Department of Labor

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In Conn. Nail Salon Raid, Only 2 Were Legal

Sweep finds 23 salons violating wage and hour laws

(Newser) - Nearly two dozen nail salons were shut down in Connecticut—at least temporarily—after a random sweep by the Department of Labor earlier this month. Inspired by New York state's response to a New York Times investigation into nail salons , and after complaints, officials randomly investigated 25 salons from... More »

Walmart Holds Food Drive ... for Its Own Workers

It's asking other workers to help them out

(Newser) - An Ohio Walmart store wants to make sure its workers can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner—so it's asking them to give each other enough food to do so. The Canton store has set up bins in an employee-only area under a sign that reads, "Please donate food items... More »

Obama Gets His EPA Chief

Senate approves Gina McCarthy, and labor chief Thomas Perez, too

(Newser) - Two of President Obama's long-stalled nominees cleared the Senate today, thanks to this week's filibuster deal : Gina McCarthy is the new EPA chief, and Thomas Perez is the new labor secretary, reports the Hill and Wall Street Journal . The big question on Perez is how aggressive he will... More »

Walmart Slapped With $4.8M Bill for Unpaid Wages

About 4,500 employees weren't paid for overtime

(Newser) - The Labor Department has ordered Walmart to pay $4.8 million in back wages to around 4,500 workers it short-changed between 2004 and 2007. Over that span, Walmart had refused to pay overtime to its vision-center managers and asset-protection coordinators, for some reason believing them exempt from federal regulations... More »

Feds to Maine Gov: Rehang Mural or Repay Our Money

GOP gov took labor mural down after it was compared to N. Korea propaganda

(Newser) - When Maine Gov. Paul LePage decided to remove a 36-foot mural depicting the state's labor history from the state's Labor Department building, he didn't just tick off union leaders—he ticked off the federal government. The US Labor Department is demanding LePage put the mural back up, or else give... More »

NY Smacks Star-Crossed Spider-Man

Two safety violations issued by New York state

(Newser) - As if the endlessly troubled Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark didn't have enough problems, now it also has two safety violations, reports the New York Times . New York's Department of Labor issued the violations for one actor's 20-foot fall during rehearsal, and a problem with a sling-shot technique.... More »

Before Ink Dries, 14 States Sue Over Health Law

13 Republican AGs, 1 Dem charge health care reform is unconstitutional

(Newser) - The threatened lawsuits over the health care reform law started arriving at courthouses today shortly after President Obama signed the measure. Thirteen attorneys general headed by Bill McCollum of Florida—who is also a candidate for governor— sued the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services departments and their secretaries.... More »

Unemployment Holds at 9.7%

Employers shed 36,000 jobs, fewer than expected

(Newser) - The unemployment rate held at 9.7% in February as employers shed fewer jobs than expected. The Labor Department said employers cut 36,000 jobs, below analysts' estimates of 50,000. They had predicted the jobless rate would rise to 9.8%. The severe snowstorms that hammered the East Coast... More »

Unemployment Falls to 9.7%

It's the first time it's been under 10% in 4 months

(Newser) - The nation's unemployment rate fell unexpectedly to 9.7% in January, the Labor Department said today. The drop from 10% comes even as US employers cut another 20,000 jobs. The rate dropped because a survey of households found the number of employed Americans rose by 541,000. Overall, however,... More »

US Expected to Report 5K New Jobs

Economy adds jobs, but more than expected were lost

(Newser) - January was the second month since the recession began in December 2007 that payrolls grew instead of fell, the Labor Department is expected to say in a report due out today. Some 5,000 new jobs were likely added last month, reports Reuters . Close to 4,000 jobs were added... More »

As Jobs Dry Up, Self Employment On the Rise

More Americans set out on their own, often in real estate

(Newser) - The number of hours worked by the self-employed jumped 8.5% in the last three months of 2009, as more unemployed people decided to try being their own bosses and those already self-employed buckled down, according to new figures from the Labor Department. “Firms aren’t hiring, so people... More »

GOP Filibusters Routine Obama Nomination

All 60 Senate Dems needed to confirm Labor Department solicitor general

(Newser) - It took all 60 Senate Democrats yesterday to break a filibuster over the confirmation of a fairly run-of-the-mill mid-level Obama appointee. New York Labor Commissioner Patricia Smith is hardly a liberal radical—she has support from her state’s Chamber of Commerce, and several New York Republicans in the House—... More »

Record 6.4 People Compete for Each Job Opening

Competition for work reaches new high in US

(Newser) - The competition for jobs is intensifying as companies are reluctant to hire new workers, leaving millions of unemployed Americans chasing fewer job openings. There were nearly 6.4 unemployed workers, on average, for each available job at the end of November, the Labor Department reports. That's up from 6.1... More »

Unemployment Stays at 10%

Employers cut 85,000 jobs in December, more than expected

(Newser) - The economy lost more jobs in December and the unemployment rate was unchanged, signs that a sluggish economic recovery has yet to revive hiring. The Labor Department says employers cut 85,000 jobs last month, worse than the 8,000 drop analysts expected. A sharp drop in the labor force,... More »

Unemployment Drops to 10%

Jobs put in best showing since 2007

(Newser) - Job losses slowed and the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell in November, the Labor Department announced today, in its most positive jobs report since 2007. Nonfarm payrolls fell by a mere 11,000, while the unemployment rate, which is determined by surveying households rather than companies, fell from 10.2% to... More »

Unemployment Jumps to 10.2%

Companies cut 190,000 jobs last month

(Newser) - Unemployment cracked the 10% barrier last month, as 190,000 workers lost their jobs, according to Labor Department figures released today. The bigger-than-expected losses bring the rate to 10.2%, a 26-year high. And the underemployment rate, which includes would-be full-timers working part time and those who've given up looking... More »

In Recovery, Business Will Profit at Workers' Expense

Short-term outlook 'great for business, terrible for households'

(Newser) - The economy is slowly improving, but companies will see the benefits long before the unemployed and underemployed will, Bloomberg reports. A Department of Labor report released yesterday found that the average workweek is at a near-record low of 33.1 hours. The lack of uptick in part-time hours is an... More »

Unemployment Hits 9.7%, but Job Losses Are Slowing

(Newser) - The US lost 216,000 jobs last month, driving unemployment to 9.7%, its highest level since 1983, the Wall Street Journal reports. The silver lining is that job losses have slowed; payrolls dropped a revised 276,000 in July, and earlier months saw losses of as many as 700,... More »

Jobless Rate Hits 9.4%, But Layoffs Ease

(Newser) - The unemployment rate jumped to 9.4% in May, the highest in more than 25 years. But the furious pace of layoffs eased, with employers cutting 345,000 jobs, the fewest since September. If laid off workers who have given up looking for new jobs or have settled for part-time... More »

Jon & Kate Plus ... Child Labor Investigation

(Newser) - The Pennsylvania Department of Labor is investigating Jon & Kate Plus 8 to see if the show violates child labor laws, the AP reports. TLC says it complies with all state regulations; the department would not reveal who made the complaint, saying only “any complaint we get, we investigate.... More »

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