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News
Nov. 3, 2017

U.S. employers hired at a strong pace in October, and revisions showed the labor market weathered hurricane damage better than previously estimated.\Nonfarm payrolls rose a seasonally adjusted 261,000 in October, a pickup from the prior month, the Labor Department said. The unemployment rate declined to 4.1%, its lowest level since December 2000. Economists expected 315,000 new jobs and a 4.2% unemployment rate last month. Wages rose 2.4% from a year earlier, a slowdown from last month.September's payrolls data, initially reported as the first drop in seven years, were revised to show employers actually created 18,000 new jobs that month, extending the economy's streak of job gains to a record 85 straight months.

News
Nov. 2, 2017

The package, which also includes some extra automotive fees, is expected to raise more than $5 billion a year for transportation projects, most of which are aimed at catching up on long-delayed maintenance work.

That’s one of the tricky aspects of the situation. To build public support, backers of the package hinted—but did not promise—that it would do something about the state’s worst-in-the-nation roadway congestion, but in fact it will do little, if anything, to relieve traffic jams.

Most of the proposed improvements won’t be obvious, like expanding a freeway would be, and motorists may wonder whether they are getting something tangible for the extra money they are paying.

News
Nov. 2, 2017

Port officials said the plan seeks to accelerate pollution reductions while remaining sensitive to the economic effects of transforming the complex, which handles about 40% of U.S. imports and support hundreds of thousands of jobs across Southern California. Though the volume of shipments moving through the L.A.-Long Beach ports has tripled since the mid-1990s, they face increasing competition from East and Gulf Coast ports, which have less stringent environmental mandates.

By adopting the plan, the ports are expecting businesses and taxpayers to foot the bill. They are also sending a signal to manufacturers that there will be demand for cleaner trucks and freight-moving equipment, and, eventually, models with no tailpipe emissions.

News
Nov. 2, 2017

U.S. workers boosted output per hour this summer at the best rate in three years, a sign that long sluggish productivity gains might finally be breaking out. Nonfarm business-sector productivity increased at a 3.0% seasonally adjusted annual rate in the third quarter, the Labor Department said Thursday. The gain was better than economists had expected and the largest quarterly improvement since the third quarter of 2014. Productivity is on pace to grow this year at the best pace since 2010, when the economy was first emerging from a deep recession. That’s an improvement from near zero much of 2015 and 2016.

News
Nov. 1, 2017

Medicaid pays for elderly and disabled individuals who need support with activities of daily living to receive support at home from a caregiver. But California and 10 other states deduct union dues from caregivers’ Medicaid payments, in many cases without the knowledge or approval of patients and their caregivers. Given the fact that many caregivers work in their own homes caring for loved ones and relatives, unions typically have little role to play in exchange for the dues they collect.

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Nov. 17, 2017 / Andrew Khouri

Nov. 17, 2017 / The Editorial Board