Inflation Surges Five Percent, Largest Spike Since 2008

The Consumer Price Index has increased 5% over the last 12 months, the fastest pace of inflation since August 2008, according to a Department of Labor report.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), a common tool used to measure inflation, increased 0.6% between April and May, according to the Labor Department report released Thursday morning. Economists projected that the CPI increased by 0.5% and 4.7% over the 12-month period ending in May, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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Gov. Whitmer Signs Executive Directive to Expand High-Speed Internet; Won’t Tell Price Tag

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued Executive Directive 2021-02, which will establish the Michigan High-Speed Internet Office (MIHI) with the intent of improving costs and access to high-speed internet.

The governor pointed to the ongoing pandemic as the precipitating event that necessitated the order.

“COVID-19 has only confirmed how the lack of high-speed internet access can cause too many Michiganders to struggle in their ability to engage in online learning, to use telemedicine to seek needed healthcare, to search for a new job or to take advantage of all the online resources,” Whitmer said in a statement. “A fully connected Michigan is essential for our state to reach its economic potential in the 21st century global economy.”

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Jobless Claims Hit New Pandemic Low, Drop to 473,000

Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims dropped to 473,000 last week as the economy continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending May 1, when 507,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 498,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in at 500,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Consumer Prices Increase 4.2 Percent to the Highest Level Since 2008

The consumer price index has jumped 4.2% over the last 12 months, the fastest pace of inflation since 2008, according to a Department of Labor report.

The consumer price index (CPI) increased 0.8% between March and April, according to the Labor Department report released Wednesday morning. Economists projected that the CPI increased by 0.2% last month and 3.6% over the 12-month period ending in April, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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New Federal Data Signals More Trouble for U.S. Economy

New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that prices for consumer goods have risen significantly in the past year, putting extra strain on Americans’ budgets and worrying experts.

As the Biden administration fends off criticism over proposed tax increases, higher spending and rising inflation, BLS released data Wednesday showing the biggest increase in consumer prices in over a decade. Those price increases point to a spike in inflation, experts say.

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U.S. Added Just 266,000 Jobs in April, Far Below Expectations

Worker in restaurant kitchen

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 266,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 266,000 in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, and the number of unemployed persons ticked up to 9.8 million. Economists projected a million Americans would be added to payrolls prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“The pieces are really coming together for a burst in activity,” Sarah House, senior economist for Wells Fargo’s Corporate and Investment Bank, told the WSJ. “We’re expecting to see the labor market recovery shift into an even faster gear with the April jobs report.”

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Judge Grants Virginia Employment Commission Brief Extension to Respond to Class-Action Lawsuit over Slow Unemployment Claims Processing

Virginia is trailing the rest of the United States in processing certain unemployment claims. That’s led to a class-action lawsuit against the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC), filed in April. VEC Commissioner Ellen Hess asked for an extension until the end of May to respond to the lawsuit, but on Wednesday, a district judge ruled that the VEC could only have a four-day extension from May 7 until May 11.

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Jobless Claims Fall to 553,000, Hit New Pandemic Low

Unemployment sign

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims dropped to 553,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending April 17, when 566,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 547,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Jobless Claims Increase to 719,000 as Recovery Continues

Unemployment sign

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 719,000 last week, even as the economy continues to slowly recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending March 20, when 658,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised down from the 684,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Roughly 18.2 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the report.

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New Jobless Claims Increase to 770,000, Above Economist Projections

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 770,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending March 6, when 725,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 712,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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U.S. Added 379,000 Jobs in February, Unemployment Rate Fell to 6.2 Percent

The U.S. economy reported an increase of 379,000 jobs in February while the unemployment rate fell to 6.2%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 379,000 in February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, and the number of unemployed persons fell slightly to 10 million. Economists projected 210,000 Americans to be added to payrolls and the unemployment rate to increase to hold at 6.3% prior to Friday’s report, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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New Jobless Claims Increase Slightly to 745,000

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased slightly to 745,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Feb. 20, in which there were 736,000 new jobless claims reported. That number was revised up from the 730,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Bernie Sanders Wants to be Joe Biden’s Labor Secretary According to Report

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is reportedly making a push to be nominated as labor secretary in a potential Joe Biden administration, sources told Politico.

Sanders is interested in having a position in Democratic presidential nominee Biden’s potential cabinet, an unnamed person close to the Vermont senator told Politico Thursday evening. Sanders, who was former Vice President Biden’s main rival during the 2020 Democratic primaries, has specifically expressed interest in leading the Department of Labor, according to the source.

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1.5 Million More Laid-off Workers Seek Unemployment Benefits

About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that many Americans are still losing their jobs even as the economy appears to be slowly recovering with more businesses partially reopening.

The latest figure from the Labor Department marked the 10th straight weekly decline in applications for jobless aid since they peaked in mid-March when the coronavirus hit hard. Still, the pace of layoffs remains historically high.

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Commentary: Student Frustration with the Flawed Textbook Market Is Justified

Dozens of student government executives wrote a letter recently urging the Department of Labor to block a merger between two giants of the textbook industry. In May, McGraw-Hill and Cengage announced they would be pursuing a merger. As two of the five major textbook publishers that currently have 80 percent of the market, this merger would form the second-largest textbook publisher in the US.

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Trump’s Labor Department Rewrites Obama Rule on Guaranteed Overtime Pay

by Tim Pearce   The Department of Labor proposed a rule Thursday that would expand guaranteed overtime pay laws to roughly 1.1 million workers. The rule would raise the threshold of overtime pay protection from workers making under $23,660 a year to workers making $35,308 a year, regardless of whether…

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JC Bowman Commentary: On Combining the Departments of Education and Labor

Departments of Education and Labor

President Trump’s concept to merge the U.S. Department of Education with the Department of Labor lacks significant details and will be difficult to maneuver through a deeply divided Congress.

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Tennessee Adds 45,000 Jobs Over Past Year

Handshake deal

Tennessee’s unemployment rates remain low and the state added 45,000 jobs the past year, the National Federation of Independent Business said. According to the March 2018 numbers from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, 82 of the state’s 95 counties saw lower unemployment rates that month than they…

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