Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and one economic analyst agree that Michigan needs more workers but disagree on the proper strategies necessary to acquire them.
John Mozena, president of the Center for Economic Accountability, a nonprofit organization for transparent economic development policy, questioned Whitmer’s “doubling down” on big business subsidies while many businesses need workers. There are about 10 million Michiganders but, as of January 2021, only 4.7 million are in the workforce. Read More
The U.S. economy added 428,000 jobs in April while the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.
The number of unemployed people remained even at about 5.9 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report. Economists projected 400,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, The Wall Street Journal reported. Read More
As inflation rose last year to a 40-year high, Americans’ credit card debt also soared, according to analyses published by the personal-finance website WalletHub.
In its Credit Card Debt study, Wallethub found that consumers racked up $87.3 billion in new debt in 2021. During the fourth quarter of 2021, debt increased by $74.1 billion, the largest increase ever reported, Wallethub notes. It was also a 63% larger increase than the post-Great Recession average for a fourth quarter.
By the end of 2021, the average household credit card balance was $8,590. “That’s $2,642 below WalletHub’s projected breaking point,” the report states. Read More
Mandy Van Gorp was confident that her employer of 18 years, Eli Lilly and Company, would treat her fairly when she objected to its company-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The pharmaceutical giant had promised to exempt employees with valid health or religious objections to the policy and she believed she had had both.
Despite presenting a doctor’s note in support of her exemption, citing an auto-immune disease, the company denied her request for a medical exemption. To add injury to the insult she felt, she tested positive for COVID-19 the day after receiving her rejection letter. She then appealed for a six-month deferral on grounds of the positive test. Lilly also denied that request. When she then raised her religious concerns, Lilly said she had missed the application deadline – a deadline that had lapsed several weeks before Lilly replied to her initial accommodation request.
The “toughest night was when we were sitting at the dinner table and my 12-year-old was sobbing, hysterically begging me to get the vaccine so I could keep my job,” recalled Van Gorp, a 42-year-old sales representative and mother of three. “I had to explain that my choice was not about money and that I felt God was leading me not to follow a mandate. It’s hard to explain that to a 12-year-old.” Read More
As the peak of the coronavirus pandemic appears to have passed, ten Republican-led states have all recorded the lowest unemployment rate on record.
According to The Hill, the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows ten different states with unemployment rates as low as just over 2 percent. Nebraska and Utah are tied for the lowest percentages in the country, at 2.2 percent each. They are followed by Indiana with 2.4 percent, and Kansas with 2.6 percent. The remaining six states are: Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
All ten states’ unemployment rates are currently the lowest on record since BLS first began tracking state-by-state percentages in 1976. Of these ten states, only one has a Democratic governor, with Laura Kelly in Kansas. All ten states have Republican majorities in their respective state legislatures. Read More
The U.S. economy added 678,000 jobs in February, according to a Friday report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), beating economists’ expectations.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 678,000 in February, according to the BLS report, while the unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, a pandemic low. Job gains were most pronounced in the leisure and hospitality sectors, which added a total 179,000 jobs.
“The labor market continues to be quite hot,” Nick Bunker, an economist at Indeed, told The Wall Street Journal. “It looks like the labor market is still primed for lots of strong employment growth.” Read More
A bipartisan bill, intended to clear confusion over an apparent contradiction between state and federal law over who actually qualified to receive benefits during the pandemic, is now law.
Senate Bill 445 amends the Michigan Employment Security Act to allow certain unemployed workers eligible for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) to keep benefits.
“As we continue to grow our economy, my top priority is working toward bipartisan solutions to save Michiganders time and money,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement commemorating her signing the bill. “I’ve always said that Michiganders should not be penalized for doing what was right at the time they applied for federal pandemic benefits. The changes in this legislation will streamline our unemployment system and provide relief to Michiganders who needed these federal benefits to pay their bills, keep food on the table, and continue supporting small businesses.” Read More
With President Joe Biden set to deliver his first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, it’s a good time to ask: How has Biden done as president and what is the actual state of our union?
According to the American people, things aren’t going great.
A CNN poll in early February asked Americans what they thought of Biden’s presidency and what he’s done right since entering office Jan. 20, 2021. Read More
The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims decreased to 232,000 in the week ending Feb. 19, the Labor Department announced Thursday.
The Labor Department’s figure showed a decrease of 17,000 compared to the week ending Feb. 12, when claims increased to 249,000. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones estimated that new claims reported Thursday would total 235,000.
Last week’s jobless claim figure marked the first increase after three straight weeks of decline as the Omicron coronavirus variant caused workers to call in sick and businesses to temporarily close. Read More
The third time was a charm for a small-business relief provision of Senate Bill 85, which was signed Monday by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
A House version of the bill, House Bill 4047, was proposed by Rep. Timothy Beson, R-Bangor Twp., last March, and signed by the governor. However, Whitmer exercised a line-item veto of the afflicted business relief. Another version of a small-business relief subsequently was passed by the legislature with bipartisan support. Whitmer again exercised her veto authority to squelch it.
SB 85 was introduced by Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth. Read More
A new study suggests that the child tax credit (CTC) is not reducing overall employment nationwide but is driving some low and middle-income parents away from their private sector jobs and toward self-employment.
The study, led by researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis’ Social Policy Institute and Appalachian State University and provided exclusively to the Daily Caller News Foundation, found that the monthly payments had barely any impact on the job market whatsoever, contradicting concerns that the tax credits would worsen the labor shortage. It also found that adults were far less likely to list child care as a reason for unemployment, with the share of people saying so dropping from 26% to below 20% once they began receiving the payments. Read More
The U.S. economy added 210,000 jobs in November, marking nearly the lowest number of jobs created in a month since President Joe Biden took office in January.
November’s jobs report was well below economists’ estimate of 573,000, according to CNBC. Additionally, unemployment fell to 4.2% from October’s 4.6% figure, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The U.S. economy, still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic but now subject to uncertainty related to the Omicron coronavirus variant, appeared to slow in momentum in November, The Wall Street Journal reported. Read More
The Biden administration has finally published its anticipated ultimatum threatening companies like mine with severe fines and penalties for not firing any employee who declines to be vaccinated against or submit to invasive weekly testing for COVID-19. The new rule promulgated by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the guise of workplace safety may well bankrupt the business my father founded. So, as the CEO of the Phillips Manufacturing & Tower Company, I am joining with The Buckeye Institute to challenge OSHA’s vaccine mandate in court. Here’s why.
Phillips is a 54-year-old company based in Shelby, Ohio, that manufactures specialty welded steel tubing for automotive, appliance, and construction industries. OSHA’s emergency rule applies to companies with 100 or more employees — at our Shelby Welded Tube facility, we employ 104 people. As a family-owned business I take the health of my workers seriously — they are my neighbors and my friends. When I heard of the mandate, we conducted a survey of our workers to see what the impacts would be. It revealed that 28 Phillips employees are fully vaccinated, while antibody testing conducted at company expense found that another 16 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies and likely possess natural immunity. At least 47 employees have indicated that they have not and will not be vaccinated. Seventeen of those 47 unvaccinated workers said that they would quit or be fired before complying with the vaccine or testing mandate. Those are 17 skilled workers that Phillips cannot afford to lose.
Perhaps the Biden administration remains unaware of the labor shortage currently plaguing the U.S. labor market generally and industrial manufacturing especially. Like many companies, Phillips is already understaffed, with seven job openings we have been unable to fill. Employees already work overtime to keep pace with customer demand, working 10-hour shifts, six days a week on average. Firing 17 veteran members of the Phillips team certainly won’t help. Read More
There are 10.4 million job openings in the U.S., the Department of Labor said Friday, a figure that’s well above the number of unemployed Americans.
“Job openings increased in health care and social assistance (+141,000); state and local government, excluding education (+114,000); wholesale trade (+51,000); and information (+51,000),” the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. “Job openings decreased in state and local government education (-114,000); other services (-104,000); real estate and rental and leasing (-65,000); and educational services (-45,000).” Read More
A record 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September, and job openings remained near a record high as labor shortages continue throughout the country.
Roughly 3.0% of U.S. workers left their jobs in September, a jump from August, when 4.3 million people left the workforce, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report released Friday. The number of job openings remained near its August level of 10.4 million. Read More
The U..S. economy recorded an increase of 531,000 jobs in October, and unemployment fell by 0.2% as the labor market recovers from the summer lows, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The number of unemployed people fell to 7.4 million, down from 7.7 million in September, according to the BLS report released Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones projected 450,000 jobs would be added in October.
While unemployment claims continue to fall, the country still struggles with labor shortages, supply chain issues and growing inflation. Job growth was widespread throughout the economy in October, with leisure and hospitality adding 164,000 jobs, professional and business adding 100,000 and manufacturing adding 60,000 jobs, according to the BLS report. Read More
U.S. consumer spending growth slowed in September, and income dropped due to high COVID-19 cases, supply shortages, rising inflation, and ending unemployment benefits.
Consumer spending increased 0.6% in September, down from a 1% jump in August, the Commerce Department announced Friday. Personal income fell 1% in September, driven by a 72% drop in unemployment insurance benefits that offset a 0.7% spike in wages and benefits, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Economists polled by Reuters projected a 0.5% in consumer spending. Delta variant cases peaked in the middle of September, and the continued supply chain backups have caused shortages and rising prices, making it harder for consumers to purchase their desired goods, the WSJ reported. Read More
Debate over the welfare state is once again making headlines. On Monday, the expanded unemployment welfare system was finally allowed to expire after more than a year. Originally created as a “short-term” measure authorized for a few months in March 2020 then repeatedly extended, these benefits paid many of the unemployed more than their former jobs, with benefits reaching up to $25/hour in dozens of states.
Dozens of Republican-led states chose to end the benefits early. This week’s termination of enhanced benefits was in the Democrat-run states that maintained the expanded payouts, and with their lapse, the debate over whether these benefits were disincentivizing work was reignited. Read More
About 442,196 unemployment claimants saw their pandemic unemployment assistance benefits end on Sept. 4, but it’s unclear if that will ease Michigan’s labor shortage.
The federal Pandemic Unemployment plus regular unemployment benefits let recipients receive up to $662 weekly. Read More
While the unemployment rate for Americans dropped in August, there is a political time bomb buried in the statistics for President Joe Biden and a Democratic Party increasingly focused on equity: black joblessness shot up significantly.
In other words, the president who fondly boasts of a domestic policy promising to leave nobody behind has an economic recovery that is leaving a key Democratic constituency in worse shape.
“The rise in black unemployment in August is certainly troubling, considering their unemployment rates were already much higher than any other group,” Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, said on Twitter. Read More
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 340,000 in the week ending Aug. 28, as the economy continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics figure released Thursday represents a slight decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Aug. 21, when 354,000 new jobless claims were reported. That figure was revised from the 353,000 jobless claims initially reported last week. Read More
The Biden administration signaled to Capitol Hill lawmakers Thursday that it will not support an extension of pandemic-related unemployment benefits.
President Joe Biden won’t advocate for an extension of the $300 unemployment bonus given to millions of out-of-work Americans on a weekly basis, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh wrote in a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which was implemented in March 2020 and extended by Democrats’ recent American Rescue Plan, is set to expire in early September.
“As President Biden has said, the boost was always intended to be temporary and it is appropriate for that benefit boost to expire,” the secretaries wrote. Read More
The latest federal jobs report shows a dip in new unemployment claims, but those figures still remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.
The Department of Labor reported Thursday that 348,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week. That number is the lowest since March 2020. Read More
The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Midwest clean energy job market hard, with more than 17,000 workers at one point filing for unemployment.
But the industry appears to be rebounding, according to an analysis of employment data released by the nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) and Clean Energy Trust. Read More
Americans are growing angrier by the day in a way different from prior sagebrush revolts such as the 1960s Silent Majority or Tea Party furor of over a decade ago.
The rage at the current status quo this time is not just fueled by conservatives. For the first time in their lives, all Americans of all classes and races are starting to fear a self-created apocalypse that threatens their families’ safety and the American way of life. Read More
When I went to pick up my laundry last week, one of the employees, who had just finished folding my clothes, began weeping. “This is the last load I’ll ever do here,” she said in a choked voice. “They’re letting us all go.”
That one little stifled sob described more than just one woman bemoaning the loss of her job. In it was the relentless cry of the average American who is increasingly crushed by the ignorance of our elites. Read More
Sixteen months after the COVID-19 pandemic began, Michigan is still behind 322,000 jobs compared to pre-pandemic in Feb. 2020.
Michigan’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 5% percent was unchanged in June, according to data released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.
“Michigan’s labor market indicators were little changed in June,” Wayne Rourke, the associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, said in a statement. “The Michigan unemployment rate has been near 5.0 percent for five consecutive months. Payroll job counts in June were similar to March levels.” Read More
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 373,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a slight increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending June 26, when 371,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 364,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.
Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 350,000, The Wall Street Journal reported. Read More
Michigan’s recovery from the massive unemployment endured during the COVID-19 pandemic is among the fastest in the country, last week’s employment numbers indicate.
That assessment is according to a recently released WalletHub report, which ranked the state fifth nationwide for progress made between the previous week and the week of June 21, 2021, and fourth nationwide for the smallest increase in initial unemployment claims between the beginning of 2020 and the week of June 21, 2021.
Michigan was ranked 13th nationwide for quickest unemployment recovery since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Read More
A new report shows states that decided to turn away federal unemployment benefits have seen a drop in unemployment.
The Biden administration pushed through a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill earlier this year that included extending $300 weekly unemployment benefits for Americans in addition to unemployment benefits already provided by the states. Read More
Louisiana will be the first Democratic-controlled state to roll back its $300 a week unemployment benefits enacted by federal programs.
Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill Wednesday that stops the weekly payments on July 31, but raises Louisiana’s maximum jobless benefits to $275, starting in 2022, according to the legislation.
Louisiana is joined by 25 other Republican led states that have prematurely slashed the weekly pandemic benefits from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which were not set to expire until Sept. 6, 2021. Jobless claims were up 412,000 last week, according to the Department of Labor. Read More
Four states will be cutting pandemic unemployment increases three months early, ending the supplemental $300 in federal aid.
Alaska, Iowa, Missouri, and Mississippi will end pandemic-related unemployment relief on June 12. An additional 21 Republican-led states will slash federal aid before it expires on Sept. 6, according to Business Insider.
Conservatives continue to advocate an end to the increased benefits, saying they are no longer needed now that the pandemic is contained and speculating that the high payouts are discouraging would-be workers from returning. Read More
COVID-19 restrictions might be winding down, but 762,000 Michiganders are still receiving unemployment benefits while records jobs stay unfilled.
The location of those receiving unemployment is skewed toward high-population areas. Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb Counties compose 400,000 claims. Read More
Relative to the national trend, job searches temporarily increased in states that have announced they will no longer offer the pandemic-related federal unemployment boost, an economic report showed.
In states that are withdrawing from the federal unemployment program, interest in job postings increased 5%, according to the report released Thursday by job listings site Indeed. The increase was relative to a national average recorded during the final two weeks of April, before Republican governors began canceling the federal benefit.
“In May, job search activity on Indeed increased, relative to the national trend, in states that announced they would end federal [unemployment] benefits prematurely,” the Indeed report said. Read More
It’s no secret that US businesses are struggling to find workers. Recent surveys have shown that small businesses are reporting record job openings.
Many have described the phenomenon as a labor shortage.
“Walk outside: labor shortage is the pervasive phenomenon,” economist Lawrence Summers recently observed at a conference hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Read More
The states of South Carolina and Montana have both decided in recent days to put an end to their handouts of federal unemployment benefits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to encourage residents to return to the workforce, as per CNN.
Montana Governor Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) said in his announcement that “incentives matter, and the vast expansion of federal unemployment benefits is now doing more harm than good. We need to incentivize Montanans to return to the workforce.” Instead, Governor Gianforte announced that the state government will be providing $1,200 checks as bonuses to every citizen who returns to work, using the state’s share of the recent $1.9 trillion stimulus package to pay for it.
In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster (R-S.C.) announced on Thursday that the state would be ending their share of federal unemployment benefits, since “what was intended to be a short-term financial assistance for the vulnerable and displaced during the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace.” Read More
The U.S. economy reported an increase of 266,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 266,000 in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, and the number of unemployed persons ticked up to 9.8 million. Economists projected a million Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“The pieces are really coming together for a burst in activity,” Sarah House, senior economist for Wells Fargo’s Corporate and Investment Bank, told the WSJ. “We’re expecting to see the labor market recovery shift into an even faster gear with the April jobs report.” Read More
The U.S. economy reported an increase of 916,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate fell to 6%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 916,000 in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, and the number of unemployed persons fell to 9.7 million. Economists projected 675,000 Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“There’s a seismic shift going on in the U.S. economy,” Beth Ann Bovino, an economist at S&P Global, told the WSJ. Read More
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims dropped to 684,000 last week as the economy continued to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a large decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending March 13, when 781,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 770,000 jobless claims initially reported last week. Read More
Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Liza Estlund Olson was grilled Thursday morning by the state House Oversight Committee.
Committee members asked pointed questions about recent revelations relating to the departure of Olson’s predecessor, Steve Gray, in November. Gray received a $76,626 payout and another $9,246 in attorney fees and signed a confidentiality agreement with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration. Read More
President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill that includes extended unemployment benefits, direct funding to states and municipalities, and $1,400 checks for most Americans.
“This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country and giving the people of this nation – working people, middle-class folks, people who built the country – a fighting chance, that’s what the essence of it is,” Biden said in the Oval Office before signing the bill. Read More
The biggest gap in understanding how business truly works exists between two distinct groups of people: Those who have made a payroll and those who haven’t.
Anyone who has run a business – small or large – would only be glad to tell you that it is equal parts fulfilling and terrifying. Read More
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 900,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) figure released Thursday represented a decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Jan. 16, in which there were 965,000 new jobless claims reported. Roughly 16 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the BLS report Thursday. Read More
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 787,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) figure released Thursday represented a decrease of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Dec. 26, in which there were 803,000 new jobless claims reported. Roughly 19.6 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the BLS report Thursday. Read More
Michigan business and political leaders are pondering exactly why Gov. Gretchen Whitmer chose to veto Tuesday a bipartisan effort to allocate $220 million for Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.
Although the governor signed the bipartisan relief bill, she exercised a line-time veto of a portion of the bill that would have appropriated $220 million to the UITF. Read More
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 803,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) figure released Thursday represented a decrease of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Dec. 12, in which there were 885,000 new jobless claims reported. Roughly 20.4 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the BLS report Thursday. Read More
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 885,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) figure released Thursday represented an increase of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Dec. 5, in which there were 853,000 new jobless claims reported. Roughly 20.6 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the BLS report Thursday. Read More
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 853,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) figure released Thursday represented a large increase of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Nov. 28, in which there were 712,000 new jobless claims reported. New jobless claims had stayed below 800,000 for more than a month prior to the report. Read More
Like much of the rest of the country, Michigan is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases and a proportional increase in unemployment as drastic shut-down measures are taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Michigan experienced a 64.46% increase in new unemployment claims last week. According to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor, there was an increase of 15,843 initial claims filed between the weeks ending Nov. 14 (16,656) and Nov. 21 (32,499). Read More
In April, several education groups, including two national teachers’ unions, urged Congressional leaders to allocate more than $200 billion to education in addition to the CARES Act and federal relief through which Congress had just allocated nearly $31 billion in March. Read More