Monday, December 5, 2011

Wont' Someone Think of the Michigan children?!

Specifically Michigan farm kids working, well, on the farm.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Unemployment in California and Beyond Sept-Oct 2011

October unemployment numbers were released last week and there appears to be very minor improvements. The third quarter results pointed to a slight recovery in the works, perhaps attributed to the change in the shopping season approaching Christmas.

When we view the chart from California for seasonally adjusted unemployment numbers we see a recent plateau:
Augusts unemployment figure of 2,175,200 was 1.1% higher than September's 2,151,100. In turn, September's numbers were 1.3% higher than October's figure of 2,123,300. The rate from Sept to Oct was a drop from 11.9 to 11.7%.

The drop is exceptionally slow, at this rate the statewide unemployment rate will be in the neighborhood of 10% by Fall 2012.

How does California stack up with the rest of the country? When compared to other major stats (by population) NY and Texas, there same trends of brief increase in August coupled with Sept-Oct declines can be observed. The decrease in California is, however, more pronounced in the past two months (although in this graph you can't really observe the difference since it is in actuality quite small when compared to the previous year trends, but relevant when we focus to the past 3 months.)
The decrease should increase through the holiday month's, but wel'l have to wait for Spring before we can see if these decreases continue through the Winter.

Data compiled by San Diego Bankruptcy Lawyers from RAND California.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Unemployment Loans Due for States

States will begin repaying more than one billion to the federal government for loans used to pay unemployment benefits. The question is, where is the money going to come from? Some will have to increase business tax bills to cover the repayment. Interest payments must begin October 1st as the interest free loan expired in December. In February, Obama asked Congress to extend the help and delay any impending tax hikes, but Republican resistance and general criticism of the $830 billion stimulus plan muted the possibility of a continuation. The impact on some states' finances will be mild as they had time to prepare for the payments. Others must find funds to cover another bill on top of other spending demands for health and social programs. California, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and North Carolina have to send in the biggest interest payments. There is around 37 billion in principal outstanding.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Top Six Recommendations for Small Business Employers When Hiring

Issues to watch for, some are obvious no brainers, but then again, employers might need a refresher (or fresher)...

1. Violating wage and hour laws
2. Mischaracterizing employees as independent contractors.
3. Using bad agreements.
4. Using unenforceable noncompetition provisions.
5. Conflict with former employers.
6. Not offering the right amount or form of equity compensation.

FOr more visit:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

California Unemployment Numbers 2007-2011

July numbers have been released for the nation, and we decided to show California and how their unemployment numbers faired in the past 4 years.

Graphically we can get a sense of the issue--there just doesn't seem to be any light at the end of the unemployment tunnel. July's number has similarities to early 2010, around the trough of the last recession. When the nation's largest state isn't showing trends of improvement one has to worry that the indicators are pointing to another economic downturn. Although employment numbers won't be predictive of the economy (rather they are descriptive of what's going on) they still provide insight on the plight of the economy. Those without jobs are still without jobs, and most do not have benefits, and those who are lucky to have a job are finding themselves on the brink of layoffs.

With notes from San Diego Bankruptcy Attorney, Cecilia Chen, and data from RAND.

Monday, August 22, 2011

West Isn't the Best in July Employment

New unemployment figures point to an unemployment rate in the West States that sits above 10.5%. The economy continues to have problems creating jobs in a state where markets are volatile yet interest rates remain at records lows. This suggests that current monetary policy isn't working to stimulate the economy, and most important, help businesses increase production (thereby hiring more workers). More jobs would mean more people can take advantage of lower interest rates and make that big purchase-- homes.

More stats:

Regional and state unemployment rates were generally little changed in July.
Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate
increases, nine states recorded rate decreases, and thirteen states had no rate
change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Thirty-seven states
posted unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, seven states and the District
of Columbia reported increases, and six states had no change. The national jobless
rate was little changed at 9.1 percent but was 0.4 percentage point lower than a
year earlier.

In July, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 31 states and the District of
Columbia and decreased in 19 states. The largest over-the-month increase in
employment occurred in New York (+29,400), followed by Texas (+29,300), Michigan
(+23,000), and Tennessee (+14,300). Hawaii experienced the largest over-the-month
percentage increase in employment (+1.1 percent), followed by Utah (+0.8 percent),
Michigan (+0.6 percent), and Delaware, Iowa, Kansas, and Tennessee (+0.5 percent
each). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Illinois
(-24,900), followed by Florida (-22,100), Minnesota (-19,800), and Indiana (-10,100).
Minnesota experienced the largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment
(-0.7 percent), followed by Illinois and Indiana (-0.4 percent each). Over the year,
nonfarm employment increased in 44 states and the District of Columbia and decreased
in 6 states. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota
(+5.2 percent), followed by Texas (+2.6 percent), Utah (+2.5 percent), and Oklahoma and Wyoming (+2.2 percent each). The largest over-the-year percent decrease in employment occurred in Indiana (-1.0 percent), followed by Delaware (-0.7 percent), Georgia (-0.6 percent), and Alabama and Kansas (-0.3 percent each).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Ohio Unions Still Fighting SB5

Collecting bargaining rights are back on the table as Republican Gov. John Kasich prays as he may to keep SB5, yet voters have a different idea.

Unions won't have it, they've challenged the ballot, and now are working at repealing. Thus far, the effort has garnered immense support collecting over 1.2 million signatures.

Each county requires quota of signatures in order to be submitted to the repeal process, 3% minimum.

Once that's complete there a few more steps, including drafting reform language for the proposed referendum. So the fight isn't over, success is still in the wings, we can be sure the Governor didn't expect the immense number of people to vocalize distaste.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

VEVRAA for Afghanistan vets

With unemployment on the rise the influx of troops from abroad are going to make the labor market even smaller. For returning vets there's supposed to be some form of reprieve in the form ot the VEVRAA.

The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act requires companies that have contracts with the federal government — over 100k in total — to actively seek out veterans when hiring, and forbids discrimination against them when filling jobs and promoting employees.

The Act itself may not require re-wording to increase job availability, but the issue is the Act is loosely enforced. As such, even returning vets with the added prospects of VEVRAA find it difficult to find a job.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Walmart Class Action for Women Fails at Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on June 20 dismissed a sexual discrimination class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart.

In a 5-4 ruling in the case of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Betty Dukes, et al., the Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision that would have allowed up to 1.5 million female workers to sue for back pay and punitive damages that could have totaled billions of dollars.

The decision will impact the way similar lawsuits can be structured and litigated.

However, on the surface the result makes sense. One cannot successfully file lawsuits unless they are able to identify a common injury, such as a companywide discriminatory policy. In this particular case the plaintiff’s key evidence was Wal-Mart’s policy of allowing local supervisors discretion over pay and promotion decisions.

Although the 'discretion' may have been bias, it's not proof enough to warrant a class action lawsuit (and of course no indication they would even win once the lawsuit began).

Labor proponents on the other hand will bemuse how another victory is given to corporations who have additional protections against organized labor forces.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Role of Unions

Conservatives would like to blow them up and prevent them from ever forming.

OThers find the labor movement a crucial component of the political process.

There are spectrums to every perspective. Unions can protect the interest of the workers when they are being mistreated. They also can be a bunch of goons.

Interesting article here:

Collective bargaining is one of the most crucial roles of the union. Without it workers are generally exploited by profit maximizing firms (yes I know this is a wild generalization). But to wipe them off the face of the earth like Republicans are trying to do in Wisconsin, well, I don't think that's our best option either.