Let me again apologize for the poorly designed and implemented Examiner “upgrade”. This upgrade process has been taxing on both writers and readers and it is the main reason why I have not published as frequently. I plan to write more regularly starting next week. I will also be moving content of my posts to http://layofflist.org, which offers a more robust platform for videos and graphics. Thank you for your patience.
Update: There’s been some news of late about where legislation for 99ers – benefit exhaustees- currently stands. Since Chuck Sen. Schumer (D-NY) has spoken repeatedly about the need to help benefit exhaustees, I felt it important to get information directly from his office. I contacted a staffer from Sen. Schumer’s Washington D.C. office and I asked him where the Senator currently stands regarding unemployment legislation. Here is a breakdown of that conversation:
- Sen. Schumer is still a co-sponsor of Sen. Stabenow’s Americans Want to Work Act and he plans to actively support that legislation.
- Sen. Schumer has not signed onto Rep. Berkley’s H.R.6091 – Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 2010 and has no intention of doing so at this time.
- Senator Schumer had toyed with the idea of introducing his own unemployment legislation, but decided to push forward with co-sponsoring and co-writing the Americans Want to Work Act. His involvement with the process was important in setting the unemployment threshold at 7.5% from an initially proposed 8%.
Another staffer told me that the final unemployment legislation that Sen. Schumer supports will be dictated by the legislation brought to the senate floor by Sen. Harry Reid, who will decide with bill stands a better chance of passage. As you can see, this situation is still in flux and no further action appears likely until the Senate returns from recess. One thing does seem clear and that is Sen. Schumer’s support of the Americans Want to Work Act.
Jobless claims hit 500,000
Green shoots, recovery, improved economic conditions? I see no sign of that anywhere in this latest jobless claims report:
Weekly initial unemployment claims at 500,000, highest since November 2009
In the week ending Aug. 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 500,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 488,000. The 4-week moving average was 482,500, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 474,500.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Aug. 7 was 4,478,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 4,491,000.
While the increase is stated at 12,000, it’s a 16,000 increase from the number originally reported last week. It has been the case that the revised jobless claims numbers are revised upward.
As you can see form the Calculated Risk graph, the 4-week moving average is now near the high level reached during the 2001-2002 recession.
Jobless claims of 500,000 are numbers expected DURING a recession.
According to Karl Denninger of Market-Ticker:
Jobless Claims: Back In Recession Territory
Uh, that’s back solidly into “recession” territory, and belies what I’ve been saying for the last year: we aren’t going to have a “double dip” as we never left the recession in the first place. This is a Depression led by excessive credit – and we can’t fix it without fixing the underlying cause, which we refuse to address.
I agree with Denninger’s assessment and I’m sure many of you feel the same way. The job market is tight and there are more people getting laid off, which is not a sign of economic recovery. The main stream media keeps pumping that these numbers were “unexpected” but if you are in the job hunt, or if you are one of the 15 million unemployed or 10 million underemployed, you know that these numbers shouldn’t be considered “unexpected.” The number of people collecting benefits after 26 weeks continues to climb:
THIRD AND FOURTH TIER EUC 2008 TRIGGERS
The latest THIRD AND FOURTH TIER EUC 2008 TRIGGERS notice has been issued on August 15. It shows that five states have lost Tier 4 benefits over the past six weeks. If you are currently receiving Tier 4 beneifts from those states you won’t be affected, but any new claims after those dates will not be eligible.
Why is it so important that the 99ers- benefit exhausrtees – receive some help? Annie lowrey’s article, Death and Joblessness shows that necessity:
The unemployed commit suicide at a rate two or three times the national average, researchers estimate. And in many cases, the longer the spell of unemployment, the higher the likelihood of suicide.
On online fora such as Unemployed-Friends, the topic comes up often, users finding news reports or hearing tell of deaths in their community, and mourning them. There was the Staten Island suicide, where an emergency medical services employee who thought himself about to be fired posted his final words on Facebook: “I can’t go on anymore. I just hung myself.” In Anaheim, Calif., there was the man underwater on his mortgage and awash in credit card debt who shot his wife and and one of his children before himself. His two children survived. His wife did not. In Indiana, there was the middle-aged mother who sent her daughter out to buy soda and killed herself before her daughter came back. That happened the day after the repossession of her Chevy Malibu.
Other stories are more apocryphal. In a post that ginned up dozens of comments and thousands of views on Unemployed-Friends, someone reported a father of three in Michigan had killed himself, writing in his final letter, “I am sorry, I have now lost every ounce of pride I ever had. You will be better off without me.” (The report of the suicide is unconfirmed.) A colleague told me he knew of a local man who killed himself when his unemployment insurance ended, because when his unemployment insurance ended he had no way to pay his child support.
Mike here – I have posted hundreds of letters from the long-term unemployed at my Layoff List site and I plan to post more in the coming weeks. Annie Lowrey’s story and the stories from the long-term unemployed are not simply anecdotal evidence of suffering, these are real events in the lives of the long-term unemployed. I hope that congress doesn’t forget that it needs to rescue millions of unemployed from the unforgiving hardship caused by joblessness and benefit exhaustion.
If Congress can save corrupt banks, mismanaged auto companies and 160,000 teacher jobs, it can also help the millions of unemployed who have exhausted all benefits before they exhaust all hope.
Yet, even with the disaster which is the current job market, we have US agencies providing job training to foreign workers.
U.S. To Train 3,000 Offshore IT Workers
Despite President Obama’s pledge to retain more hi-tech jobs in the U.S., a federal agency run by a hand-picked Obama appointee has launched a $36 million program to train workers, including 3,000 specialists in IT and related functions, in South Asia.
UPDATE: InformationWeek has learned that USAID just launched a similar campaign in Armenia.
Following their training, the tech workers will be placed with outsourcing vendors in the region that provide offshore IT and business services to American companies looking to take advantage of the Asian subcontinent’s low labor costs.
Under director Rajiv Shah, the United States Agency for International Development will partner with private outsourcers in Sri Lanka to teach workers there advanced IT skills like Enterprise Java (Java EE) programming, as well as skills in business process outsourcing and call center support. USAID will also help the trainees brush up on their English language proficiency.
Contacting your congressional representatives is more important now than ever. They seem to have gone deaf to the needs of American workers and the unemployed and have instead focused their attentions on running reelection at the same time they are running from the country’s most important issue; jobs.
Here’s the daily list
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How has unemployment affected you and your family? Have you applied for hundreds of jobs and received no job offers? Have you been rejected for a job because you are unemployed? Have you been rejected for a job because of your credit score? Has age discrimination played a part in your job hunt? Send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to all the unemployment news that I’m trying to cover, I have fallen behind in responding to all the email I have received, but I will do my utmost to reply to each and everyone of you.
Congress.org has a great media contact list:http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/media/
Another media contact list is located at:http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_oet&address=358×1903
Keeping the Tier 5 and extended unemployment issues alive is going to be up to you, so be sure to contact your congressional representatives as often as you can. You need to continue to pressure Congress to act responsibly and to extend benefits for those unable to find work. Send your representative a fax using FaxZero.com. As has been mentioned in the comments section, you can send up to two free faxes a day.
Here’s a great site where you can find both state and federal contact information: http://conservativeusa.org/mega-cong.htm
Please send your comments and questions to email@example.com.
I’ll post updates as they are made available. You can also view my updates and new posts at Twitter: http://twitter.com/layofflist
You can also follow numerous unemployment issues on Facebook. My profile is located at Rochester Unemployment-Examiner (dash between Unemployment and Examiner).