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Jobs Picture Improving, Kind Of

JobsNew federal statistics strongly indicating the unemployment rates for the country and Pennsylvania are continuing to drop.

The U.S. Labor Department said applications for jobless support fell by 14,000 and Pennsylvania was one of the states with the biggest declines in benefit requests: down 2,224 due to fewer layoffs in administration, food service and construction, the AP reported.

Good news for most workers, save for those who have been jobless for more than 15 months.

A new Princeton study has found that the reason the unemployment rate has stayed higher is because of the long-term unemployed.

“The short-term unemployed are snatching up all the jobs. This leaves those who have been out of work for a long time still waiting in the unemployment pool, where they make up a large fraction of job-seekers,” Jeff Guo reported in his Washington Post blog.

Or, as the university researchers said:

“Despite declining over the last 4 years, the share of the unemployed who have been out of work for more than 6 months still exceeds its previous peak reached in 1981-82, and is well above its average in the last recovery. Yet, measures of short-term unemployment are close to their average rates in the last recovery. As a result, overall unemployment remains elevated because of the large number of people who have been unemployed long term.”

It’s important that we help the long-term unemployed to “get back in there” and find a new job or add the skills employers are seeking to fill the jobs that are available.

As U.S. News & World Report said this week, progress is being made on the jobless front.

Still, some people – experts – are skeptical about the strength of the recovery, and their arguments should not be discounted, either. Unlike other recessions, the most recent was hard, long and lots of things (technology, politics, sentiments) have stacked against the victims of the bad economic downturn.

Not all of the long-term unemployed are doing nothing. Many are doing part-time work or they are working full time for much, much less money than they were earning before their job loss.

As Carnegie Mellon University said this week, “There’s a very big difference between someone getting a part-time job instead of a full-time job.

“This is one of those issues where it's important to emphasize that looking at these broad statistics is missing a big part of the story,” CMU Professor Rebecca Lessem told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Two other important factors in the unemployment spectrum include women and veterans.

For our former fighting personnel, the jobless picture is growing darker. Whereas 7 percent of our veterans were unemployed in June, more of them were without a paycheck one month later as their jobless picture increased to 9.2 percent.

This is happening even though Pennsylvania and others encourage employers to hire veterans. A redoubling of effort is needed on this front.

Can there be a true recovery if vets and women are not finding work? I don’t think so.

There were nearly 4.5 million women who were without work in July, which was 227,000 more than in June.

Read CNS News’ analysis here.

Union Marriage with Fast Food?

UnionA week ago I was telling you about the National Labor Relations Board’s decision that McDonald’s must be held in the same regard as an employer as its franchisees.

This week I’m telling you that the Service Employees International Union is siding with a proposal California law that would give franchise owners more say in how they operate – and pay – their employees.

“The bill would make it harder for franchisors to terminate franchisees, and would bring California closer in line with Hawaii, Washington, and other states with what supporters call ‘fair franchising’ laws. Labor groups support it on the theory that making franchisees more independent will translate into better treatment for workers,” Bloomberg Businessweek reported today.

SEIU is a force in Pennsylvania. Perhaps this idea is something we should consider here?

Made in America

WeberWith the hottest month of the summer in progress, many people may be turning their noses up at the idea of spending hours standing over a sizzling stove.  Preparing a summertime meal al fresco, however, can provide the perfect opportunity to gain quality time with family members and friends, while taking advantage of the freshly grown produce and soothing evening air of the season. 

For these types of cooking adventures, a grill—the epitome of outdoor food preparation—is the go-to device. 

Whether it’s powered by charcoal, gas or electric, a grill can be used to make everything from traditional hot dogs and hamburgers to fruit and vegetable dishes.  And, for more than half a century, the number one grill used by households around the world has been Weber. 

In 1952, George Stephen Sr. had an idea for improving grills by reshaping and covering them with a lid. Since then, the company’s continued success has driven its grill designs to evolve by incorporating the latest technology and meeting consumer demands.

Today, Weber sells various grill models and smokers, along with iPhone apps, cookbooks and grilling accessories, thanks to its dedicated employees belonging to the International Union of Allied, Novelty and Production Workers.

IUANPW employees have enabled the company to maintain its factories in Palantine and Huntley, Ill., and expand its product line and increase its distribution on a global level.

With solid union workmanship and a top-rated name, Weber is a brand capable of elevating your outdoor cooking experience. The next time you think about summertime grilling, consider Weber.





Jobs Franchising