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Jobs Tag

I am taking a few moments from my "Crazy California" and science coverage today to hit a topic that will be critically important in November: Jobs. Yesterday, the media coverage I followed was focused on San Jose. Interestingly, for those of us who have been following the Facebook trending news saga, San Jose completely failed to appear in the trending items. In fact, here is today's list: LI #53 Facebook Tredning And while I am grateful to see news about the Great Pyramid, I also noticed that another critical story is also absent:

Bill Clinton was campaigning for his wife in West Virginia on Sunday when he was confronted by members of the audience who were clearly angry about Hillary's promise to put coal miners out of business. Coal is pretty important in West Virginia. The Washington Free Beacon reported:
Hostile Protesters Confront Bill Clinton in West Virginia Bill Clinton was repeatedly interrupted by protesters during a rally for Hillary Clinton in Logan, West Virginia Sunday before the state’s primary on May 10. The group booed the former president and confronted him about Hillary Clinton’s promise to destroy coal jobs, a long-standing staple of West Virginia’s economy.

At a recent town hall event in Iowa City, Hillary Clinton was asked a question about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting jobs. Her response was somewhat shocking. Alyssa Canobbio of the Washington Free Beacon:
Hillary Clinton: Obamacare is Forcing Americans Into Part-Time Work At a town hall meeting in Iowa City, Iowa Hillary Clinton was asked by a supporter about companies moving to a mostly part-time workforce and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Clinton said that companies are going to a mostly part-time workforce because of restrictions in Obamacare. “Well that’s why they’re going to part-time. That and the Affordable Care Act. You know, we’ve got to change that because we have built in some unfortunate incentives that discourage full-time employment,” Clinton said...

It looks like the United States isn't the only country with unhinged union activists. After job cuts were recently announced at Air France, angry union activists actually ripped the clothes off the bodies of airline executives. The Associated Press reports via NBC News:
Air France Execs Lose Shirts as Union Activists Attack Union activists protesting nearly 3,000 proposed layoffs at Air France stormed the headquarters during a meeting Monday, zeroing in on two managers who had their shirts torn from their bodies, scaled a fence and fled under police protection. An Associated Press photographer saw about a hundred activists rush the building after breaking through a gate. Shortly afterward two high-level managers fled, one bare-chested and the other with his shirt and suit jacket shredded. Road access to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris was briefly disrupted, and some flights suffered delays. Although Monday's scuffle was unusually violent, labor relations in France are commonly testy, with unions sometimes even resorting to holding managers hostage — or "boss-napping" — to make a point.

The latest jobs report released today could spell trouble for the US economy---and workers. According to analysts, the economy underperformed in terms of jobs created. Experts surveyed by CNNMoney estimated that we would see a net gain of 204,000 jobs in this report; gains in excess of 200,000 are considered "healthy," so this was an optimistic prediction. In reality, however, the economy only added 142,000 jobs in September---an "unhealthy" diagnosis. The unemployment held steady at 5.1%; however, labor force participation rate dropped to 62.4 percent (from 62.6 percent), and the three month average for job creation has stagnated well below 200,000. More via the NY Times:
Friday’s report came just two weeks after the Federal Reserve decided that the recovery was still too frail to risk lifting interest rates from their near-zero level. The latest evidence of a weakening economy may push any rate increase into next year even though the Fed chairwoman, Janet L. Yellen, had previously suggested that the central bank was likely to go ahead with a rate increase before year’s end.

Democrats are probably very happy with the August jobs report and the new unemployment rate of 5.1, but if you look closely at the issue, there's no reason for turning cartwheels just yet. Susan Jones of CNS News:
Record 94,031,000 Americans Not in Labor Force; Participation Rate Stuck at 38-Year Low for 3rd Straight Month A record 94,031,000 Americans were not in the American labor force last month -- 261,000 more than July -- and the labor force participation rate stayed stuck at 62.6 percent, a 38-year low, for a third straight month in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday, as the nation heads into the Labor Day weekend. The number of Americans not in the labor force has continued to rise, partly because of retiring baby-boomers and fewer workers entering the workforce. In August, according to BLS, the nation’s civilian noninstitutional population, consisting of all people 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 251,096,000. Of those, 157,065,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

Indiana business owner Scott Womack knows firsthand how Obamacare affects the economy and jobs. He just sold 16 of his IHOP restaurants because of the rules imposed by the law. We recently reported that some restaurants in Seattle are having trouble with a new minimum wage policy. Progressives seem to believe that any issue they care about can be solved through legislation and there's no greater example of that than the Affordable Care Act. Rob Bluey of The Daily Signal reported:
This Longtime IHOP Owner Sold His 16 Restaurants Because of Obamacare It was a brisk March morning, nearly a year after President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, and I had trekked to the Midwest with a camera crew to meet Scott Womack, owner of about a dozen IHOP restaurants in Indiana and Ohio. Womack’s testimony before Congress earlier in 2011 caught my attention and I wanted to visit him at one of his restaurants to see firsthand how Washington’s policymaking had impacted his work. The IHOP in Terre Haute is located on South 3rd Street, just a few minutes from the Interstate 70 interchange and a short drive from the Holiday Inn where we had stayed the night before. As we sat in the back of the bustling restaurant waiting for Womack to arrive, we ordered french toast, omelettes and other IHOP specialities. At the time, Womack employed about 1,000 people at his 12 restaurants. When the Affordable Care Act became law on March 23, 2010, he had big plans for his franchise. He had purchased a development agreement in 2006 that would expand the company to 14 new IHOP locations in Ohio... Four Years Later Facing the prospect of Obamacare’s employer mandate on Jan. 1, 2015, Womack opted to sell his 16 IHOP restaurants last year to Romulus Restaurant Group.

Due to regulations imposed by Obamacare, some businesses are cutting the work hours of their employees. This was a known, predicted consequence of the Affordable Care Act. Staples is just the latest newsworthy example. Remember, businesses can only try to survive under the given set of rules---but some employees are having a hard time keeping that in mind when they see their pay stubs. Ashley Lutz of Business Insider:
Staples threatens to fire employees who work more than 25 hours a week Part-time Staples workers are furious that they could be fired for working more than 25 hours a week. The company implemented the policy to avoid paying benefits under the Affordable Care Act, reports Sapna Maheshwari at Buzzfeed. The healthcare law mandates that workers with more than 30 hours a week receive healthcare. If Staples doesn't offer benefits, it could be fined $3,000 in penalties per person. Buzzfeed spoke with several Staples workers who revealed their hours have been drastically cut over the past year. Many reported working as few as 20 hours. The workers started a petition on asking the company not to "cut part-time hours because of Obamacare."
It's terrible that these folks are losing work hours, but it's not unexpected, and it's not the fault of Staples---that's just as far as an employee wants to look when it's suddenly gotten harder to pay the bills and feed their families. You think it's bad now, wait until people start dealing with their tax returns.

The Obama administration has made no effort to hide its disdain for the coal industry, so this report from John Ruberry of Marathon Pundit shouldn't surprise anyone:
War on Coal: Mine closings in Kentucky kill 670 jobs On Monday Patriot Coal Corporation closed two western Kentucky mines. On New Year's Eve the company announced the mines will be closed. The effects will be felt beyond Kentucky, as a Republican member of Illinois' Saline County Board, Joe Jackson, points out. From the Southern Illinoisan:
Jackson said the negative impact on Saline County is from regulations placed on coal mines by the government. "We know that those places wouldn't be closing if it wasn't for (President) Obama and the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the regulations on burning coal,” he said. State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, said while the shutdown does affect residents in his area, he is not sure how many people were impacted.
Professor Jacobson addressed Obama's disregard for the constitution and his efforts to hamper the coal industry in his recent column for USA Today:

Last week, traffic on two Los Angeles freeways came to a halt as fire crews responded to a massive inferno that incinerated a downtown luxury apartment complex under construction. There is currently no cause that has been officially determined by arson investigators. The best lead in this case may be two men who were captured on video near the scene, in recordings taken shortly after the fire ignited.
Investigators asked for the public’s help Monday to identify two men seen on surveillance video taken the day of the massive apartment fire in downtown L.A. last week. Two men authorities say are potential witnesses are seen in surveillance video walking in the area of the fire, which caused tens of millions of dollars in damage Dec. 8 to the seven-story Da Vinci Complex, 906 N. Fremont Ave.. The two individuals are not considered suspects or persons of interest, and investigators would like to interview them because they were in the area of the fire, officials said. One edited video apparently shows a man in a black jacket, black pants and a black and white baseball cap grabbing at the fence around the apartment complex as it burned before firefighters pull him away from the fence, KNX 1070’s Claudia Peschiutta reports. ...A second video shows a different man, wearing a football jersey with the number 21, a backpack and a baseball cap walking by the area.
A CBS Local video reviews the details as they are known:

The White House is taking to Twitter in its appeal for an increase in the federal minimum wage. On Monday, the @WhiteHouse Twitter account posted a graphic touting their "#RaiseTheWage" campaign:


Unfortunately, the proposed minimum wage raise could come at enormous cost.