November 26, 2013
Congressional inaction could put more obstacles in the path of the already slow economic recovery. If lawmakers don't extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, $25 billion in benefits - money that tends to be quickly spent on rent, food, and other necessities - would be ripped out of the economy. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the program is a highly effective antirecession measure. An estimated 1.3 million long-term-unemployed Americans are expected to lose the emergency benefits in December if Congress doesn't act. Another 850,000 could join them before next spring.
October 10, 2013 |
Local investment firms have been taking frantic calls from clients lately asking whether the sky is falling. And no wonder: The U.S. debt ceiling has yet to be lifted, threatening default on government bonds; Congress failed to act to end a government shutdown, which has stretched into its second week; and yet stocks have been on a tear not seen in decades. Most are advising investors to stay the course - and in truth, there's very little to do other than to panic, sell everything, and go to cash.
August 22, 2013 |
A lifelong friend and business partner to State Rep. Bill Keller was sentenced Tuesday to three months in prison for cheating on his taxes and lying to collect unemployment checks he did not deserve. "If everybody did what you did, we'd have chaos," U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III told Mark Olkowski, rejecting his request for a sentence that did not include prison. Olkowski, 62, pleaded guilty in April to hiding more than $148,000 in off-the-books income from KO, the real estate venture and sporting-goods store he and Keller launched in 1975.
July 5, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. companies stepped up hiring last month, a private survey showed Wednesday. And the government said fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week. The latest data point to steady job growth, an encouraging sign ahead of Friday's jobs report for June. The brighter hiring outlook also helped stocks end the day higher. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 56 points. Further job gains could lower the unemployment rate, still high at 7.6 percent, and help economic growth rebound in the second half of the year.
May 31, 2013 |
A clunky computerized data system that maintained information on inmates in New Jersey's county jails was largely responsible for $23.6 million in unemployment benefits, Medicaid coverage, food stamps, and cash assistance received by those behind bars, state Comptroller A. Matthew Boxer said Wednesday. In most of the cases, the benefits were improperly paid. The inmates - 20,000 in all - were not qualified for them since they were receiving room, board, and medical care while in prison, Boxer said.
May 24, 2013
Pennsylvania will offer an amnesty program June 1 through Aug. 31 to collect $613 million the state's Department of Labor and Industry is owed in unemployment benefits or taxes. The program covers benefits paid or taxes owed before June 30, 2012. The amnesty covers 130,000 people, who were overpaid $356 million, either because of a mistake or because they submitted false information. Those who submitted false information will only have to pay half of interest and penalties if they pay before Aug. 31. Those who were overpaid through an error will only have to repay half the amount.
May 17, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Signs of a slowing economy combined with comments from a Federal Reserve official helped pull the stock market down Thursday. The news on the U.S. economy gave investors little to get excited about. Applications for unemployment benefits rose last week and manufacturing slowed in the mid-Atlantic region. Wal-Mart sank after warning of weaker earnings ahead. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42.47 points to 15,233.22, a loss of 0.3 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 8.31 points to 1,650.47, or 0.5 percent.
May 4, 2013 |
Gov. Corbett, under fire for remarks in a radio interview that seemed to link unemployment to drug use, defended himself Thursday, saying Democratic rivals had twisted his words beyond recognition for political gain. He did not blame high unemployment on large numbers of Pennsylvanians failing mandatory drug tests, as was widely reported after his Monday radio interview with PaMatters.com, Corbett told an afternoon audience in Malvern. "I did not say that. I did not say that," the Republican governor said.
May 2, 2013
"Pauperism is the consequence of willful error, of shameful indolence, of vicious habits. It is a misery of human creation, the pernicious work of man, the lamentable consequence of bad principles and morals. " YOU'D BE forgiven if you thought that the above quote was from Gov. Corbett as he expanded on his explanation Tuesday for the state's unemployment rate - that not enough people seeking jobs can pass a drug test. In point of fact, the comment above came from the Rev. Charles Burroughs, a preacher in New Hampshire who was addressing a poorhouse in 1834, according to Michael Katz in his book The Undeserving Poor . But in their demonizing of the poor, the struggling and the needy, Corbett and Burroughs seem to be ideological brothers.
April 7, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A streak of robust job growth came to a halt in March, signaling that U.S. employers may have grown cautious in a fragile economy. The gain of 88,000 jobs was the smallest in nine months. Even a decline in unemployment to a four-year low of 7.6 percent was nothing to cheer: The rate fell only because more people stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed. The weak jobs report Friday from the Labor Department caught analysts by surprise and served as a reminder that the economy is still recovering slowly nearly four years after the Great Recession ended.