Topic: Employment
June 16, 2017

Overzealous political promises notwithstanding, Wisconsin’s job growth over the past six years has been extraordinarily strong. In fact, job growth has slowed recently only because Wisconsin essentially has run out people who are unemployed due to broad economic factors. In other words, one cannot reduce a jobs deficit that no longer exists.

June 15, 2017

Around 100 truck drivers and warehouse workers serving the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports plan to launch a strike starting Monday — their 15th strike in the last four years.

The workers and Teamsters union Local 848 announced the labor action Thursday. The truck drivers have been pushing for years to become employees rather than independent contractors to improve pay and workplace protections.

June 14, 2017

YouthForce NOLA, a partnership of political, business and education leaders in New Orleans, places 1,200 high-school seniors from local public high schools in paid internships in fields such as software development and advanced manufacturing. Businesses work with school administrators to ensure students receive practical, skills-based classroom instruction. The goal is to help students obtain professional credentials for high-wage jobs that don’t require bachelor’s degrees. (YouthForce NOLA was the recipient of $5 million in grants from Bloomberg Philanthropies.)

Another successful model is the state-run Apprenticeship Carolina program in South Carolina, which serves as an intermediary between businesses, workers and educational institutions. It matches employers with the state’s technical colleges, who tailor classes to meet the companies’ needs, and handles most of the paperwork (companies have to register their apprenticeship programs with the federal and state governments). Employers are responsible for paying apprentices’ wages and mentoring them on the job. Since 2007, more than 25,000 South Carolina workers have completed apprenticeships; the number of companies participating in the program has increased from 90 to 880.

June 13, 2017

Governor Tom Wolf signed a bill Monday, making it the ninth state to replace the pension with a "hybrid" retirement plan. It goes into effect in 2019.

The new plan combines elements of a traditional pension and a 401(k)-style account.

Overall, new workers will contribute more of their salary, work longer, and likely receive a smaller payout in retirement than under the current system, according to a report from the state's Independent Fiscal Office.

But Pennsylvania's pension system is currently one of the most underfunded in the country and is in need of reform. The bill had bipartisan support.

June 13, 2017

Southern California has experienced a boost in trade and logistics employment in the last decade, but policy and labor challenges lie ahead, according to a new economic report.

Trade-related jobs increased nearly 10% from 2005 to 2015, more than double the overall regional employment increase of 4.2%, the report released Monday by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. found.

. . . The average trade industry worker still made more than $63,000 in 2015, about 14% higher than the average wage for other industries in the area.

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