Besides the unseasonable snowfall in New York, it appears Spring has brought some positive news for our labor statistics, as reported that the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in 2 years after the job market continued to improve in March.
The latest reports indicate that the economy added 216,000 jobs, which surpassed the predicted 180,000 jobs by economists surveyed by CNNMoney. This new figure also beat the improvement of over 194,000 jobs added in February. Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis for The Conference Board, told CNNMoney "Almost two years after the recession officially ended, the labor market appears to finally be picking up."
As expected, the nation’s unemployment rate continued to plummet, falling to lowest level since March 2009. The unemployment rate, which is now at 8.8%, has fallen by a full percentage point in the last quarter.
Tig Gilliam, president of Adecco recently said, "It's strong across the board; Is it as fast as we'd all want? Probably not, but it's moving in the right direction and it continues to accelerate."
In my blog post from January, 2010, I discussed the outlook for the labor market based on the predictions at that time. Trends showed that the job force was to rebound in 2010, something which did in fact happened, but not to the level which would boost confidence.
Here is the breakdown:
The private sector gained 230,000 jobs. Business hiring is rising, with about 70% of industries adding jobs in 2011. In the lead were professional services, which added almost 80,000 jobs, social services and health care were also strong, and added about 45,000 workers, and also among the leaders were the hospitality industry, which increased its labor force by almost 40,000 employees.
Additionally, temp-workers, and contractors grew by 30,000. This is a significant indicator, as many businesses hire temps before converting them to full-time employees. On the flip-side, public sector laborers were trimmed by almost 15,000 this month, mostly by local governments. Looking ahead to this 2nd quarter, based on these results compared to our projections from early 2010, it would be hopeful to expect the same (and more exponential) growth in our labor market for the near future.
Do you think the unemployment rate will decrease substantially by the end of 2011? Your comments are welcomed.
Last week, BP CEO Tony Hayward was summoned to give his testimony regarding the cause of the Gulf Coast oil well explosion before angered U.S. lawmakers. Consistently replying to Congress that it was "too early to make conclusions", Hayward was criticized for not being prepared to answer the questions presented to him by the lawmakers after they were submitted to him in advance. He also dodged questions about actions on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the days before the explosion, stating that "investigations are still underway".
The questions submitted to Hayward were concerning decisions around the design of the well which prompted concerns about its safety. Congress believes that BP cut corners and sacrificed safer, costlier materials for less expensive ones.
Tony Howard says that since the oil spill began, BP has “made changes with respect to the testing and evaluation of blowout preventers”. The cut-off switch which is intended to cut off any leaks, failed at the well, which now spews about 60,000 barrels of oil every day. Additionally, Hayward said he “had no prior knowledge of the drilling of this well,” and “I wasn’t part of the decision-making process on this well. I am not a cement engineer.”
As BP CEO, do you think Tony Hayward is the individual responsible for the oil spill? Please share your thoughts.
In a recent study done in late December '09, economic analysts have announced that they predict jobs to rebound in 2010. This, at a time when Americans' job satisfaction has dropped to an all time low amidst the country's worst recession since the 1930's. The figures indicate that as much as 45% of American laborers are unhappy with their job. Though worker discontent can be attributed to the recession, it has been on the rise for the past 22 years. Considering that people may keep their job just to make ends meet, it would be pretty safe to assume that positive outlook on jobs isn't foreseeable in the near future, regardless of what the studies my illustrate. But what would truly cause employees to be unhappy with their work?
Workers have been more dissatisfied for the following reasons:
Now that President Obama's health care plans are building momentum, the government needs to decide which will be its final plan for health care reform in the US. Congress (the House) and the Senate have their own proposals (bills). The House and Senate bills, one of which will determine the final government health care overhaul, are being compared. All Americans should take a closer took at how they are alike, and how they are different. Here is a look at the two bills from House and Senate, and you can make your own decision on which you would prefer:
How they are alike:
How they are different:
Which bill do you support? Take the Poll or leave a comment.
Education: Official Government Health Reform website
In July, employers cut back on laying off employees which eased the unemployment rate to just 9.4 percent, the lowest it has been in over a year. It was an unexpected figure that may hint the recession is ending. The Labor Department also reports that not only did unemployment drop, but that wages also increased. Economists say it might take until 2013 to drive down the unemployment rate to 5%(normal).
Do you agree with the Labor Department's estimation, or do you think we will rise from the recession sooner? Take the Poll or leave a comment.
Lawyers for Michael Jackson and his family are getting ready to square off in a courtroom hearing over control of the singer's estate as outlined in his 5 page Will. It will be interesting to learn whether the singer's mom, 79-year-old Katherine Jackson, will be forced to give up control she now has over his affairs. In his will, Jackson states that if his three offspring are still children at the time of his death, he nominates his mother to be their guardian. If his mother is also deceased, he then nominates Diana Ross. It is interesting to point out that his father, Joe Jackson is not mentioned in the will. MJ not only initialed each page of his will, but also each paragraph, erasing any doubt of the authenticity and authority of the will.
Who do you think would be a better guardian for MJ's kids? His mother, Katherine Jackson or Diana Ross? Take the Poll.
Last week, the new state of the art Acropolis Museum was unveiled to international acclaim. The first class museum was a work in progress for over 30 years, heralded by the then Greek Minister of Culture and world renown actress, Melina Merkouri. The undertaking and opening of the museum is not only a cultural achievement for the Greeks, but also a call for the re-unification of the Parthenon's Marble friezes back to Greece from the British Museum in London. The marbles, stolen from the Parthenon Temple in the 1800's by British Lord Elgin while Greece was under Ottoman Turkish occupation, were then taken to the United Kingdom and sold to the British Museum so that Lord Elgin could avoid bankruptcy. Lord Elgin professes that he removed the marbles for preservation, although modern evidence shows that they were severly damaged while they were removed. For years, the Greeks have been struggling for the return of their marbles to Greece, while the British Museum persisted that Greece did not have a sufficient museum to display the archaic marble freizes - until now. The New Acropolis Museum was designed to display the Parthenon's marble Friezes in their entirety. Until the friezes are re-unified, there will be a resounding void in their place. Share your thoughts on this topic and leave a comment or Take the Poll.
Youtube - New Acropolis Museum Opens
British website in favor for the restitution of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece
Recently. the S.E.C. announced that it will charge ex-Countrywide CEO Angelo Mozilo with civil fraud and insider trading, making him the most prominent executive to face federal charges in the wake of the recent financial crisis. Countrywide, having collapsed amid the sub-prime mortgage lending crisis, and bought by Bank of America, has been accused by many of having sparked the crisis it itself had succumbed to. Mozilo, himself a co-founder of Countrywide, was long suspected of predatory lending after lending Americans mortgages they could not afford. Mozilo alledgedly sold his stock based on insider information for about $140 Million in profits!