Category Archives: Economy

The Shattered American Dream: Unemployed Workers Lose Ground, Hope, and Faith in their Futures

Source: Jessica Godofsky, Carl Van Horn, Cliff Zukin, John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce
Development, December 2010

From the press release:
National survey finds…
– Nearly 6 in 10 unemployed workers have sought new job for more than one year; fully one-third have searched for more than two years.
– 41% of jobless Americans doubt the ability of either President Obama or a Republican Congress to lead economic recovery
– Prolonged unemployment of U.S. workers leads them to question the value of hard work

The survey, coming on the heels of the national election on November 2, finds that only 30% of the unemployed feel more hopeful about an economic recovery as a result of the election. When asked to choose between President Obama and the Republicans in Congress in who they trust to do a better job handling the economy, “neither” wins at 41%. One third (32%) chose the President and far fewer — just 17% — pick the Republicans in Congress. Another 9% say they trust “both.”

Social Unionism in Western New York: The Case of the Economic Development Group

Source: Charles J. Whalen, Labor Studies Journal, Vol. 35 no. 4, December 2010
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Labor-community engagement–often called social unionism–has a long history, but it and academic attention to it have been growing since 1980. This article examines one manifestation in western New York: the labor-led Economic Development Group (EDG), which emerged in the late 1990s as a way for that region’s union leaders to engage in economic development activities. The first section surveys the literature on labor–community engagement, with an emphasis on the U.S. experience at the metropolitan level. The next traces the EDG’s origins and early development. Then three sections examine the EDG’s major initiatives: in labor relations, regional energy, and workforce development, the latter of which includes a neighborhood revitalization component. Current challenges and opportunities are then identified, and lessons of the EDG’s experience are highlighted. A final section includes suggestions for future research. A number of EDG projects appear to be on the leading edge of innovation with respect to regional development; thus, the case of the EDG warrants the attention of academics and practitioners, including policy makers interested in improving the well-being of the nation’s working families.

The Biggest Job Killer in 2011? Cities and States

Source: Derek Thompson, Atlantic, December 5, 2010

No state has defaulted on its loans since the Great Depression. But the New York Times warns that states and municipalities could be closer to that rare and grim fate than ever before. Federal stimulus cash is drying up in 2011, just as states face what might be their most crushing budget shortfalls, as weak tax revenue fails to provide for large spending demands. If they cannot close the gap with spending cuts and tax increases, they may be forced to revisit their promises to bond holders.

Why we need public spending

Why we need public spending
Source: David Hall, PSIRU, Business School, University of Greenwich, November 2010

From the abstract:
Public spending plays a vital positive role in economic and social development, contrary to rightwing political views. It supports half the jobs in the world – twice as many in the private sector as in the public sector – and is crucial for investment in infrastructure, the provision of key services, and creating greater equality. It is also the main way of financing action on climate change. Deficits have arisen because of the need to deal with the economic crisis, and because companies are failing to pay their fair share of tax burden. The IMF’s call for deep cuts in spending should be resisted.
See also:
The Role of Government in Democracy and the Economy: The Disconnect Between Public Perception and Reality”
Source: The War Against Public Services And Public Employee Unions, Albert Shanker Institute, presentation transcript, June 2011

Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output From July 2010 Through September 2010

Source: Congressional Budget Office, November 2010

From the abstract:
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) contains provisions that are intended to boost economic activity and employment in the United States. Section 1512(e) of the law requires the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to comment on reports filed by recipients of ARRA funding that detail the number of jobs funded through their activities. This CBO report fulfills that requirement. It also provides CBO’s estimates of ARRA’s overall impact on employment and economic output in the third quarter of calendar year 2010. Those estimates–which CBO considers more comprehensive than the recipients’ reports–are based on evidence from similar policies enacted in the past and on the results of various economic models.
See also:
CBO blog post

Investing in America’s Economy – A Budget Blueprint for Economic Recovery and Fiscal Responsibility

Source: Becky Thiess, Andrew Fieldhouse, Dēmos, Economic Policy Institute, and the Century Foundation, November 29, 2010

From the summary:
Putting our nation on a path of broad prosperity will require generating new jobs, investing in key areas, modernizing and restoring our revenue base, and greatly increasing the cost efficiency of the health care system. Achieving these goals, however, will require an informed and engaged public to help set national priorities.

The following report puts forth a blueprint that invests in America and creates jobs now, while putting the federal budget on a long-term sustainable path. We document the hard choices that need to be made and suggest specific policies that will yield lower deficits and a sustainable debt while preserving essential initiatives and investments.

Delivering the Next Economy: The States Step Up

Source: Bruce Katz, Jennifer Bradley, Amy Liu, Brookings Institution, Metropolitan Policy Program, November 2010

From the summary:
In January, 37 governors, many of them new, will take office facing daunting challenges, including many immediate needs for which there is precious little time or money to meet. But at the same time, they have an opportunity to lead their states, and the nation, into the next economy, which must be driven by exports, powered by low carbon, fueled by innovation, rich with opportunity. An economy with those characteristics will also be metropolitan-led.

Deeper budget cuts and more public sector layoffs will not re-balance and re-start our economy. Only wise, strategic investment does that. States should, therefore, do three things to revive their state economies and lay the groundwork for future prosperity:

1) Invest in new ways to support the assets that drive the next economy.
2) Cut to invest to jumpstart the transition to the next economy.
3) Leverage investments through smart metropolitan strategies.

The Role of Unemployment as an Automatic Stabilizer During a Recession

Source: Wayne Vroman, U.S. Department of Labor, ETAOP 2010-10, November 16, 2010

From the press release:
The Unemployment Insurance (UI) system helps the population most directly affected by recessions–those who have lost jobs through no fault of their own. This focus makes it one of the most effective targeted tools for maintaining American families’ purchasing power and keeping the economy on track during an economic downturn. Unemployment creates a snowball effect where people who have lost their job reduce their spending causing businesses to lose money and others to lose their jobs. Unemployment insurance acts to reduce this effect by helping the unemployed to continue to purchase vital goods and services for their family.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits and Family Income of the Unemployed
Source: Congressional Budget Office, November 17, 2010
New CBO & DOL Studies Underscore Need For Full‐Year Renewal Of Unemployment Insurance
Source: National Employment Law Project, Press Release, November 18, 2010