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Employment

Workers Have Leverage

The capitalist vultures are wheeling low, but they’re finding slim pickings to choose from these days. “No one wants to work!” The bosses whine about a worker shortage—though it’s one they brought about. Eighteenth-century British economist Adam Smith noted how common it is to hear complaints about workers coming together to fight for their interests, and how rare it is to hear about all the scheming the bosses do to plunder workers’ labor. “Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor above their actual rate,” Smith wrote in The Wealth of Nations. That scheming is the background to the current labor shortage.

Report Finds Low Wages Make Food Workers Want To Quit

Following the passage of stimulus packages with aid for workers like expanded unemployment benefits, politicians and business owners have wrung their hands over a supposed worker shortage as people refuse to return to work, as they say. A new report pushes back on that narrative and shows that actually, it’s more likely low wages offered by businesses that are causing workers to want to quit. The report by One Fair Wage finds that 53 percent of restaurant workers have considered leaving their jobs during the pandemic, and 76 percent of restaurant workers cite low wages and tips as the reason for leaving the industry. Being paid a low wage was the most common reason for leaving by far; COVID-19 concerns were the next highest reason, with 55 percent of workers saying they were concerned about pandemic safety.

US GDP Collapses And Economic Rebound Fades

This past week US economy collapsed in the 2nd quarter by 32.9% at annual rate and nearly 10% just for the April-June period. Never before in modern US history—not even in the worse quarters of the 1930s great depression—has the US economy contracted so quickly and so deeply! All the major private sectors of the US economy—Consumption, Business Investment, Exports & Imports—collapsed in ranges from -30% to -40% in the April-June period. That followed first quarter prior declines in single digits as well.

Nearly 5 Million Lost Health Coverage In The Past Three Weeks

4,805,894 American workers and their dependents have lost health insurance coverage in the past three weeks, according to a new estimate by researchers at The City of New York’s Hunter College and Harvard Medical School. The researchers also estimate that a total of 13.475 million will join the ranks of the uninsured by June 30, raising the number of uninsured Americans to about 43 million. The new figures include coverage losses among newly-unemployed workers as well as their dependents covered under job-based family policies. The figures update previous estimates that the same researchers published online in the Annals of Internal Medicine on April 7, 2020. Those previous estimates only included workers themselves who were laid off during the last two weeks of March, and did not include dependents losing family coverage because of layoffs, or the most recent week of data.

New Employment Analysis Shows That A Good Job Is Hard To Find These Days

The constitutionally mandated State of the Union address opened Feb. 4 with the first of many boasts: “Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting.” Trump went on with the lie, “The average unemployment rate under my administration is lower than any administration in the history of our country.” A Milwaukee, Wis., job fair in November 2019 verifies the fact that unemployment is high in Black communities in cities.

The United States Has A Permanent Temp Worker Problem

In the waiting room of an employment agency in Queens, laborers gather to be dispatched to warehouses and factories in New Jersey and upstate New York. Only their names are recorded before white vans arrive and the workers step in, cramming into seats and crouching on the floor to be transported to the day’s job. The job might last a day or two, and the agency acts as the workers’ employer. It deducts transportation costs and the fees it charges for the job from their paychecks, which they provide.

How Accurate Are The US Jobs Numbers?

While the Current Establishment Survey (CES) Report (covering large businesses) shows 263,000 jobs created last month, the Current Population Survey (CPS) second Labor Dept. report (that covers smaller businesses) shows 155,000 of these jobs were involuntary part time. This high proportion (155,000 of 263,000) suggests the job creation number is likely second and third jobs being created. Nor does it reflect actual new workers being newly employed. The number is for new jobs, not newly employed workers. Moreover, it’s mostly part time and temp or low paid jobs, likely workers taking on second and third jobs.

Self Employment: An Effective Path For War Tax Refusal

This publication is one of a series of “practicals” that offer ideas, tips, and information for individuals who want to cut off their financial support for the U.S. war machine or are currently practicing war tax resistance. The full list of the “Practical Series” appears at the end of the text along with other relevant resources. Since the 1940s, the U.S. government and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have effectively enrolled employers in the tax collection system through payroll withholding, mandatory reporting, and salary levies. While the U.S. tax system is called “voluntary,” each year it seems more difficult to prevent assessment and collection of taxes, particularly for people who work for wages and salaries.

What America Would Look Like If It Guaranteed Everyone A Job

By Dylan Matthews for Vox Magazine - Imagine if a well-paying job, with benefits and a high enough salary to pay for rent, transportation, and food, were a human right. Imagine the US federal government established a policy whereby anyone who didn’t have a job and wanted one could go into a local office for a government agency — call it the Works Progress Administration — and walk out with a regular government position paying a livable wage ($15 an hour, perhaps) and offering health, dental, and vision insurance, and retirement benefits, and child care for their kids. Different people would do different things: teaching or working for after-school programs or providing child care or building roads and mass transit or driving buses and so on. But everyone would be guaranteed a job, including during recessions. Involuntary unemployment would be a thing of the past. No one who works would be in poverty. That’s a truly radical policy idea. But it has deep roots in the Democratic Party’s past, from the New Deal’s emergency employment programs to the Humphrey-Hawkins Act, a 1970s proposal that, as originally written, would have given unemployed Americans the right to sue the government. Today, there are even some actual proposals on the table. In May, the Center for American Progress issued a report calling for a "large-scale, permanent program of public employment and infrastructure investment." But some labor economists, even left-leaning ones, are skeptical. None of the programs, they argue, have done enough work on the details.

Brooklyn Youth Create Jobs (And Community Roots)

By Rebecca Nathanson for YES! Magazine - Snow covered most of the ground at El Garden, a community garden in the north Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick. The exception was the area around its three compost bins, shoveled out and made accessible to the six people who were working there. One of them was Gabrielle Mason. She wore a puffy pink jacket and kept her earbuds in while she scooped and sifted the bins' contents. A year ago, she had never composted. Now, at 16 years old, she is the group's lead composter and plans to study environmental issues.

Homeless Jump By 44,000 In LA County In Two Years

he number of homeless people in Los Angeles County jumped 12 percent in the past two years, to more than 44,000, amid a sluggish economic recovery that has left the poorest residents of the second-largest U.S. metropolitan area falling farther behind, a study released on Monday found. Most of those counted weren’t staying in homeless shelters. The study also found that the number of tents, makeshift encampments and vehicles with people living in them jumped by 85 percent, to about 9,500. “California was one of the hardest-hit states in the country during the economic recession, suffering high unemployment and high job losses,” the housing authority said in a news release. “There is a lag in rebound, and the working poor and low-income individuals have been hit particularly hard, with the trifecta of unemployment, stagnant wages and a lack of affordable housing.”
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