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Lowest Ever Black Jobless Rate Is Still Twice That of Whites

Lowest Ever Black Jobless Rate Is Still Twice That of Whites

Minnesota’s jobless rate is far lower than the national average, making employers particularly hungry for workers they may once have shut out.
As in many states, black workers in Minnesota are finding a more hospitable economy.
The black unemployment rate there went from 23.5 percent in 2011 to 7.5 percent last month but remained at more than twice the rate for whites.
The timing couldn’t have been better for Carmen Richardson.
After she graduated from the program five months later, the biggest names in the construction business were competing for her.
Companies can hardly afford to turn away qualified people when there are so many jobs to fill.
That is certainly true in Minneapolis, where Mr. Mortenson helped force the city’s builders into action.
Mr. Parrish, a former convict from Detroit, was the only black person working at the site.
“I was pushed aside,” Mr. Parrish said.
“They are actually just hiring good workers.” Mr. Parrish is working on buying a house with his wife in the suburbs, where he lives with his two children now.

The US might not be as close to full employment as we think

The US might not be as close to full employment as we think

While the unemployment rate is very low, other measures of the labor force suggest the economy is not at full employment.
A full employment economy would suggest stronger wage growth than we’ve seen recently.
Full employment means all the people who want to work are employed.
The Fed thinks that full employment is about 4.7%.
Beyond that, what we think we “know” is mostly assumptions about what we want the data to say.
BLS suggests that if you haven’t been looking for a job in the last 30 days, you don’t count as unemployed.
Many people have not been able to find a job in that timeframe and have given up looking.
Hard facts To prove that the change in the unemployment rate has little effect on wages, let’s hear from my friends, at 720 Global.
It is this graph that has many economists declaring the Phillips curve to be irrelevant.
And this is in spite of the fact that most Fed economists truly believe in the Phillips curve.

A few bumps for the economy
Social Security Disability

A few bumps for the economy

That hardly would have been remarkable during the Reagan and Clinton years — growth averaged 3.4 percent.
Unemployment stands at about 4.1 percent — well below the sustainable level of 4.6 percent, as computed by economists who worry about such things.
Wages are rising about 2.9 percent a year but factoring in productivity growth, that translates into long-term inflation of less than the Fed’s target of 2 percent.
A further run-up in stock and property prices could worry Fed policymakers that a bubble may burst.
Those combine to keep pushing up land values, rents and sustainable housing prices.
You guessed it, housing prices.
It really doesn’t matter what the Fed does, as long as it does not act precipitously, dramatically drive up mortgage rates and put the skids on the housing market.
Land values and housing prices are going to rise because those are needed to encourage building adequate to the pace of new household formation.
I doubt he is much interested in that and consequently, we can look forward to a period of moderate inflation, the Fed gradually raising interest rates and the stock market accommodating both.
The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM.

Mom’s 911 call for food for her children prompts officers to help

Mom’s 911 call for food for her children prompts officers to help

She was calling 911 because she had no food for her four children.
If I could get some type of assistance,” the young mother said in the Jan. 22 call.
She dispatched Camden County Police Officer David Hinton, with instructions to check on the family.
Bagby told Hinton she wanted to get pizzas delivered to the apartment, but Hinton instead suggested going to McDonald’s, where he bought Happy Meals and other food to hold the kids over until officers could do more.
She told Hinton she had to do more.
Tracy Seigel — “and told her about the call, and said I was going out there by myself after work.”
Tondaleya Bagby, using her own money and what the officers gave her, went to an Aldi and a ShopRite, then she and Seigel went to the apartment.
In addition to getting food for the family, the department also provided her with a navigator to assist with social services.
She is proud of Bagby, her own daughter, and the “warm, giving heart” she showed in helping a young mother in need. “She always says kids are her kryptonite.”

250,000 Michigan jobs may be gone forever, despite economic rebound
Social Security Disability

250,000 Michigan jobs may be gone forever, despite economic rebound

Judging by the past few years, Michigan’s economy has come roaring back from the Great Recession.
But many others, at least 60,000 or so in recent years, found themselves too young to retire but no longer able to work because of injuries on the job or other health concerns and now live on Social Security disability payments.
Among them: Theresa Peete of Detroit served as a custodial worker for Detroit Public Schools for 27 years.
When she got injured on the job, the cumulation of years of handling heavy loads without proper equipment, she eventually had to go on Social Security disability.
But U-M’s Grimes said that without boosting talent or the appeal of cities or other areas that need improvement, Michigan will have to accept its status as a less powerful economic player than in past years while other states move past it.
But I don’t think there’s any way we can ever get back to 2000.” Michigan’s decades-long economic challenge remains: Diversifying its economy to position the state for faster growth.
The state’s construction industry employed a little more than 200,000 workers at that time.
As of the end of 2017, that sector accounted for 675,000 Michigan jobs, fully a third more than the 502,100 workers in that sector back in 2000.
So what should Michigan do?
Mostly, though, a range of leaders and economists talk about talent.

Opioid prescribing at 55 mph when the speed limit’s 75: MS Pulse

Opioid prescribing at 55 mph when the speed limit’s 75: MS Pulse

Going from a three-month prescription to month-to-month will be a burden, but it’s also not required by the proposed regulations by the Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure.
What the board is requiring in its proposed regulations, which are still being considered and won’t take effect for months, is for doctors to rethink the way they prescribe opioids, even for chronic pain.
It also stressed patient education — that patients should know not only the risks of opioid use, but also the limited evidence that opioids actual work for long-term pain management.
Any patient prescribed opioids for chronic pain will be required to take a drug test three times a year.
While the average meal in Scott County costs 10 percent more than the maximum benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the average meal in Lafayette County costs 53 percent more.
SPEAKING OF TOBACCO, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Brenda Fitzgerald, resigned Wednesday after Politco reported she had bought shares in a tobacco company.
THERE ARE OVER 200 MEDICATIONS in the works to treat and prevent heart disease, according to a report released from PhRMA Thursday.
They run a nonprofit health insurance company that contracts with Medicaid in California, according to Kaiser Health News.
Mississippi’s own managed care contract has received scrutiny, with some lawmakers wondering who could be profiting from dollars intended to provide citizens with health care.
While extraordinary, the bill illustrates the potential for exploitation of a proposed regulation in Mississippi requiring drug tests before doctors can prescribe opioids and benzodiazepines.

Stock Market Woes: The Recovery Eats Its Children

Stock Market Woes: The Recovery Eats Its Children

A common complaint among those whose sympathies lie more with Main Street than Wall Street is that the “recovery” since the financial crisis has benefited investors far more than workers.
Since the S&P 500 bottomed out in March 2009, the index has more than tripled in value; average hourly earnings, by contrast, have grown by just over 20%.
Apples and oranges, you may rightly object, but the market apparently saw a connection between the two measures when, on Friday, Feb. 2, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 2.9% rise in average hourly earnings in the 12 months to January, the largest increase since 2009: the S&P closed down 2.1% on the day, then lost another 4.1% the following Monday (the steepest single-day fall since 2011).
The unemployment rate has been at or below 5% since late 2015, and the Fed funds rate, even after five hikes, is at the low end of its historical range.
Combine that with the Fed’s three expected hikes in 2018 (according to December’s projections), and the result is higher short- and long-term rates.
Rising bond yields make stocks look risky and their dividends less attractive.
(See also, The Bond Market Is Trying to Warn Us of Trouble.)
The money workers save in taxes – for a time – only adds to those wage rises, potentially stoking inflation.
Low inflation was evidence that workers who had left the labor force were still on the sidelines, which in turn kept wages low.
Then again, recent events recall the Big Rotation that Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicted shortly before the 2016 election: a Trump victory, a shift from deflationary to inflationary pressures, an end to central bank “omnipotence,” an embrace of deficits, a Main Street advantage over Wall Street.

Letters to the Door County Advocate: Feb. 3, 2018

Letters to the Door County Advocate: Feb. 3, 2018

DNR is finally taking action on manure BRUSSELS – Re: “DNR board reins in manure spreading to protect water” (front page, Jan. 27).
At the same time, it is the responsibility of policymakers to ensure the safety of citizens, rather than allowing years of environmental abuse to happen before taking action.
Scott Walker has called for a special session of the Legislature to begin work on a package of bills related to “welfare reform.” Interestingly, the term “welfare” has long been thrown around loosely to describe any program for the poor — from food stamps to housing assistance.
»Requiring Employment screening/employability plans for residents in public housing.
»Establishing asset restrictions on eligibility for SNAP/FoodShare, Wisconsin Works, and Wisconsin Shares.
There are hundreds of us who live in Door County who have tried to get a meeting with Rep. Mike Gallagher – he refuses to meet with us.
He refuses to listen to us.
We are residents of Wisconsin who pay taxes and are volunteers.
We can look to the future and ask future candidates how they plan to listen to their constituents and then vote for the candidates who have a plan to listen to everyone.
I could go on, but face it, the city has been torn on this issue.

Robots, unemployment and immigrants

Robots, unemployment and immigrants

Putting products back on the shelves will soon be fully automated, with robots doing the work previously done by humans.
In May 2016, the World Bank’s Digital Dividend Report, calculated that replacing low-skilled workers with robots in developing countries would affect two-thirds of jobs.
Today, automation already accounts already for 17 per cent of production and services.
It will account for 40 per cent within 15 years, according to World Bank projections.
It was generally assumed that a time would come in which machines would eventually do all production and humankind would be free of work, maintained from the profits generated by machines.
The statistics show that today, when people lose their jobs at a certain age, any new job they may find will almost always be for a lower remuneration.
Migration has become a major theme in elections.
However, statistics from the European Union tell us otherwise.
A study on Brexit demonstrated that immigrants had helped to increase GDP, and that the increase in productivity meant a global increase in employment.
It is clear that the real threat to employment for the large majority of citizens comes from robotisation, not immigration.

Your 401(k) probably has gun stocks in it and did Kylie Jenner’s tweet cause Snapchat stock to plunge $1.3 billion?

Your 401(k) probably has gun stocks in it and did Kylie Jenner’s tweet cause Snapchat stock to plunge $1.3 billion?

Personal Finance My father is moving to a retirement community — what do we do with his $1.8 million home?
This son and daughter wonder whether they should sell, rent or wait to inherit it.
Delta passengers were trapped on runway for 12 hours — but did they get compensation?
My grandfather left me $1,000, but my deadbeat dad ran off with it This man was estranged from his father all his life, and has been chasing this money for 25 years.
When a woman or person of color becomes CEO, white men have a strange reaction Could credit-card companies ban gun sales?
Citi to refund customers $335 million after failing to lower interest rates The issue affected around 1.75 million U.S. credit-card accounts between 2011 and 2017.
America owes millennials an apology — boomers blow their budgets eating out too Your 401(k) probably has gun stocks in it — but you can change that Black students are hit hardest by student debt Did Kylie Jenner’s tweet cause Snapchat stock to plunge $1.3 billion?
Here are 5 of the costliest tweets ever Elsewhere on MarketWatch Fed’s Dudley says balance sheet should be at least $2.9 trillion The Federal Reserve should stop shrinking its balance sheet when it gets down to a level somewhere higher than $2.9 trillion, said New York Fed President William Dudley on Friday.
The problem with today’s driverless car technology is the drivers When cars start doing the work, drivers overestimate the capabilities of their cars and disengage entirely.
Advocates and lawmakers are calling on car companies to educate drivers about what their cars will – and won’t do.