Friday, August 19, 2011

Bringing The Pain, Part 3

(Part 1 including the setup is here and Part 2 is here.)


As noted here, the jobless rate remained at 9.4 percent in June. However, as noted here from May…
George Stewart hears how North Idaho’s jobless rate is slowly improving, but he’d prefer to experience it.

The Rathdrum man walked away from job searching for a construction position at the Idaho Department of Labor on Friday feeling shut out.

“There’s still not a lot out there,” Stewart said. “If this economy is turning, I’m sorry, but I’m just not feeling it yet.”

Kootenai County’s jobless rate was 11.1 percent in April, down from 11.2 percent in March, according to a report released on Friday by the Idaho Department of Labor.
“The number of people in the labor force decreased as well as the number of unemployed, driving down the unemployment rate itself,” said Alivia Body, regional labor economist.

Body said local initial unemployment claims decreased by 100 in April.

The trends in job openings have steadily been in health care and administrative services,” she said. “However, seasonal employment has trickled in and, as the weather starts to turn, we will start seeing those seasonal jobs ramp up.”
Hopefully when the third-quarter numbers come out, that prediction will be realized.

Also, this tells us that state Repugs tried to block an unemployment extension in March (figures), and this tells us how Idaho “shortchanges the unemployed” with fees on debit cards that are apparently used to collect benefits. Further, the Idaho Department of Labor sponsored a class in June here to help people whose federal unemployment benefits have expired.


This takes us to “voices of the long-term unemployed” from Progress Illinois (and this tells us the following)…
Unemployment in Evanston and across Illinois soared in June, as more people, including many new college graduates, entered the labor force.

For Evanston the rate rose from 7.3 percent in May to 8.2 percent in June. That was even higher than the 8.1 percent level in June a year ago.

The statewide rate rose from 9 percent to 9.7 percent -- still below the 10.5 percent of last June.
As noted here, though, Dem Senator Dick Durbin and Repug Senator Mark Kirk have lobbied for the rail funds that Lex Luthor Scott pissed away in Florida in an effort to create jobs in the home state of our current president. And if Illinois can put the dough to work, it will lessen the burden on the federal government; it is one of the biggest borrowers from Washington to pay unemployment benefits (not surprising I guess given the total population, particularly around the Chicago area – here).

And from here…
Chicago Jobs with Justice is not the only organization to respond to the jobs crisis by organizing those directly affected by it. Unemployed people are building similar movements in Pennsylvania, Virginia, California, Rhode Island and other states, according to Hurley and Bill Fletcher Jr., a longtime labor activist and co-author of Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice. And UCubed, a project launched by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in early 2010, also aims to organize the jobless to create a “union of the unemployed” and demand a real economic recovery—exclusively through the Internet.
It’s gonna take “people power” to fix this in the end, as long as the Democrats in Washington keep trying to play nice with a political party that has utterly lost its mind.


As noted here from April…
Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percent in March to 8.5 percent, below both the national average and all neighboring states for the second month in a row, according to figures released Tuesday by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. In March 2010, Indiana’s unemployment rate was 10.6 percent.

Monroe County, whose nonseasonally adjusted rate for March dropped to 6.2 percent, has the fifth lowest unemployment rate among Indiana’s 92 counties.

Area counties also saw their nonseasonally adjusted unemployment rates drop in March: Greene, from 12.1 to 8.5 percent; Owen, from 10.6 to 8.6 percent; Morgan, from 10 to 9.1 percent; Lawrence, from 12.1 to 10.9 percent; and Brown, from 11.8 to 9.8 percent.

“We haven’t seen the (state) unemployment rate drop by 1 percent in a quarter since 1993,” said Mark W. Everson, commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development, in a prepared statement. “We also saw solid job growth in March, particularly in the manufacturing sector.”
Hmmm, Mark Everson – I was wondering what had happened to this guy (here – first bullet).

Also, it looks like we have more “smoke and mirrors” here on unemployment from Gov. (and another former Bushie) Mitch Daniels (maybe the reason why he decided not to run for prez because he’d get called out for this stuff, instead of the supposed intrusion into his personal life as Smerky alleged here).

And from here…
Hundreds of thousands of Indiana residents are unemployed and underemployed. Although the state’s unemployment rate is slightly better than that of its neighboring states, a striking number of people here — a significantly greater percentage than in Illinois or Ohio — have simply left the work force altogether since the dawn of the recession.

For the second year in a row, Hoosiers ranked fifth nationally in personal bankruptcies, at 7.1 people per 1,000 residents. (Illinois came in 11th.) Indiana’s median family income is just 86 percent of that of the rest of the country.

Property tax caps, put in place over the past few years, offer relief to limping homeowners but have pushed school boards and city leaders, they say, into rounds of budget cutting and layoffs.
Well, it looks like the Genesis Casket Company may be hiring, as noted here (I’ll let you, dear reader, inject any symbolism you want into that).


When it comes to the Hawkeye State, it’s really impossible to discuss much of anything without noting also that state’s chief U.S. congressional numbskull, and that would be Repug Steve King of course; as noted here, he compared electricians, teachers and other workers to bushels of soybeans and corn.

And from here in a story in March…
DES MOINES, Iowa - Improved unemployment levels made Iowa ineligible for federal funds.

The U.S. government told Iowa Workforce Development that the state did not qualify for $14.5 million in benefits because Iowa's unemployment rate is improving, according to Rep. Lance Horbach, R-Tama, chairman of the House Labor Committee.

The funds would have extended unemployment benefits to about 7,000 Iowa workers who have been unemployed for more than a year, according to Sen. Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque.

Benefits would have been retroactive. The federal government looked at revised unemployment numbers. Those numbers showed the three-month rolling average had dropped to 6.1 percent unemployment.

"That's good news unless you've been unemployed for more than a year," Jochum said.
I couldn’t determine how many Iowans fall into that category, but if you want more jobless numbers for the state, here they are.

Also, this tells us that Iowa was due to close 37 state unemployment offices in July, though the Iowa City office will stay open (here…and here is a link to the Iowa jobs center – good luck, all those who qualify).

Update 9/17/11: I've said it before and I'll say it again - somebody has to elect these clowns (here).


This tells us that the state’s unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in July, which isn’t terrible. The problem, though, is that that gives Gov. Sam Brownback and his pals even more of an excuse to wage war on public sector employees (here) and cut back on unemployment benefits (here).

(And I’m sorry, but I must point out again the idiocy of electing governors like Brownback, Mary Fallin, John Kasich, Rick Snyder and Hosni Mubarak Walker by the voters of those states. Really, if these people had half a brain, what else did they think would happen?)

And as noted here…
Economic development and community leaders throughout western Kansas agree the challenges facing the region are four-fold: depopulation, few jobs, an aging population and drought.
But just remember that speaking of the climate crisis is “condescending elitism” according to Kansas Repug U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, as noted here (uh huh).


Another place where time has apparently stood still…

This tells us that the state’s newest senator, Rand Paul, lied in March (shocking, I know) when he said that public sector employees don’t contribute to their pensions and health care (like to know what his contributions are as a sitting U.S. Senator). And not to be outdone, his “mentor,” Sen. Mr. Elaine Chao himself, just loves himself those “stim” projects in his home state but hates them in DC (here).

Continuing, this tells us that Repug State Rep Lonnie Napier (Lancaster) and Dem (!) Greg Stumbo (Prestonburg) co-sponsored a bill to drug test welfare recipients, and…
Napier said he has no intention of drug-testing all of Kentucky's unemployed -- only those who receive "free handouts" from the state.
No, not much he doesn’t.

Oh, and by the way, this tells us that Kentucky’s preliminary unemployment rate fell below 10 percent in May for the first time in more than two years.

I kind of feel about this state the way I do about Florida – I’m sure a lot of good people live there, but man, does this state do nothing but elect lousy Repug politicians who do nothing but sell them out (for that reason, the state as a whole deserves very little of my sympathy).


The unemployment rate for the state was 8.2 percent last May, as noted here (and this tells us of a Raceland man who pled guilty to Katrina-related unemployment insurance fraud). Also, here is a list of job fairs in the state (some for September), and this tells us of the “summertime blues” for those employed on the Gulf Coast (this is about the only recent information I could find for the state).

I’ll try to pick this up again next week.

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