In the coming months and years, California voters can expect to see a variety of tax increases pop up on their local election ballots. They will be called “public safety” taxes to hire more police or firefighters or “parks” or “library” taxes to pay for those popular public services. But don’t be fooled. Any new tax proposal is in reality a “pension tax” designed to help the California Public Employees’ Retirement System make up for shortfalls in its investment strategy.
The pace of hiring slowed in December, but the U.S. unemployment rate held at a 17-year low, suggesting it is becoming more difficult for employers to find workers.
Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 148,000 in December, the Labor Department said. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate remained at 4.1%, matching the lowest level since December 2000 for the third straight month. Hourly wages improved modestly and rose 2.5% from a year earlier. Economists expected 180,000 new jobs and a 4.1% unemployment rate.
Black unemployment fell to 6.8 percent in December, the lowest ever recorded by the U.S. Labor Department since it began tracking the black unemployment rate in 1972.
Economists say it's a sign the recovery from the Great Recession is finally starting to help a wider swath of the U.S. population.
Freezing temperatures in the U.S. Northeast have pushed up heating costs, creating serious stress for many Americans. Although the rich world’s energy poor are largely forgotten in discussions about climate policies, they bear an unfair burden for well-meaning proposals.
That reality is being laid bare this icy winter as energy and electricity prices surge. When we think about energy poverty, we imagine a lack of light in the world’s worst-off nations, where more than one billion people still lack electricity.
Sacramento is largely drawing residents from the California coast, especially Los Angeles and the Bay Area, according to separate U.S. Census Bureau figures for the 2016 calendar year. The three counties sending the most residents to the Sacramento region in 2016 were Los Angeles, Alameda and Santa Clara. Housing costs are likely behind a lot of the moves. It is much cheaper to live in Sacramento than it is to live in Los Angeles or the Bay Area.