All Articles Tagged "labor department"
Hard to believe, but according to a new report from the Labor Department, worker productivity declined more than projected in the fourth quarter, meaning American employees are working less. (Productivity is the amount of output per hour of work.) This in turn pushed labor expenses up. Companies may be near the threshold of how much efficiency they can get from employees.
“The measure of employee output per hour decreased at a 2 percent annual rate, the worst performance in almost two years, after a 3.2 percent gain in the prior three months,” reports Bloomberg. “The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 63 economists called for a 1.4 percent drop. Expenses per worker increased at a 4.5 percent rate, more than estimated.”
According to USA Today, the “decline was caused by temporary factors.” The newspaper noted that the decrease was due in part because “economic activity contracted while hours worked rose. The economy declined at an annual rate of 0.1% in the last three months of 2012, a drop caused mainly by deep defense cuts and slower restocking, changes that are not expected to last.”
And don’t expect productivity to go up anytime soon. USA Today says economists predict worker productivity will be weak through 2013. “Higher productivity is typical during and after a recession, they note. Companies tend to shed workers in the face of falling demand and increase output from a smaller work force. Once the economy starts to grow, demand rises and companies eventually must add workers if they want to keep up,” the paper explains.
The economists predict the growth of the economy will be weaker in 2013. In 2012, the economy grew 2.2 percent. Another thing affecting the economic growth in the increase in Social Security taxes, which is reducing take-home pay. This will cause consumers to lessen spending. Across-the-board government spending cuts, which would go into effect on March 1, may also weaken growth.
With millions of Americans still unemployed, Facebook has come up with good idea. The social networking site is launching a new app to help its users in the United States hunt for jobs. And Facebook isn´t doing it on its own.
One year ago Facebook partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the Direct Employers Association and the National Association of State Workforce Agencies to form the Social Jobs Partnership. Facebook and companies that list jobs on Facebook such as Branchout, JobVite and Work4 Labs have compiled more than 1.7 million job postings in the US. This new app, which launched last week, allows Facebook users to search job listings by keyword, type of work, industry and location.
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis seems impressed with the app. She said in a statement that the app will help “get America back to work.”
Many experts think this could be a move by Facebook to segue into another arena and compete with professional networking site LinkedIn and job hunting sites like Monster.com. But LinkedIn isn’t worried. A company spokesperson told The Times, “We don’t see this as Facebook getting into the professional networking space. Facebook is aggregating jobs from various Facebook apps and putting them in one place.”
Regardless of Facebook’s reasons, if the new app will help people land new jobs then it’s a positive. As we recently reported, African Americans remain the hardest hit in the employment crisis, with 13.4 percent of black workers, or 2.44 million people, still out of work. The Facebook app will probably attract many black job seekers, not only because of the high unemployment stats in the African-American community but also because blacks tend to use the Internet heavily for employment research. Let us know if you plan to or have used this new app. Is it helpful?
There are other job search apps you might want to check out as well, reports Black Careers magazine.
- The Good Job app, allows you to track and save tasks, events, follow ups, interviews, jobs and contacts related to your job search. Cost: $4.99. Available for iPhone.
- The Jobs by CareerBuilder app lets users search its database of nearly two million jobs by keyword, location, company and employment type, among others. You can use your phone’s GPS to identify jobs near you, apply for jobs and receive personalized job recommendations. Cost: Free. Available for iPhone, Android.
- A Labor Stats app from the Bureau of Labor Statistics sends stats on unemployment rate, consumer price index, average hourly earnings and others to your phone. Cost: Free. Available for iPhone, Android.
- The LunchMeet app, used in conjunction with your LinkedIn accont, lets you announce when and where you’re available to meet someone for networking. It’ll also match you up with other networkers in your area. Cost: Free. Available for: iPhone.
- The Resume App lets you build, design and generate a customizable PDF resumé that you can distribute it directly from your phone. Cost: $2.99. Available for iPhone.
- SnapDat Digital Business Cards are great if you need a business card right away and you don’t have any handy, allowing you to create them digitally. Cost: Free. Available for: iPhone.
The latest Labor Department numbers indicate an uptick in the number of people applying for unemployment benefits, but the data may not be telling the whole story.
An additional 34,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, the biggest jump since April 2011. However, the government is taking a closer look at the figures in order to properly take into account seasonal work. For example, automakers shut down production during the summer last year. This year, they’ve not executed the usual shutdown in order to meet demand.
Some experts say it will take a few weeks before the picture becomes clear. The four-week unemployment numbers actually dropped by 1,500 workers to 375,500.
In other words, the economic recovery is sputtering, but there are still small signs of life. On a related note, IBM announced their earnings yesterday and they’re looking for new staffers. Dust off your resume! The company says it will be hiring up to 300 salespeople per month for the rest of the year to get the word out about their software products.
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(CNNMoney.com) — The number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance for the first time jumped for the second week in a row, according to government data released Thursday.
There were 484,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended April 10, up 24,000 from an unrevised 460,000 the previous week, according to the Labor Department’s weekly report.
(NYTimes.com) — With job openings scarce for young people, the number of unpaid internships has climbed in recent years, leading federal and state regulators to worry that more employers are illegally using such internships for free labor.
Convinced that many unpaid internships violate minimum wage laws, officials in Oregon, California and other states have begun investigations and fined employers. Last year, M. Patricia Smith, then New York’s labor commissioner, ordered investigations into several firms’ internships. Now, as the federal Labor Department’s top law enforcement official, she and the wage and hour division are stepping up enforcement nationwide.
(CNNMoney.com) — The long nightmare of job losses appears to be just about over.
When the Labor Department reports its monthly employment readings for March on Friday, economists are forecasting a gain of 184,000 jobs.