Category Archives: unemployment

U.S. Economy Added 243,000 Jobs in January; Unemployment Dips to 8.3%

Here’s a little good news that should brighten your weekend from the New York Times.

The U.S. Economy Added 243,000 Jobs in January; Unemployment Dips to 8.3%

The United States economy gained momentum in January, adding 243,000 jobs, the second straight month of better-than-expected gains, the Labor Department reported on Friday. The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent. The promising jobs numbers came as various economic indicators have painted an ambivalent picture of the recovery’s strength.

You can read all about today in the NY Times

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Filed under economy, jobs numbers, Labor Department, NY Times, unemployment

Happy New Year to One and All


As 2011 comes to a close, I know that it hasn’t been a good year to many out there, but as we enter 2012 things are beginning to look up; The stock market is up, unemployment is on the way down, the housing and real estate markets have started to turn in the positive direction and the long war in Iraq has come to an end. It seems that we are on the right track for a great new year (that is of course if the world doesn’t on before the 2012 is over).

For all of those that have touched my life this year and in years past; family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances and readers of this blog, I want you to know that I am extremely fortunate to have been touched by each of you.
Remember, it’s the people that we know and love that make a difference in the fabric of our lives, not the material itself.
Have a happy, safe and prosperous New Year everyone!

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Filed under family and friends, Happy New Year, Iraq War, stock markets, unemployment

Senator Robert Menendez: Honoring our Veterans This Veterans Day

Dear Friend,

This Veterans Day, it is time to recommit ourselves to helping every military family across the Garden State.

We need to help businesses help veterans and their spouses build careers, make sure that our schools are doing all they can to help military kids, and all of us need to do what we can to help military families in our local communities.

But truly honoring our veterans means providing jobs. It means job training, and giving every job opportunity possible to unemployed veterans.

In New Jersey we have 453,498 veterans — 12 percent of them are unemployed. That’s why I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act that gives businesses a tax credit for hiring returning veterans, and more of a tax credit if they hire a wounded veteran.

As our troops begin coming home from Iraq, our duty to them is not just remembering their service, not just saying thank you on Veterans Day, it’s delivering on the promise of a grateful nation every day.

New Jersey’s hero-sons-and-daughters did not wait to sign up to serve this country, and they should not have to wait to get the benefits they have earned defending it. And they should not have to come home only to stand on the unemployment line after putting themselves on the line serving this nation.

That’s why the Veterans jobs bill encourages employers to hire veterans, ensures that disabled veterans who have exhausted their unemployment benefits get the training and rehabilitation they need, the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits they need and job assistance tailored to today’s job market.

The bill provides a competitive grant program for nonprofits that provide mentoring and training programs for vets. It allows employers to be paid for providing on-the-job training to veterans and it would provide Work Opportunity Tax Credits for businesses that hire veterans — and more for businesses that hire disabled vets.

We made a promise to veterans, and it’s a promise we must keep.

Happy Veterans Day to all.

May God bless our troops. And may God bless America.

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Filed under Disabled American Veterans, Job Training, jobs program, Military Families, New Jersey, tax credits, unemployment, US. Sen. Robert Menendez, Veterans Day, War Veterans, YouTube

President Obama’s Weekly Address 11/05/11: Vice President Biden " We Have to Increase the Pace"

Speaking from the University of Pittsburgh, Vice President Biden argues that this month’s jobs numbers demonstrate that Congress should pass the American Jobs Act to strengthen our economy and create jobs right away.

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Filed under American Jobs Act, Federal tax incentives, Job creation, prescription drugs, President Obama, republican road blocks, unemployment, University of Pittsburgh, Vice-President Joe Biden, weekly address

President Obama’s Weekly Address 9/17/11: Passing the American Jobs Act

WASHINGTON—In this week’s address, President Obama urged Congress to pass the American Jobs Act without delay so that businesses will be able to hire more workers and every American who wants a job will be able to find one. The President’s jobs bill keeps cops on the streets and teachers in the classrooms, cuts taxes for small businesses, and puts construction workers back to work without adding to the deficit. All Americans who agree with the President’s plan should call their elected officials and tell them that it’s time to pass the jobs bill, which will ensure that everyone pays their fair share and that we live within our means as we help the economy continue to grow.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/all/modules/swftools/shared/flash_media_player/player5x2.swf

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Filed under American Jobs Act, economic growth, President Obama, small businesses, tax credits, tax cuts, unemployment, weekly address, Whitehouse.gov, working families

On income taxes and job creation, history debunks GOP views

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board
Sunday, July 17, 2011

We’re used to politicians stretching the truth, but this is getting ridiculous. For months now, congressional Republicans have refused to support any debt ceiling and budget deal that would raise taxes on the wealthy because, these economic wizards tell us, the rich are “job creators.”

Tax increases would discourage these job genies from expanding their businesses. Unemployment, already at 9.2 percent (which says something about the job-creation myth, doesn’t it?), would get even worse, they insist. The problem with this economic philosophy? It’s garbage.

Even Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, knows that: “The rich are always going to say, ‘Just give us more money and we’ll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you.’ But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.”

The American public, it seems, is catching on, even if Republicans want to twist the truth about that, too. Speaker of the House John Boehner keeps insisting, “The American people don’t want us to raise taxes.” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says, “This economy is ailing and we don’t believe, nor do the American people believe, raising taxes is the answer.”

Think again. Americans believe Congress should raise taxes on the wealthy.

A new Quinnipiac survey asked voters if they support a budget deal with only budget cuts or a blend of cuts and taxes on corporations and the rich. Only 25 percent said cuts only. Sixty-seven percent want cuts and a tax increase on the wealthy.

Republican leaders are not only misrepresenting what the American people want, they’re covering up Republican numbers, too. In a recent Gallup poll, only 26 percent of Republicans favored lowering the debt with cuts alone. In just about every poll — ABC News, Washington Post, Bloomberg, Reuters — Americans want spending cuts and they want the wealthy to pay a larger share.

But maybe the American people are wrong. Let’s check the history. Did giving the wealthy a break with the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 help create jobs? Uh, no. From the end of the 2000-01 recession, just when the first Bush tax cuts took effect, until the beginning of the Great Recession, the economy grew at a slower pace than in any postrecession recovery period since World War II. Pay, adjusted for inflation, fell. And it took 39 months to get the number of jobs back to where it was before the 2000-01 recession.

Despite the same promises of jobs, the economy limped along. And the additional tax cut in 2003 didn’t rev it up, either.

President Bill Clinton faced vociferous opposition to his 1993 budget plan, which raised the top tax rates from 31 percent to 39.6 percent. Republicans called it the “Kevorkian Plan.”

So, what happened? Unparalleled economic growth. The nation’s unemployment dropped from 6.9 percent to 4 percent. The deficit shrank, and in 1998, the federal government boasted a surplus for the first time since 1969.

It seems the economy can survive a tax hike on the wealthy after all. And the tax hike did wonders to reduce the deficit as well, as designed.

More evidence: During the 1950s and early 1960s, when America experienced sustained growth, marginal tax rates on the rich were the highest they’ve ever been — 91 percent for the top bracket. (Even President Ronald Reagan, the Republican economic poster boy, raised taxes after he cut them.)

But Republicans keep chanting the same nonsense — without offering historical evidence to back it up. Instead, they want to bring the nation to the brink of default while protecting corporations (who are sitting on billions in profits) and fat cats — while everyday Americans are squeezed by high gas and food prices, plunging home prices and lower wages.

Let’s call the job-creator stuff what it is: a myth.

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Filed under Bill Clinton, Bush Tax Cuts, Congressional Republicans, Conservatives, debt limit, editorial, Eric Cantor, great recession, John Boehner, President Obama, tax cuts, the Star-Ledger, unemployment

>Demand For Social Services in Monouth County have Increased 51% Over The Past Year Due To Economic Woes

>By Freeholder Amy Mallet

Over the last four years, Monmouth County has seen a very significant increase in the demand for Social Services, most notably Food Stamps (now called NJ SNAP) and Family Care Medicaid. Recently, the numbers of people applying for basic welfare programs have also begun to rise.

The steady growth in need is not a surprise given the economic climate and the rate of unemployment. Many of these individuals are our neighbors, families and friends who want nothing more than to be able to return to work and support their families.

Specifically, we have seen a 64 percent increase in the total number of Food Stamp applications from 2007 through 2010. This year, in the month of March alone, we registered 1,245 new Food Stamp applications – up 51 percent from the same time last year. Currently, there are 14,436 families and individuals in Monmouth County receiving a monthly Food Stamp allotment.

The economic woes that have affected the whole nation have taken a toll here in Monmouth County. Despite the fact that the demand for services has increased significantly, the 2011 budget for the Department of Human Services was decreased by 6 percent.

The Monmouth County Department of Human Services is to be commended for continued commitment to providing assistance while facing growing need and shrinking resources. As the direct liaison to this department, I would like to publicly thank our dedicated employees for their perseverance. We are hopeful that everyone impacted by hard times will see their situations improve as the economy recovers. In the meantime, it is reassuring to witness the work being done by our committed county staff.

Amy A. Mallet

Freeholder, Monmouth County

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Filed under Department of Human Service, FamilyCare, food stamps, Freeholder Amy Mallet, Monmouth County, NJ SNAP, Social Services, unemployment, welfare

>Catching Up On The Past Few Days; Watson, Brookdale, Rally in Trenton and Jobs

>A lot has been happening over the past few days that I’ve been meaning to comment on but I have been a little under the weather and haven’t been feeling up to blogging. So now is my chance to get slightly caught up, in no particular order.

Congressman Rush Holt (who does by the way, happen to be a Rocket Scientist) who on Monday of this past week, beat IBM’s Watson Computer System in a simulated Jeopardy exhibition. But the match wasn’t just a battle of networks versus neurons, as Holt put it in his newsletter to constituents:

… ” To me and my colleagues, this was an important opportunity to raise awareness of serious issues concerning U.S. global competitiveness, the positive impact of technology on society, and the need for greater investments in math and science education.

Watson represents a major step forward for computer science. With its combination of sheer data processing power, natural language recognition and machine learning, the system demonstrates that technology has the potential to help humans improve the performance of many endeavors – everything from medicine to education to traffic safety to environmental protection. There is no limit, save for our imagination, to the impact on our society of innovations like Watson.”….

There were two major car accidents this past week that claimed the lives of a couple Middletown youths, the first last Sunday and the second just last night and still under investigation.

Yesterday, Brookdale Community College’s Board of Trustees suspended College President Peter Burnham without pay because they found some irregularities in his expense reports while auditing his books. The suspension came as a total surprise to Burnham, who felt “Bowled over” by the accusations and wouldn’t comment further. And now today, we find out that the Board of Trustees have contacted the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office to look into the matter for possible criminal charges.
As news of this latest info has started to make it’s way out to the public Freeholder Amy Mallet has called on Brookdale’s Board Chairman Howard Birdsall to resign and suggests that term limits be put on those that serve as trustees for the college.
I find this all very interesting, in a “how the mighty have fallen” sort of way. If Peter Burnham would have kept quite and not tried to blame the Monmouth County Freeholder for an 8% tuition hike a few weeks ago, none of this would have transpired. Freeholder John Curley, who acts as the liaison between the Freeholders and Brookdale, would have went about his business as usual and would not have said a word. But because he was angered and perhaps embarrassed by Burnham, Curley decided to make public Burnham’s contract and exploit it for all it’s worth, which has lead to all this “dirty laundry” being exposed and possible criminal charges being filed against Burnham.
Curley is being portrayed as some great white knight for exposing the excesses in Burnham’s contract, which is not the case. He acted out of anger and revenge for being called out by Burnham. If Curley and other Freeholders before him, that have acted as the liaison between the school and County governing body had done their oversight properly over the years, Peter Burnham’s excessive contract would have been taken care of years ago instead of now. There wouldn’t have been this dramatic call for change on the Board of Trustees and criminal charges against Burnham would not be pending, which is how the Trustees have chosen to cover themselves from allegations pointed at them.
It’s a real shame and embarrassment if you ask me.
There was a big rally in Trenton on Thursday attended 15,000 members of the Police, Firefighters and other first responders protesting Governor Christie’s efforts at health, pension and collective bargaining reform. Did it do any good or send the big guy a message? Probably not.
Finally, yesterday came good new for the economy. There was a big jump in the number of private sector jobs last month, a 192,00 jobs were added in February on top of the 63,000 that were added in January. The jobs report shows that even though the economy is still a little shaky and could be set back by the troubles in Libya and other mideast countries, it is growing and heading in the right direction. Unemployment is now down to 8.9% nationwide, falling below 9 percent for the first time in nearly two years.

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Filed under Brookdale Community College, Congressman Rush Holt, Freeholder Amy Mallet, IBM's Watson, Jeopardy., John Curley, Peter Burnham, Trenton Rally, unemployment

President Obama’s Weekly Address: 12/12/09 Learning from History to Reform Wall Street

The President explains that while he continues to focus on jobs, it is also profoundly important to address the problems that created this economic mess in the first place. He commends the House of Representatives for passing reforms to our financial system, including a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency, and blasts Republican Leaders and financial industry lobbyists for their joint pep rally to defeat it.

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Filed under Consumer Financial Protection Agency, Job creation, President Obama, unemployment, Wall Street, weekly address

NJPP Monday Minute: 9/21/09

Good news, bad news in new census data

New Jersey’s poverty rate is rising while median income is dropping, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Approximately 787,000 New Jersey residents had incomes below the federal poverty level in 2008, an increase of 45,000 from 2007. For a family of three, that means trying to provide children with a roof over their heads, adequate health care and a nutritious diet on an annual income of $17,163. The 2008 figures do not reflect the sharp economic downturn this year, and thus the real numbers today are almost certainly worse.

The state’s rising unemployment rate is certainly a contributing factor. New numbers released September 16 show that the rate increased to 9.7% in August, reaching a 33 year high. This large increase is likely to translate to higher poverty numbers for 2009.

The new data also pushed New Jersey from second to fifth in the nation for median income. Between 2006 and 2008 median household income declined by $7,214 (10.1 percent), making it the largest dollar decrease in the nation. Still, the state’s current average income ($64,070) is well above the national average of $51,233.

So what’s the good news? The number of uninsured in New Jersey declined by 11 percent, according to the Census Bureau. One reason for the drop can be attributed to the state’s FamilyCare program, which offers free or subsidized health insurance coverage to children from low-income families and sometimes covers parents as well. While every state uses a combination of federal and state money to cover low-income kids, New Jersey’s program offers subsidized coverage to families and children with income up to 3.5 times the federal poverty level.

The new census data clearly show the need for continuing aid to help the unemployed and maintain vital services in the face of growing need. Through investments in health care and education, and by rebuilding communities, New Jersey can create jobs and renew its economy. By failing to act at this critical juncture, more vulnerable people will be consigned to poverty.

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Filed under New Jersey, New Jersey Policy Perspective, unemployment, US Census Bureau