Latest job numbers show no improvement

10 01 2010

The job market is not nearly as hot as it once was. The December unemployment report released Friday shows we’re nearing an unemployment high. Although employers cut 85,000 jobs from payrolls and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10%, it is just below the 10.8% peak hit in the 1982 recession. The figures dashed hopes that the final month of 2009 would be the first to show jobs being added back to the economy, reported Money magazine. With more than seven million jobs lost in the last two years, no one was looking for major job creation, but the report still contained many depressing numbers. Read more >>.

Minnesota fares better than nation, but not as well as our west side neighbor.

Here in the Twin Cities, we’re lucky. Our unemployment rate is only 7.0%, according to a report released a few days earlier. But if you want to fare even better, go just a tad west. South Dakota sits at a 4.5% unemployment rate and North Dakota at 3.7%. See how we stack up to other states.

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Shuler to White House: Let’s Revive Manufacturing

18 12 2009

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler joined Vice President Joe Biden and other leaders a Thursday December 20th meeting of the White House Middle Class Task Force. The topic: restoring our crippled manufacturing sector.

The White House Middle Class Task Force yesterday issued a framework detailing the challenges facing manufacturing, and Shuler delivered a message to the White House that fixing manufacturing must be a priority in building a stronger economy. More >>





Even as Layoffs Persist, Some Good Jobs Go Unfilled

5 10 2009

By CHRISTOPHER LEONARD, AP Business Writer – Sun Oct 4, 3:53 pm ET
Job training seminarIn a brutal job market, here’s a task that might sound easy: Fill jobs in nursing, engineering and energy research that pay $55,000 to $60,000, plus benefits.
Yet even with 15 million people hunting for work, even with the unemployment rate nearing 10 percent, some employers can’t find enough qualified people for good-paying career jobs.
Ask Steve Jones, a hospital recruiter in Indianapolis who’s struggling to find qualified nurses, pharmacists and MRI technicians. Or Ed Baker, who’s looking to hire at a U.S. Energy Department research lab in Richland, Wash., for $60,000 each.
Economists say the main problem is a mismatch between available work and people qualified to do it. Millions of jobs with attractive pay and benefits that once drew legions of workers to the auto industry, construction, Wall Street and other sectors are gone, probably for good. And those who lost those jobs generally lack the right experience for new positions popping up in health care, energy and engineering.
Many of these specialized jobs were hard to fill even before the recession. But during downturns, recruiters tend to become even choosier, less willing to take financial risks on untested workers.
The mismatch between job opening and job seeker is likely to persist even as the economy strengthens and begins to add jobs. It also will make it harder for the unemployment rate, now at 9.8 percent, to drop down to a healthier level.  Read More…
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Associated Press reporters Christopher S. Rugaber in Washington and Mike Smith in Indianapolis contributed to this report.