August 24th, 2012

Bouncing Back, But Not As High: Most Displaced Workers Take Pay Cuts

Most people who’ve lost their jobs are sliding down the employment ladder — presuming they’ve managed to get back on the ladder at all.

The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report on “displaced workers” (economist-speak for people who’ve lost their jobs) finds that 56 percent of the people who’ve lost their jobs since 2009 are employed again, and more than half of those re-employed people took a pay cut in their new job. Some key points:

 --In January 2012, 56 percent of the 6.1 million long-tenured
     displaced workers were reemployed, up from 49 percent for the 
     prior survey in January 2010. 

   --Forty percent of long-tenured displaced workers from the 2009-11
     period cited insufficient work as the reason for their displacement,
     and 31 percent cited that their plant or company closed down or 

   --Nearly 1 in 5 long-tenured displaced workers lost a job in

   --Among long-tenured workers who were displaced from full-time wage
     and salary jobs and who were reemployed in such jobs in January 2012,
     46 percent had earnings that were as much or greater than those of
     their lost job. 
July 13th, 2012

The Question Project: What Obama and Romney Should Tell Us About Job Creation

Over at our blog on The Huffington Post, we’ve started The Question Project, a modest attempt to raise some of the questions that deserve answers this election year. We hope it’ll inspire more good questions.

You can select a candidate in a dozen different ways: by their party, looks, commercials, endorsements or just as an expression of naked self-interest. But only questions allow us to sort out what candidates think about the things that matter most to us as voters and individuals. Only questions force the candidates to justify themselves to us as custodians of the American dream.

May 7th, 2012

Dr. Shaq and the Nation’s Real Dropout Problem

Shaquille O’Neal is getting some well-deserved attention for going back to school and getting a doctorate. But as we note in our latest Huffington Post post, he’s an exception in more ways than one. We all know that few student athletes make it in professional sports. What’s not as well known is that shockingly few Americans students manage to complete college at all.

And that’s doesn’t bode well for jobs. Check out these stats from Complete College America, and the full post.

May 1st, 2012

Can jobs be more than a talking point in the debate over energy?

The short answer is yes — if we can all just stop tilting the evidence to win the current spin cycle. Check out our latest post at National Geographic’s Great Energy Challenge blog.

April 17th, 2012

The Long and the Short of it on Jobs

From our latest at the Huffington Post:

We need to do something we just aren’t good at: having a serious debate on how to tackle a near-term problem while also looking at what to do for the future. As the candidates for president and Congress begin offering up their ideas on “jobs,” voters need to consider whether their proposals are aimed at creating jobs quickly or whether they’re aimed at strengthening the job picture over the long haul, say the next decade or two.

The truth is the country really needs both, but we can’t expect short-term cures to fix long-term problems (like job losses due to globalization or technology), and we can’t expect long-term solutions to kick in quickly. You probably won’t hear any subtleties like this on the campaign trail. Generally speaking, politicians are in the confusion business, so drawing these kinds of distinctions isn’t their strong suit. Here’s a quick tour of some of the jobs ideas out there and their short-term and long-term implications.

April 3rd, 2012

Is Regulation Really Strangling Start-ups?

In our latest Huffington Post blog, we look at the debate over government regulation — how much it really matters for jobs, and whether the current debate is even looking in the right place:

In the end, there’s not much point worrying about the issues surrounding complex federal laws while still making small business owners run around City Hall with folders of perforated papers looking for someone who still handles microfilm processing.

March 19th, 2012

Census Bureau Releases 1940 Data. America Has Changed.

It’s amazing to look at the shifts over time. The move from manufacturing to services is well known, but that’s only the start of the story.


After 72 years, the U.S. Census Bureau today released data from its decennial count in 1940. The release includes a fascinating graphic about how Americans have changed over time. Here’s just one section, comparing our workforce: 

There’s much more in the graphic: housing, demographics, etc. Check it out

(Source: mattstiles)

Reblogged from Dataviz by Sunlight
March 16th, 2012

From The Economist’s Graphic Detail blog: a new assessment of global jobs prospects.

Hopes are highest in India and Brazil, driven by the services sector: nearly 6 out of 10 Indian employers in the service sector plan to expand their workforces before the end of June. In China, under pressure to improve salaries and working conditions, companies are not hiring as aggressively as they have in the past. Job prospects in the United States remain weaker than before the recession, but the outlook is the most optimistic it has been since the last quarter of 2008. Unsurprisingly, Greek employers remain gloomy, although fewer expect to be making further redundancies in the second quarter.

March 11th, 2012

"The One Where Young People Can’t Get Ahead in the Job Market"

Our latest Huffington Post piece points out that an episode of Friends is actually prescient about a problem facing young people in the workforce: it’s getting harder to get ahead on jobs and wages, and has been for some time. Still, some bets are better than others, and education does pay off in higher wages and lower unemployment rates, as this Bureau of Labor Statistics chart shows:

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Written by Scott Bittle and Jean Johnson, authors of the breakout bestseller Where Does the Money Go?, this essential book takes a nonpartisan look at the most serious problem facing Americans today: the jobs crisis, arming voters to help them separate facts from spin.