September 11, 2015 |
Uber's billboards promised opportunities to earn $25 to $30 an hour, so Takele Gobena quit his $9-an-hour job at the Seattle airport, borrowed money to buy a car, and began working as a driver for Uber and Lyft. "We're not earning a living wage," Gobena said. After expenses, he said, he wound up earning $2.64 an hour, not enough to cover car payments or support his infant daughter. Gobena served as Exhibit A on Wednesday as advocates for low-wage workers released a report about problems and possible solutions for a growing class of workers such as Gobena in what is known as the on-demand economy.
May 4, 2014 |
While she's been at college, senior Stefanie Lechner, 23, has been watching the economy. "It doesn't frighten me," she said Friday, less than two weeks away from graduation from Temple University. Maybe it's because of Friday's champagne-popping report from the U.S. Labor Department - an unemployment rate of 6.3 percent in April, the lowest since September 2008, when it was 6.1 percent, and a not-shabby payroll expansion of 288,000 jobs. That being said, Lechner, graduating with a degree in therapeutic recreation, will soon begin an unpaid internship - a career step she believes will lead to full-time employment in the same organization by year's end. "It's a great opportunity," she said.
February 13, 2014
Hoop dreams The communities of Abington and Neshaminy should be recognized for the absolutely incredible sportsmanship demonstrated by their varsity basketball teams and coaches last weekend when a Bensalem student with Down syndrome was included in their basketball games ("A special player helps lift Bensalem," Feb. 9). The four-year member of our team who serves as team manager, Kevin Grow, took the court and forged memories for himself and all of us who had the pleasure of watching this fine young man score numerous points.
August 24, 2013 |
For the first time since the start of the recession in late 2007, the number of people filing initial claims for unemployment insurance in the month fell to 330,500 a week on average, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. The news buoyed Wall Street, but the national story isn't what's happening in the Philadelphia region. "Philadelphia's economy has struggled this summer," said Ryan Sweet, an economist with Moody's Analytics in West Chester. The last time the national number was so low was in November 2007 - the month before the official start of what economists have described as the worst recession since the Great Depression.
February 13, 2013 |
In a highly critical letter, U.S. Department of Labor officials have rebuked the State of Pennsylvania for "serious compliance issues" in its operation of the unemployment insurance program. The commonwealth has often underperformed so profoundly in the timely handling of unemployment insurance forms and other matters - many within the last year - that the federal government may consider sanctions that would restrict budget money to the Department of Labor and Industry, according to the letter.
February 4, 2013 |
Social costs are why the government cannot be run like a private-sector firm. Governments should rarely invest in private-sector companies. However, that happened at the peak of the recession when vehicle-makers GM and Chrysler were bailed out. Did the government make the right decision? To answer that you need to know not only the financial returns but also the social costs of not assisting the firms. The U.S. Treasury invested about $49.5 billion in GM and $12.5 billion in Chrysler so they could survive the Great Recession.
December 21, 2012
Labor activists on Thursday distributed toys to the children of unemployed Philadelphians in Center City. But the gift these families really need - short of returning to work - is an extension of federal safety-net benefits that are critical to the long-term jobless. Unfortunately, along with more than 2 million other Americans, these city residents actively seeking work are facing the pending shutdown of the federal emergency unemployment program. Launched amid the economic crisis, this program has been a lifeline that more than doubles the number of weeks for jobless payments beyond the individual states' standard 26-week plans.
December 25, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - Congress on Friday quickly and quietly approved a two-month extension of the Social Security payroll-tax cut, ending a week of rancor and assuring that more than 160 million American workers will avert a 2-percentage-point payroll-tax increase come Jan. 1. But the calm, collegial legislative day was deceptive. When lawmakers reconvene next month, they'll remain far apart on agreeing to a longer-term deal. The package approved Friday - a major victory for President Obama and a setback for House Republicans - will assure that the average employee won't have to pay $80 a month more in Social Security taxes after Jan. 1. Instead, the rate for employees will remain at the 2011 level of 4.2 percent.
December 25, 2011
Kat Aaron is a project editor with the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University in Washington Some call this moment the Great Recession. As the hardship has lingered, others have begun calling it the Little Depression. But equating the hard times of the 1930s with the hard times of today is mostly overblown rhetoric. Or is it? On the surface, the comparisons are obvious: a period of great wealth and exuberance followed by a stock market crash. After the crash, widespread economic pain.