Politics & Policies

This category contains 448 posts

US – How organized workers fueled america’s broadly shared prosperity

The middle class is the great engine of the American economy. Organized workers built a powerful middle class by taking direct action and advocating for government policies to give workers a fair share of economic wealth. But over the past 40 years, this pattern has been reversed as corporate owners and managers have taken an … Continue reading

Youth Unemployment in UK – Rethink the way European funding is used says a House of Lords report

Youth unemployment has left “a generation scarred”, according to a House of Lords report out today. With the rate of young jobless in the EU still at nearly double its pre-crisis level, and the UK experiencing exceptionally high levels of unemployment, the report calls on the Government to rethink the way it uses European funding.  … Continue reading

Europe’s Social-Democrats on Jobs – A 10-point plan for change

27 million Europeans are unemployed. The longest recession since the 1930s is slowly giving way to the weakest of recoveries. Inequality is rising, living standards falling. More and more workers are in precarious, insecure jobs. Real wage levels – even in the strongest economies – are lower than a decade ago. Something has gone badly … Continue reading

Youth Unemployment In Europe – A misdiagnosis

The EU underestimated just how big an impact the austerity measures would have on the economies of the member states. Europe’s economy remains relatively closed, which means that countries rely on trade with each other, so when countries all start to tighten fiscal policies at the same time, the impact is multiplied.  Not surprisingly the … Continue reading

Monetary Policy in Sweden – Social Democrats call for employment target

Sweden’s Left Party wants the Riksbank to broaden its target to include employment when it sets interest rates. The party, which supports the opposition Social Democrats leading in most polls ahead of September elections, also advocated for looser budget rules to cut joblessness in the largest Nordic economy. The jobs objective should complement the bank’s … Continue reading

Germany – Introducing a national minimum wage

Germany‘s coalition government agreed Wednesday to introduce a national minimum wage of 8.5 euros (11.72 dollars) an hour from January next year, despite strong opposition from the business sector.  Legislation for the minimum is expected to be passed by parliament by July. “It will represent more social justice in our country,” said Labour Minister Andrea … Continue reading

Monetary Policy in US – Yellen: The Fed is determined to improve employment situation

Janet Yellen, the Federal Reserve chairwoman, devoted more than an hour last week talking by telephone with three Chicago area residents struggling to find jobs. On Monday, she made their stories the centerpiece of the first public speech in her new job, delivering a strong statement about her concern over unemployment, her conviction that the … Continue reading

France – The number of people registered as jobless reached a record 3,347,700

Unemployment in France rose 0.9% in February, the labour ministry announced Wednesday, with almost 3.35m now jobless. Following a pasting in local elections last Sunday, the latest data is more grim news for President François Hollande. The second round of voting will be held this Sunday. The data show that the number of people registered … Continue reading

Job Market in Canada – Stephen Harper’s theory doesn’t fit the facts

Reality, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper is discovering, can poke holes in the most elegant of theories. In this case, the theory is the Conservative view of how Canada’s economy works, a view that goes something like this: Yes, the country suffered an economic recession but that’s over. Yes, there is still high unemployment — … Continue reading

Work Programme in UK – A shocking fall in the number of people gaining work writes The Void

The latest Work Programme statistics (PDF) show a shocking fall in the number of people gaining work and suggest that being sent on the scheme is now actively harming people’s chance of getting a job. The figures show that even after spending a year on the Work Programme, only 10.7% of people had gained a … Continue reading

Flexible working in UK – New rules are due later this year

The extensions to current legislation on flexible working are due later this year, giving more employees with service of six months or more rights to request flexible working.  The new legislation will require employers to consider requests for greater flexibility in terms of hours, times and location, from a greater proportion of their workforce, which … Continue reading

Low-Wage Workers and Poverty in US – Harder to Escape

Climbing above the poverty line has become more daunting in recent years, as the composition of the nation’s low-wage work force has been transformed by the Great Recession, shifting demographics and  other factors. More than half of those who make $9 or less an hour are 25 or older, while the proportion who are teenagers … Continue reading

United Airlines in Canada – Attempting an “End Run” around the Canada Labour Code in its decision to outsource says union

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) says United Airlines is attempting an “End Run” around the Canada Labour Code in its decision to outsource work at its Vancouver and Calgary operations currently performed by IAM members.  “Under the code, the employer must give 16 weeks’ notice and United has not stated clearly … Continue reading

Unemployment Extension in US – A bipartisan compromise agreement on the table

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) have  announced a bipartisan compromise agreement (Reed-Heller Agreement to Restore Emergency Unemployment Insurance) to restore federal jobless benefits which expired on December 28, 2013. The legislation would provide for a 5 month extension of federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) which expired on December 28th. The more … Continue reading

Sweden – The unemployment rate of 8.5 percent and LO is preparing for a regime change

In February 2014, the number of unemployed persons was 433 000, corresponding to an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent. 4 648 000 persons aged 15-74 were employed; this is an increase of 51 000. The number of hours worked averaged 154.9 million per week, an increase of 3.3 million. Seasonally adjusted data shows small differences in … Continue reading

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