Labor Department

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A Big Sign That the US Economy Is on the Upswing

684K filed for unemployment benefits last week in the US, the lowest number since pandemic began

(Newser) - The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to 684,000, the fewest since the pandemic erupted a year ago and a sign that the economy is improving. Thursday's report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims fell from 781,000 the week before. It'...

Bars, Restaurants Give a Jolt to February Hiring

Employers overall added 379K jobs, and unemployment fell to 6.2%

(Newser) - The new unemployment report is out, and the numbers are stronger than expected. The highlights:
  • New jobs: Employers added 379,000 jobs in February, above expectations of 210,000, reports the Wall Street Journal . The figure is well above the 49,000 jobs gained in January.
  • The rate: The unemployment
...

'Year-End Victory' for Restaurants May Not Please Servers

Labor Dept. says employers can mandate tipped workers share their tips

(Newser) - New changes to Labor Department rules are being called a "year-end victory" for the restaurant industry, per the National Restaurant Association—though servers who rely on tips to boost their sub-minimum-wage pay may not be giving it an enthusiastic thumbs-up. Fox Business reports on a revision made final Tuesday...

GAO: Weekly Unemployment Numbers Flawed

Government watchdog finds Labor Department has been providing an inaccurate reading

(Newser) - A government watchdog has found that the Labor Department’s widely watched weekly unemployment benefits data are providing an inaccurate reading on the number of newly laid off workers because of flaws in the government’s data collection. The Government Accountability Office said in a report Monday that the Labor...

Another Rose Garden Attendee Tests Positive

Trish Scalia, wife of labor secretary, sat beside Kellyanne Conway

(Newser) - The wife of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, who attended the Rose Garden event where Amy Coney Barrett was announced as President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Patricia "Trish" Scalia sat behind first lady Melania Trump and next to former White House counselor Kellyanne...

A Welcome Milestone on Jobless Claims

New claims drop below 1M for first time since March

(Newser) - Layoffs continue five months into the pandemic, but there is a silver lining. Unemployment claims dropped below 1 million last week for the first time since March. There were 963,000 new filings for state unemployment benefits in the week ending Aug. 8—a drop of 228,000 claims from...

With Jobless Numbers, 'Recovery Appears to Be Underway'

But debate continues between GOP, Dems on whether to extend unemployment stimulus relief

(Newser) - America has started its economic recovery process, reopening businesses in phases across the nation, and the labor market numbers are beginning to reflect that. Per a Thursday release from the Department of Labor, the number of people drawing unemployment benefits for the week ending May 30 fell to 20.9...

Millions More Join the Ranks of the Unemployed

20% of US workers have filed for unemployment aid

(Newser) - Another 3.2 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total over seven weeks to 33.5 million—or one in five Americans who were employed as of February, per the AP . Economists had predicted 3 million claims, Reuters reports. The week ending May 2 was the...

Turns Out We Weren't Adding 200K Jobs a Month

Department of Labor revises job gains figures, with 501K fewer than previously estimated

(Newser) - It's not uncommon for the Department of Labor to revise job growth numbers. It actually does so annually, when, instead of using the surveys that help form those initial estimates, it reviews unemployment insurance records in each state to come up with more accurate figures. What is uncommon is...

Report: 200K Jobs Added by US Employers in January

And wage growth is at fastest rate in 8 years

(Newser) - US employers added a robust 200,000 jobs in January, and wages rose at the fastest pace in more than eight years. The pay gains suggest employers are competing more fiercely for workers. Raises stemming from Republican tax cuts and minimum wage increases in 18 states also likely boosted pay....

Trump Announces His New Labor Secretary Pick

It's Alexander Acosta, former NLRB member

(Newser) - A day after Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from consideration as Labor secretary, President Trump has announced his replacement pick, Reuters reports. Trump will nominate Alexander Acosta, who served as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division under former President George W. Bush and has also served as a...

Puzder Withdraws His Nomination as Labor Secretary

His confirmation hearing had been scheduled for Thursday

(Newser) - Andrew Puzder says he is withdrawing as President Donald Trump's nominee for labor secretary. The fast food executive says in a statement provided to the AP that he was "honored to have been considered by President Donald Trump to lead the Department of Labor and put America's...

Feds Accuse Oracle of Paying White Men More

And of favoring Asians for tech roles: DOL lawsuit

(Newser) - Oracle provides contracting services for the feds via its cloud computing software, resulting in "hundreds of millions" of dollars in government contracts, per a Labor Department release. That means the tech company has to adhere to federal nondiscriminatory hiring practices, which a DOL lawsuit announced Wednesday says has not...

Obama Hands Trump a 4.7% Unemployment Rate
We Went From 7.8% to 4.7%
Under Obama's Watch
jobs report

We Went From 7.8% to 4.7% Under Obama's Watch

Rate ticked up slightly in December, as expected

(Newser) - It's the end of an era: The last jobs report that falls fully under President Obama's tenure was issued on Friday, and he'll hand President-elect Donald Trump an economy that boasts a 4.7% unemployment rate. That's a tick up from November's 4.6%, and...

Labor Dept. Wants to Ban Google From Federal Contracts

Feds want tech behemoth to turn over thousands of employee records

(Newser) - The US Labor Department is trying to bar Google from doing business with the federal government unless the internet company turns over confidential information about thousands of its employees, the AP reports. The potential banishment is being sought in a Labor Department lawsuit filed Wednesday with the Office of Administrative...

Jobs Report Stronger Than Expected

Number beats estimates as unemployment rate remains unchanged at 5%

(Newser) - The Labor Department issued a stronger-than-expected jobs report Friday morning: US employers added 292,000 jobs in December, beating expectations and leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 5%. Given that economists were expecting a mark closer to 200,000, the figure represents a "huge round of job creation" to...

New Jobs Data 'All the Ammo' Fed Needs to Raise Rates

Unemployment rate remains at 5%

(Newser) - The Labor Department is out with what CNBC calls "one of the most anticipated unemployment reports of the year"—and its results have analysts more sure than ever that the Fed will raise interest rates later this month. Employers added 211,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment...

Obama Wants 5M More Americans to Get Overtime

His proposal would more than double current salary threshold to $50,440

(Newser) - "Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve." Those are President Obama's words in a Huffington Post op-ed about a proposal he predicts would help up to 5 million workers in 2016: increasing the overtime salary threshold from $23,660...

'Wage Theft' Lawsuits Are on the Rise

Workers say they're not getting their wages

(Newser) - More US workers are joining wage-theft lawsuits that accuse their bosses of failing to pay their proper hours or wages, the New York Times reports. "Sometimes I’d work 60, even 90 days in a row," said a Mexican immigrant who joined a lawsuit against the Schneider trucking...

Jobless Claims Hit Pre-Recession Levels

2.56M people are receiving benefits, a 6-year low

(Newser) - Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, as the number of people collecting jobless aid fell to its lowest level in more than six years. The Labor Department said today that weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000. The four-week average, a less...

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