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NJ Voters Approve Minimum Wage Hike

moneyVoters in New Jersey this week approved a raise in the state’s minimum wage along with a constitutional amendment creating automatic increases in the future to protect low-wage workers from inflation.

The ballot measure passed with more than 60 percent support in a state that re-elected a Republican governor, showing widespread and bi-partisan support for fair wages.

New Jersey’s minimum wage will rise to $8.25 an hour, making it the 20th state that gone beyond the federal minimum of $7.25.

Experts say the raise will directly or indirectly affect the wages of 400,000 workers who make less than $9.25 an hour.

Predictably, the business lobby fought hard against fair wages, spending $1 million dollars promoting the old and disproven notion that minimum wage increases hurt the economy and cost jobs.

Unions and other supporters of fair wages fought back and won a victory for New Jersey workers.

Made in Pennsylvania – Frankford Candy

Frankford CandyFinished all of your Halloween treats, but still craving candy? Try satisfying your sweet tooth with some of your favorite Frankford Candy products available at major retailers nationwide. Since 1947, Frankford Candy has served as a staple for employees and residents in the City of Philadelphia.

While it began as a manufacturer of chocolate-molded Easter products in the Frankford area of the city, the company later moved to a location in South Philadelphia to accommodate its expanding product line. Today, with more than 60 years in the candy business, not only is Frankford Candy the largest licensed candy manufacturer in the U.S., but also, it boasts union-affiliated employment for many of its workers, who are represented by the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 6.

To add to the company’s well-regarded reputation, Frankford Candy’s various employee-friendly policies secured it as the best place to work for employees over the age of 50 for two consecutive years, according to AARP.

U.S. Employment Update

JobsToday, the U.S. Department of Labor released national employment data for the month of October 2013.  While unemployment rose slightly to 7.3%, the addition of 204,000 individuals to non-farm employer payrolls firmly demonstrated the positive impact of the President’s continued efforts to return the U.S. to prosperity and restore employers’ faith in the economy.  While 17,000 additional persons were reported as unemployed during October, many unemployed individuals who had stopped searching for jobs have begun looking for work once again.   

Industries that experienced job growth in October 2013 were Logging and mining, Construction and Leisure and hospitality, while other industry sectors underwent some level of job decline during this time—the largest of which was Government, followed by Manufacturing, Retail trade and Trade, transportation and utilities.  Many sectors, despite slight declines in their job numbers, experienced noteworthy employment growth in October, including Professional and business services, Education and health services and Retail trade.  With recently revised Departmental job numbers indicating an additional 60,000 jobs were created in the nation during August 2013 and September 2013, the total number of new jobs added to the U.S. economy stands at more than 1.8 million jobs this year.  Further, since October 2012, year-over-year job growth is approximately 2.3 million jobs.     

State employment data for September 2013 and October 2013 has been delayed as a result of the recent Federal Government shutdown.  It will become available on November 22, 2013. 

(Seasonally Adjusted)
(National Stats) Oct. 2012 Sept. 2013 Oct. 2013
Civilian Labor Force   155,576,000 155,559,000 154,839,000
Employment    134,225,000 136,350,000 136,554,000
Unemployment 12,248,000 11,255,000 11,272,000
Unemployment Rate 7.9% 7.2%  7.3%