The mood was somber at Employment Security Department offices across the state on Tuesday, as hundreds of workers found themselves in the position of those they usually help: Out of work.
Although employees of the state, 900 workers have been furloughed or lost hours because their pay comes from federal government sources. They will remain without pay until the impasse in Washington, D.C., ends.
This week, KUOW has been taking a deeper look at the jobs recovery in Washington state in our series, The Big Reset. In this segment, we're talking numbers: unemployment, wages, industry trends. And the good news is, Washington is doing all right.
The unemployment rate here has mirrored the national average at around 7 percent. Ross Reynolds talks with regional labor economist, Anneliese Vance-Sherman about Washington's recovery and industry trends.
Welding torches have sizzled at the Vigor Industrial shipyard on Seattle’s Harbor Island for a century. But the men and women behind the welding masks in this particular warehouse have only been at it for two weeks. The demand for skilled welders is so high that the shipyard and the state are now paying to teach the skill to displaced workers.
Despite the drop in Washington’s unemployment rate, many people are still looking for work. More than 3,000 people attended a jobs fair at the ShoWare Center in Kent on Tuesday. Companies had a big presence too. Law enforcement recruiters showed up in force, as did insurance companies and healthcare providers. But the big player was Boeing.
The job market has been slowly recovering in the United States. But for African-Americans, the unemployment rate remains high at 13 percent — nearly double the national average.
Social scientists say racism continues to be one factor. But now researchers have uncovered another important obstacle to employment: favoritism. Rutgers Business School professor Nancy Ditomaso talks about it with David Hyde.
In the next couple of months, many employment office workers in the Northwest will join the unemployed. State labor agencies are having to make cutbacks in staffing. It's due to a combination of the economy getting better and federal budget cuts known as the “sequester” setting in.
Staffing at the local employment office usually moves in the exact opposite direction as the rest of the economy. When times are tough, unemployment rolls are booming.
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:45 pm
Researchers say the economic benefits of prisons often don't materialize for rural communities. That's according to a new paper by Northwest sociologists. In fact, they found communities with private prisons fare worse than they did before.
Washington State University sociologist Gregory Hook says rural areas that opt to build prisons, even courting them with tax breaks, have one main goal in mind: jobs.
“You know, you look across the way and you say 'Oh there's a prison. Fifty people have a job there. So that's 50 new jobs in my community.' … Only it's not.”
Job growth continues to be sluggish, but there’s one big exception: temporary work. The number of temp and contract jobs has increased by nearly 30 percent since early 2009, according to the American Staffing Association.
Ross Reynolds takes a closer look at the new temping economy with Steven Greenhouse, the labor reporter for The New York Times.
To give or not to give? That's the question many of us face when encountering panhandlers on Seattle's sidewalks. Some people make up their minds about how to act and don't deviate from the script. For others, the ethical questions resurface with every encounter.
Now, it seems we're at a crossroads. Many people are still out of work. Yet social services will probably be cut even further next year. Will that change how you give?