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  • Bureau of Labor Statistics

    State Occupational Licensing: A Burdensome Barrier

    The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that barriers such as excessive state occupational licensing are thwarting opportunity for low-income workers. Occupational licensing can make sense for some industries that require highly technical or specialized skills, but not all jobs require such knowledge or skills. Yet in … More

    Examining North Carolina’s Falling Unemployment Rate

    On January 1, maximum unemployment insurance (UI) benefits dropped across most of America. Not in North Carolina. The Tar Heel State already ended extended UI benefits in July 2013. What happened afterward has caused considerable controversy. No one disagrees that North Carolina’s unemployment rate began rapidly falling almost immediately after … More

    Green Jobs: Surely You're Joking, Mr. President

    In his speech at Knox College, President Obama laid out his plan for the Detroitification of America: higher taxes, higher spending, increased minimum wages, more mandates, and rerouting the path of upward mobility through tried-and-failed social programs. He blames unfettered markets for taking America away from the halcyon days of … More

    Footnote Failure: Gap Between Productivity and Pay Is Overstated

      Paul Krugman and many others argue that compensation has not grown as fast as productivity. However, most of the apparent gap between the growth of pay and the growth of productivity is a statistical illusion. On the surface, the numbers appear to show pay and productivity diverging. Hourly wages … More

    Part-Time America: Some Context, Please

    File this under “Department of Exaggerated Statistics.” In the wake of the news that a temporary help agency became America’s second-largest employer, stories have appeared claiming that enormous numbers of Americans work in temp help jobs. On Sunday, the Associated Press reported: Hiring is exploding in the one corner of … More

    Solar Energy Embarrassingly Less Productive than Coal

    A map recently released by the Solar Foundation highlights the industry’s claim that 119,000 Americans are now employed in the solar industry. Its authors exclaim, “The United States solar industry employs more workers than coal mining.” What the map doesn’t touch on is whether solar energy is the most economical … More

    Garbage Collecting a Green Job? According to Government, Yes!

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released yet another green jobs report that has green advocates gushing in ways they couldn’t if they actually read past the first page. As we have noted (here, here, here, and here), the BLS definition of green jobs is so bizarre that the total … More

    Labor Department Incorrectly Calculates Davis–Bacon Wage Requirements

    Should government agencies use the best information possible? For more than 80 years, the Labor Department has answered that question in the negative. The Davis–Bacon Act (DBA) of 1931 requires federal construction contractors to pay their workers at least the “prevailing wage” in their locality. The Act charges the Labor … More

    U.S. Shed 9,000 Mining, Energy Jobs in October, 17,000 Since May

    Buried in Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report on the country’s unemployment situation was this disheartening fact: 9,000 employees of the mining and resource extraction sector lost their jobs in October. That brings total job losses in that sector to 17,000 since May, according to BLS. The Bureau, which is … More

    North Dakota's Job Creation Formula

    When it comes to creating jobs, North Dakota has found the right formula. The state has the largest percentage increase in employment over the past year and was the fastest of all 50 to recover from the recession. The reason is simple: energy production. “North Dakota has been the poster … More