and well.
New President Francois Hollande embraced equality on the campaign trail this spring. To reduce the French deficit, he proposed raising taxes on large corporations and the super-rich. The move helped his campaign take off, says Gerald Andrieu, a political journalist with Marianne magazine.