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.
March 27, 2013 |
As joblessness worsens in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, nearly 200,000 people in the two states - among two million long-term unemployed nationally - will see a 10.7 percent cut in their unemployment benefits next month. The cut, which will show up in benefits for the week ending April 6, is yet another result of the sequestration - the series of cuts that began March 1 when Congress failed to resolve differences on how to reduce the budget deficit. In New Jersey, 95,000 people will be affected; in Pennsylvania, 99,000.
March 17, 2013 |
TRENTON - A proposal to tighten New Jersey's unemployment rules has turned into a political battle between Gov. Christie and his expected opponent in November, Democratic Sen. Barbara Buono. Christie says he wants to curtail benefits fraud. Buono says the proposed restrictions would be unfair to poor residents. The rule change would put teeth into a requirement that people collecting unemployment benefits actively look for work, by allowing benefits to be suspended for any week in which a claimant does not seek a job. The rule requires beneficiaries to register for work and participate in job-seeking activities in addition to reporting every two weeks for benefits.
February 19, 2013
DID YOU KNOW that Philadelphia prison inmates collected unemployment benefits while sitting in their cells? They did: 1,162 of them got an average of $344 a week for, on average, 18 weeks. That's more than $7 million. And many of the 25,500 inmates in other county jails in Pennsylvania did the same. We're talking cash for cons - tens of millions of tax dollars paid by employers and employees fraudulently scammed by incarcerated crooks. Makes you want to get up every day, go to work and pay your taxes, right?
February 15, 2013 |
RALEIGH - An estimated 170,000 jobless workers in North Carolina will be thrown off the unemployment-benefit rolls in July thanks to legislation passed by state lawmakers this week that triggers a little-known provision of federal law. North Carolina is joining the growing ranks of states that have decided that they can no longer shoulder the growing financial burden of the unemployed. But it stands alone in violating a law that disqualifies its jobless from collecting federally funded unemployment benefits that would allow the state's jobless to collect up to 47 weeks of additional aid. The reason is the way North Carolina - which at 9.2 percent has the nation's fifth-highest jobless rate - went about slashing its benefits.
January 31, 2013
SCRANTON - A note-wielding holdup man dubbed the "Silent Bandit" was sentenced Wednesday to nearly six years in federal prison for robbing six banks, including three in the Philadelphia area. Fawzi Atra, 43, of Bethlehem, told a judge that he staged his two-week robbery spree because he owed the government $11,000 for unemployment benefits he received in error while out of work. U.S. District Judge James Munley called Atra's conduct outrageous and told the suspect he was either stupid or had a character defect.
January 30, 2013
In the Region Supervalu execs' golden parachutes As part of the complex $3.3 billion transaction that will mean a new owner for Acme Markets , the top management of Supervalu Inc. will receive a total of $22.8 million in "golden parachute" payments. In documents filed with federal regulators, Supervalu outlined the payments to four senior executives, including $12.8 million promised to Wayne C. Sales, Supervalu's non-executive chairman, who had replaced Craig R. Herkert as chief executive of the struggling grocery retailer July 30. The purchase of Malvern-based Acme and four other supermarket chains by a group of private-equity firms is expected to close by March 31. - Mike Armstrong Tracking inmates' jobless benefits Tracking down inmates who receive unemployment benefits while incarcerated in Pennsylvania's state and county prisons will save the state's unemployment insurance fund $12 million a year, officials said in announcing a new program Tuesday to cross-match lists of incarcerated inmates with those receiving benefits.