A Closer Look

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Middle Class in US – A map of the shrinking

The struggles of middle-class American families and growing income inequality have risen to the top of the national agenda. A new Stateline analysis shows that in all 50 states, the percentage of “middle-class” households—those making between 67 percent and 200 percent of the state’s median income—shrunk between 2000 and 2013. The change occurred even as … Continue reading

Immigration in Canada – Express Entry: two months into the launch

We are two months into the launch of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (“CIC”) Express Entry system for managing certain applications for permanent residence. The new system has come under serious fire and there is pressure on the government from the Canadian Bar Association and affected stakeholders to change the way the system works and impacts … Continue reading

Workers’ Compensation in US – Since 2003, legislators in 33 states have passed laws that reduce benefits or make it more difficult to qualify

Over the past decade, state after state has been dismantling America’s workers’ comp system with disastrous consequences for many of the hundreds of thousands of people who suffer serious injuries at work each year, a ProPublica and NPR investigation has found. The cutbacks have been so drastic in some places that they virtually guarantee injured … Continue reading

US – The unemployment rate with the labor force droputs

So what does the unemployment rate picture look like if you take into account all of the labor force droputs since the end of the recession in June of 2009? Not pretty. If you take those labor force dropouts into account, the U.S. does not have an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent. Instead, it has … Continue reading

Japan – Three measures of slack in labor markets

How likely are Japan’s workers to see a bumper salary increase? The latest labor market data — showing a 1.3 percent annual increase in wages in January — is a hopeful sign. A more detailed answer comes from examining alternative measures of slack in the labor market. Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole … Continue reading

Canada – Job quality is now at a record low CIBC finds

Job quality in Canada is now at a record low and showing little sign it will turn around in the near future, finds CIBC’s latest Canadian Employment Quality Index. The index, which measures the quality of employment from a compensation perspective, shows declines in all measures and indicates the drop in Canadian job quality is … Continue reading

HR Software – Western European businesses spent a vast €2.5 billion on it

Technology is something that HR needs to embrace, given current HR tech adoption rates. According to consultancy Towers Watson, western European businesses spent a vast €2.5 billion on HR software systems last year, with the market showing a compound annual growth rate of 7%. This figure is expected to stay stable for the next five … Continue reading

OK – Old displace young on income ladder

When I was a kid old people weren’t very well off. The words poor and pensioner often went together. I remember a poster (presumably by one of the age charities) which I used to pass on the way to my swimming lesson. It said something like, “Poverty and loneliness, the punishment for old age.” That would have … Continue reading

Charlie Hebdo – There is one big element missing from the discussion: unemployment

The deaths of those working at Charlie Hebdo have resulted in a great deal of soul-searching in Europe. Here in Brussels, which had its own moments of anxiety following Charlie Hebdo, there is a focus on what causes radicalization and what can be done to prevent it. A lot of the discussion is on better … Continue reading

US – The Wage Stagnation in charts

Wage stagnation for the vast majority was not created by abstract economic trends. Rather, wages were suppressed by policy choices made on behalf of those with the most income, wealth, and power. In the past few decades, the American economy generated lots of income and wealth that would have allowed substantial living standards gains for … Continue reading

Walmart’s Raise – Could it raise the floor for the entire labor force ?

Remember when Walmart got panned for running a Thanksgiving food drive for its own employees—overlooking the irony of demonstrating noblesse oblige by asking customers to subsidize the workers the company itself impoverished? The retail giant took a more strategic approach last week when rolling out its latest do-gooder scheme: raising its base wage incrementally to … Continue reading

Unemployment leads to 45,000 suicides every year study finds

One in five suicides around the world is caused by this and the figure is rising.  Unemployment is linked to 45,000 suicides around the world each year, a new study finds. This represents around one in five of the total number of global suicides. The research, published in The Lancet Psychiatry, gathered data from 63 … Continue reading

US – Alternative entrepreneurship measures indicate that entrepreneurship is back to pre-crisis levels Boston Fed finds

In recent years, it is argued, the level of entrepreneurial activity in the United States has declined, causing concern because of its potential macroeconomic implications. In particular, it is feared that a lower rate of firm creation may be associated with lower productivity growth and, hence, lower economic growth in the coming years. This paper … Continue reading

Texas – Largely responsible for net job increase since 2007 AEI finds

It’s a pretty impressive story of how job creation in just one state – Texas – has made such a significant contribution to the 1.169 million net increase in total US employment (+1,444,290 Texas jobs minus the 275,290 non-Texas job loss) in the seven year period between the start of the Great Recession in December … Continue reading

Chinese Emigrants – A Map

Approximately one-quarter of all Chinese emigrants settle in the United States, with other popular destinations including Canada (896,000), South Korea (657,000), Japan (655,000), Australia (547,000), and Singapore (457,000), according to mid-2013 estimates by the United Nations Population Division. Around half of Chinese immigrants obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States (also known as receiving … Continue reading

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