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  • Issue Brief posted May 3, 2013 by James Sherk, Salim Furth, Ph.D. Heritage Employment Report: Sequester Does Not Shower on Economy in April

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ April employment report found healthy growth in the labor market in April. Employers added 165,000 net jobs, and the unemployment rate fell slightly to 7.5 percent. While falling short of expectations for a recovery from a deep recession, this would be considered decent growth in normal economic times. However, the improvement in…

  • Issue Brief posted February 1, 2013 by Salim Furth, Ph.D., James Sherk January Jobs Report: No Unemployment Thaw in Sight

    Unemployment increased to 7.9 percent in January. While the number of Americans looking for work remains above 12 million, the unemployment rate remains at its October level. The long-awaited labor market recovery remained as distant as ever in January. Factors are holding back employment growth that economic forecasters have not incorporated into their models. One such…

  • Issue Brief posted January 4, 2013 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr., James Sherk Heritage Employment Report: In December Out with the Old, In with the Same Thing

    The December employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that 2012 ended with an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent and 155,000 new jobs. The labor market has not had an adequate recovery and has made little progress from 2011 to 2012. Many American workers will experience permanent lower lifetime earnings as a result of the poor economic recovery,…

  • Issue Brief posted December 7, 2012 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr., James Sherk Heritage Employment Report: Job Market Struggles in November

    The economy created 146,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent from 7.9 percent in October. The numbers in the November report were not substantially affected by Hurricane Sandy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While the headline numbers are positive, there are some major concerns inside the report. For instance, labor…

  • Issue Brief posted September 7, 2012 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr., James Sherk Heritage Employment Report: Dog Days of August Howl in the Labor Market

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy created on net 96,000 new jobs in August and that the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent. The decline in the unemployment rate was entirely due to a steep decline in the percentage of people in the labor force, which reached a 30-year low. Forward-looking indicators tell a grim story as the labor market…

  • Issue Brief posted August 3, 2012 by James Sherk, J.D. Foster, Ph.D. Sluggish Labor Market in July

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July employment report shows that, contrary to predictions of a summer jobs recovery, the unemployment rate has ticked up to 8.3 percent.[1] According to a survey of employers, they added a net of just 163,000 new jobs, up from the pace of the previous two months but still too slow to make a significant dent in the unemployment lines.…

  • Issue Brief posted July 13, 2012 by David C. John San Bernardino County’s Loan Seizures Would Destroy Its Mortgage Market Just as Housing Starts to Recover

    The drive to force mortgage investors to refinance loans where the homeowner owes more than the house is currently worth (often know as underwater mortgages) is reaching absurd levels. In the latest example, California’s San Bernardino County is exploring using eminent domain to seize certain mortgages and require the investors that own them to accept refinancing that…

  • Issue Brief posted July 6, 2012 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr., James Sherk Heritage Employment Report: June Jobs Fizzle

    The June employment report released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows a labor market treading water. Employment and the labor force grew only in line with population growth at 80,000, and unemployment remained at 8.2 percent. In short, another month passed without a significant reduction in the number of unemployed Americans. Job growth and…

  • Backgrounder posted June 19, 2012 by James Sherk, Ryan O'Donnell RAISE Act Lifts Pay Cap on Millions of American Workers

    Abstract: Federal law allows unions to impose wage restrictions on nearly 8 million American middle-class workers. Union contracts set both a wage floor and a wage ceiling—barring unionized employers from offering pay raises as reward for exceptional work without negotiating with the union. No matter how hard most union members work, they cannot earn higher wages than…

  • Issue Brief posted June 7, 2012 by Diane Katz House Spending Bills: Restoring Accountability for Financial Regulators

    As federal regulators struggle to implement the massive Dodd–Frank statute, it is obvious that its architects ignored its predictably destructive consequences. Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee this week proposed some logical steps that Congress should seriously consider to increase regulatory accountability and (modestly) decrease costs—at least until the…

  • Issue Brief posted June 1, 2012 by James Sherk, Rea S. Hederman, Jr. Heritage Employment Report: May Jobs Report Has No Spring in Its Step

    Analysts expected a slow but steady employment report in May. The actual employment report was considerably worse than expected. Employers created only 69,000 net jobs, and the unemployment rate edged up to 8.2 percent. Revisions also showed that employers created 49,000 fewer jobs than originally estimated in March and April. Coupled with the recent downward revision to…

  • Issue Brief posted May 4, 2012 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr., James Sherk Heritage Employment Report: Jobs Do Not Bloom in April

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 115,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate declined to 8.1 percent from 8.2 percent. However, further declines in the percentage of Americans in the labor force explain this slightly lower unemployment rate. Indeed, the labor force participation rate dipped to a 30-year low as many unemployed workers…

  • Issue Brief posted April 6, 2012 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr. Heritage Employment Report: March Report Mixed, on Balance Disappointing

    The labor market made some gains in March, although the 120,000 new jobs were well below expectations of 200,000-plus. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also announced that the unemployment rate ticked down another tenth to 8.2 from 8.3 percent, largely due to rounding. Even this modest improvement in the unemployment rate reflected ill fortune, because it was due entirely…

  • WebMemo posted February 3, 2012 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr., James Sherk Heritage Employment Report: January Jobs

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in January, the economy added 243,000 jobs—108,000 more than the consensus forecast of 135,000. As a result, the unemployment rate fell from 8.5 percent to 8.3 percent, the lowest level since February 2009. For the last three months, job creation has averaged 201,000 a month, a sign that the labor market recovery may be truly…

  • WebMemo posted November 17, 2011 by David C. John Raising the FHA Loan Limit: A Step in the Wrong Direction

    In one spectacularly misguided move, a House–Senate conference committee has taken a step that will expand the federal presence in the housing markets, preserve Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and damage the near-bankrupt Federal Housing Administration (FHA) in the name of helping the housing sector to recover. One small provision of a massive appropriations bill[1] covering…