Recession and Recovery

Third and State This Week: General Assistance Ends, Check In on Economy & Grads Face Global Competition for Jobs

This week at Third and State, we blogged about the end of General Assistance in Pennsylvania, the state of the economy, American college graduates facing overseas competition for jobs and much more.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • On poverty and the state budget, Sharon Ward shared a clip from her appearance on The War Room with Jennifer Granholm on Current TV discussing the impact of ending Pennsylvania's General Assistance Program. Mark Price also highlighted General Assistance's end, as did guest blogger Liz Schott of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
  • On higher education, Jamar Thrasher wrote about the increased competition faced by American graduates as companies outsource jobs for lower wages and higher revenues.
  • On jobs and the economy, Mark Price shared a New York Times piece discussing the lack of good jobs and its relationship to poverty. Mark weighed in on the Federal Reserve's recent decision to take no steps to boost economic growth, despite high unemployment. And Mark delved deeper into Pennsylvania's jobs report for June.
  • And on fiscal policy, Mark Price blogged about a story on the radio program Marketplace revisiting some of the predictions made a year ago about what would happen as a result of Standard and Poor's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

Note: We will have more blog posts next week, but we will not have a weekly roundup on Friday, August 10. We will resume the weekly roundup blog post on Friday, August 17. In the meantime, keep us bookmarked and join the conversation!

Morning Must Reads: It's Jobs Day

As it is the first Friday of the month. that means we get new data today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on national employment in June. The official release is at 8:30 a.m.

Morning Must Reads: This Isn't The Dual Mandate You're Looking For

The Federal Reserve, which through its control of the money supply is in charge of one of the key levers for regulating the pace of economic growth, is guided by a dual mandate over inflation and unemployment. If consumer prices begin rising too fast, the Federal Reserve will act to slow economic activity. Likewise, when unemployment rises, the Federal Reserve will act to boost economic growth.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve acknowledged that the economy appears to be growing more slowly than anticipated but opted to take no steps to boost growth. This decision elevated concern about the potential of future inflation over the currently high U.S. unemployment rate of 8.2% (Pennsylvania's rate is 7.5%).

Three Years and Counting on the Minimum Wage

In 1960, George Lesauvage of the National Restaurant Association was making the case against increasing the federal minimum wage. “Wages, of course, in the restaurant industry are low for several reasons,” he said. “One of the most important is the fringe benefits that a restaurant worker gets in the form of free meals which in terms of value to the employee are most significant. Another fringe would be free uniforms.”

Wow, free uniforms. He forgot to mention free restrooms!

Morning Must Reads: New Olympic Event, Economy Shrinking

The idea of expansionary austerity is that in the midst of high unemployment, the public sector can reduce spending and unleash an explosion of economic growth that leads more quickly to recovery (Dean Baker explains here).

The United Kingdom has been putting this idea into practice since 2010 when a new government was elected. Today, we got more results on how that is working out: the UK economy has now shrunk for three consecutive quarters and is now smaller than when the current government took office.

Morning Must Reads: The Jobs Shortage

You hear us say it a lot. The number one problem in the economy is a lack of job openings, not a mismatch between the skills workers have and the skills employers need. For sure, there is always some skill mismatch in the economy, but there is no evidence that the mismatch today is greater than in the past. There is, however, lots of evidence that there are not enough job openings. 

Pink Slips for Teachers Not So Good for the Economy

Laying off thousands of teachers and other public servants doesn’t sound like a particularly good prescription for a stronger economy, but that is the impact of state policy in Pennsylvania these days. So at the Keystone Research Center we decided to take a look at how Pennsylvania’s job performance stacks up against other states in the age of budget-cutting austerity.

Morning Must Reads: Red Tape Is for the Unlucky In Pennsylvania

Click To EnlargeAfter signing legislation complicating the determination of eligibility for unemployment insurance, the Corbett administration is laying off frontline workers in Philadelphia who help recently unemployed workers determine their eligibility.

Morning Must Reads: Elected Officials Are Supposed To Do No Harm

The New York Times has a good editorial this morning based on analysis by Josh Bivens and Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute on just how much state and local budget cuts have hurt job growth. Bottom line, the editorial says, Congress could lower the unemployment rate substantially by providing more federal aid to states.

Morning Must Reads: Trust Us, Would We Lie To You Again and Again and Again...

Reuters reports on a poll of Wall Street executives on the subject of honesty.

A quarter of Wall Street executives see wrongdoing as a key to success, according to a survey by whistleblower law firm Labaton Sucharow released on Tuesday.

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