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September 03, 2010

Just in time for Labor Day, new unemployment numbers paint bleak picture

Rosy Rhetoric On New Unemployment Numbers Doesn't Match Reality For Many Americans | TPMDC
However, the fact is that economists agree that America needs to add 150,000-200,000 jobs every month just to keep pace with new entrants to the job market (about 100,000 people every month) and begin to re-employ the millions of Americans who remain out of work. By that standard, the loss of 54,000 jobs, even if they are mostly temporary census workers, is pretty bad news. But the bad news doesn't stop there: 6.2 million Americans -- 42 percent of all the unemployed -- have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. While that's a reduction of 323,000 people, it is roughly equivalent to the number of Americans who are newly part-time employed for economic reasons (331,000). In total, 8.9 million Americans are working to support themselves with part-time work alone because they have no other options. And 2.4 million Americans are deemed marginally unemployed because they are looking for work but don't qualify for unemployment. In all, the underemployment rate is actually closer to 17 percent. That, of course, doesn't account for people so discouraged by the job market that they've stopped looking for work altogether. According to the Labor Department's statistics, both the labor market participation rate (64.7 percent) and the employment-to-population ration (58.5 percent) are lower than a year ago -- and at the lowest level in a decade. Discouraged yet? A look at overall government employment won't help. Despite the spin that the loss of jobs is almost all due to the loss of temporary Census jobs, state and local government employees -- especially teachers -- continue to experience job losses.

September 01, 2010

Dr. Cliff Dowman Explains A Marxist Take on The Economic Crisis

Wonky but fascinating. Dr. Cliff Dowman Explains A Marxist Take on The Economic Crisis.

CEOs at companies that laid off the most workers were paid the most

Perverse incentives. Think Progress -- REPORT: CEOs At Top 50 Companies That Laid Off Most Workers Raked In Millions In Compensation
“I’m afraid that this year’s report will raise just about everybody’s blood pressure,” lead author Sarah Anderson said. Indeed, the report found that “CEOs of the 50 firms that have laid off the most workers since the onset of the economic crisis took home nearly $12 million on average in 2009.” Those CEOs’ combined compensation totaled $598 million, while at the same time, their companies eliminated 531,363 jobs despite reporting a 44 percent average profit increase for 2009. More staggering is the level of executive pay, according to IPS: [A]fter adjusting for inflation, CEO pay in 2009 more than doubled the CEO pay average for the decade of the 1990s, more than quadrupled the CEO pay average for the 1980s, and ran approximately eight times the CEO average for all the decades of the mid-20th century. American workers, by contrast, are taking home less in real weekly wages than they took home in the 1970s.

Shareholders file class action lawsuit against American Apparel

Pwned! San Francisco Law Firm Barroway Topaz Drops the Hammer on American Apparel -- San Francisco Citizen
As here, today, in the 415, where the San Francisco law office of Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check, LLP right there at 580 California Street has just announced such a suit. What’s the beef? Well: “…the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the following material adverse facts which were known to defendants or recklessly disregarded by them: (1) that they had made “diligent efforts” to comply with labor and employment regulations, when in fact they had not done so; (2) that they failed to disclose to investors, and made false statements regarding facts surrounding the Company’s illegal hiring practices and its effect on the Company’s operating costs and margins; (3) that they failed to disclose or indicate that the Company lacked adequate internal and financial controls; (4) that they failed to disclose that, as a result of the foregoing, the Company’s financial statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times; and (5) that they failed to disclose that, as a result of the foregoing, their statements regarding the Company’s prospects were false and misleading at all relevant times.”