For middle-class workers, the new year could mean the loss of the payroll tax cut. But for workers far down the pay scale, a Jan. 1 rise in the minimum wage in eight states offers some hope.
The average length of unemployment has never been higher. So why do conservatives want to reduce the number of weeks that the unemployed can receive benefits?
Like last year, Congress is debating whether to reauthorize extended unemployment insurance. At stake as early as January are benefits for some 1.8 million Americans, including some 430,000 people who lost jobs as recently as July. Although Republicans and Democrats say they plan to reauthorize the law, they differ on how – or even whether – to pay for it. Here are the different scenarios and ramifications of what could happen:
The White House on Thursday rejected as insubstantial a GOP proposal to curtail unemployment insurance and food stamps for the rich as an offset for extending the payroll tax cut.
Black Friday 2011 deals are here but economists say consumers are hesitant. The problem isn't psychological; it's financial. Seventy percent of the economy depends on consumer spending, but 80 percent of families are experiencing declining wages. Raising the minimum wage would help.
Help wanted with a twist: Some firms won't even consider hiring someone who doesn't already have a job. But unemployed can better their job prospects.
The unemployment rate for black men stands at 17 percent, more than double that of white men. An education gap, criminal records, and racial bias all contribute to problems in the job market, experts say. What type of intervention would help?
Teen jobs are hard to find as they compete with laid-off adults and fewer public-sector jobs. Some cities are raising cash to fund summer jobs.
The United States added 216,000 new jobs in March, mostly in the private sector job market, driving the unemployment rate down to 8.8 percent.