By Andy Borowitz, Borowitz Report, The New Yorker, January 22, 2015
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—President Obama’s proposal to give workers six weeks of paid leave is meeting strong opposition from a group of people who annually receive thirty-three weeks of paid leave.
Members of the group heard the President’s proposal on Tuesday night, one of the few nights of the year when they are required to report to their workplace.
The opponents of paid leave, who show up for work a hundred and thirty-seven days per year and receive paid leave for the other two hundred and twenty-eight, were baffled by other moments in the President’s speech.
For example, they were confused by Obama’s challenge to try to survive on a full-time job that pays fifteen thousand dollars, since they all currently hold a part-time job that pays a hundred and seventy-four thousand dollars.
by DocJess, Democratic Convention Watch, 4/8/13
The workforce participation rate has fallen to 63.3%. It hasn’t been this low since the late 1970’s. Let’s look at some numbers. Below is a chart of the labor participation rate from 2003 to the present. (All data from BLS.)
…Here’s the really scary part, which comprises the labor participation rate since 1948, when the BLS started keeping statistics.
The rise over time is understandable. The 60’s, 70’s and 80’s saw a lot of women entering the workforce who would not have worked in prior times. In the 60’s and 70’s, this was primarily women who wanted to work, especially at vocations that weren’t traditionally “pink collar”. By the 80’s, as wages stagnated and manufacturing moved overseas, there became a need for two incomes to support a family. And then came the drop.
It’s not just the 2007-09 crash, it’s something more insidious. The labor participation rate peaked for the first four months of 2000 at 67.3%, and has been falling ever since. There are several explanations for some of the decrease, but not enough to explain all of it….
continue reading at Democratic Convention Watch
by John Schmitt, AlterNet, 5/30/11
Germany’s success indicates that one way to fight unemployment would be some modest efforts to give U.S. employers incentives to cut hours, not workers.
The Great Recession hit harder in the United States than in most of the rest of the world. Among the world’s rich economies, we experienced the third largest increase in unemployment, trailing only Spain and Ireland. Most advanced economies saw substantially smaller increases in unemployment and one –Germany– actually saw its unemployment rate decline.
Can we learn anything from countries that weathered the Great Recession better than we did? … Germany’s economy has been up and down since unification in the early 1990s, but points one way out of our mess.
…Unemployment in Germany is lower now than it was before the downturn….
Germany has done well because its labor-market institutions encourage employers to cut hours not workers. Instead of laying off 20 percent of workers, say, a firm can instead lower the average hours of its employees by 20 percent. Both accomplish the same goal, but from a social point of view, cutting hours is much better because it shares the pain more equally and keeps workers tied to their jobs….
continue reading at AlterNet
Truthout, 9 May 2011
by: Marie Diamond, Think Progress
As most American families continue to struggle with high unemployment and stagnant wages, CEOs at the country’s 350 biggest companies saw their pay jump 11% last year to a median of $9.3 million, according to a study conducted for the Wall Street Journal. The survey looked at direct compensation — salary, bonuses, and long-term incentive awards — and did not include assets like stock options:
For the surveyed CEOs, the sharpest pay gains came via bonuses, which soared 19.7% as profits recovered, especially in some hard-hit industries.
… Net income rose by a median of 17%; shareholders at those companies enjoyed a median return, including dividends, of 18%.
Corporate profits may be at sky-high levels, but they are not translating into shared prosperity for all. Median household income has fallen nearly 5% over the past decade and in 2010 was $50,221. The lack of wage growth has made it difficult for average Americans to keep up with rising prices on everything from gas to food.
This latest report is further evidence that the gap between the rich and everyone else is widening, with economic inequality in the US at its highest levels since the Great Depression.
Originally published on ThinkProgress