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Forecasters: Higher Growth, Lower Unemployment

on Tuesday, 18 February 2014 10:40.

Philadelphia, PA (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, February 14, 2014):  The outlook for growth in the U.S. economy over the next three years looks stronger than that of three months ago, according to 45 forecasters surveyed by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

On an annual-average over annual-average basis, the forecasters predict faster real GDP growth in 2014, 2015, and 2016. The forecasters see real GDP growing 2.8 percent in 2014, up from their prediction of 2.6 percent in the last survey. The forecasters predict real GDP will grow 3.1 percent in 2015, higher than their prediction of 2.8 percent in the last survey. For 2016, the forecast for real GDP growth, at 3.1 percent, is 0.4 percentage point higher than the last survey.

A brighter outlook for the unemployment rate accompanies the more positive outlook for growth. The forecasters predict that the unemployment rate will be an annual average of 6.5 percent in 2014, before falling to 6.1 percent in 2015, 5.7 percent in 2016, and 5.5 percent in 2017. The projections for 2014, 2015, and 2016 are below those of the last survey.

On the jobs front, the forecasters see little change in job growth in 2014. The forecasters' projections for the annual-average level of nonfarm payroll employment suggest job gains at a monthly rate of 187,700 in 2014 and 206,900 in 2015, as the table below shows. (These annual-average estimates are computed as the year-to-year change in the annual-average level of nonfarm payroll employment, converted to a monthly rate.)


Surprising Reason College Grads Aren't HIred

on Thursday, 13 February 2014 18:02.

New York (The Fiscal Times, January 29, 2014): Nearly everyone agrees that recent college graduates are having an inordinately tough time finding work almost five years after the end of the Great Recession. Young people aged 18 to 34 have struggled with double-digit unemployment and account for half of the 10.9 million unemployed Americans, according to government figures.

Now a new study shows there is widespread disagreement between business leaders and young adults and their families over the root causes of this problem, beyond the obvious problem of a sluggish recovery.

Nearly three-quarters of hiring managers complain that millennials — even those with college degrees — aren't prepared for the job market and lack an adequate "work ethic," according to a survey from Bentley University, a private business school in Waltham, Mass.  Those hiring managers aren't alone in their assessment, either. A wide range of businesspeople, corporate recruiters, academics and others interviewed for the study agree that recent college graduates deserve a grade of "C" or lower for their preparedness for their first job.


PA CareerLink Trains Distribution Workers

on Monday, 10 February 2014 17:51.

Lancaster (Lancaster Online, January 26, 2014): In a warehouse at VisionCorps on North Queen Street, instructor Marcus Riley of Eastern Lift Truck Co. is guiding a baker's dozen of job hopefuls from Lancaster's CareerLink through some hands-on training.

"Pallet jacks are relatively simple to use," he says, expertly wielding the handle on an implement that looks like a cross between R2D2 and a floor buffer. Two large, flat blades protrude from one side.

It's December, so it's chilly. The trainees peer at Riley from under hats and hoods as he goes through his explanations.  He steers forward and backward, and explains the "belly button," which, when pressed, immediately cuts off the engine.

Always stand to the side, he cautioned. The 1,500-pound machine can cart a 4,000-pound load; you don't want 5,500 pounds running over your foot.

One by one, the students guide the jack through its paces. Next, they will move on to forklift trucks.

In today's automated world, is this kind of job training on pallet jacks, forklift trucks and similar equipment still relevant?


Lancaster County WIB Recognized

on Monday, 27 January 2014 11:34.

San Francisco, CA (NerdWallet, January 24, 2014): NerdWallet, a consumer advocacy site, has recognized the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board for its commitment to developing the economy of the Lancaster area in a study that found Lancaster as one of the best places for job seekers in Pennsylvania.

As many people continue searching for employment in this recovering economy, NerdWallet wanted to help residents of the Keystone State find the best places for jobs. To do so, NerdWallet looked at median household income, monthly homeowner costs, population growth, and unemployment rates.

NerdWallet ranked Lancaster as the tenth best place for job seekers in Pennsylvania. The city has an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, and its residents make a median household income of $33,619. Major employers include R.R. Donnelly and Sons and Turkey Hill Dairy Inc., among many others. Local organizations such as the Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board are working to bring even more businesses and jobs to the area.

The Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board serves the communities of Lancaster County and works to provide the region's employers with a strong, motivated workforce while bringing rewarding employment to local workers.

"The Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board offers residents troves of online resources as well as connections to businesses in the area," said NerdWallet analyst Jaime Ortiz.  Click here to see more.


Getting European (American) Youth To Work

on Tuesday, 21 January 2014 21:09.

Washington, DC (McKinsey & Company, January 2014):  The problem of youth unemployment in the European Union is not new. Youth unemployment has been double or even triple the rate of general unemployment in Europe for the last 20 years. The events of the past few years have dramatically exacerbated it, however: 5.6 million young people are unemployed across Europe, and a total of 7.5 million are neither being educated nor are they working. Moreover, while young people are eager to work, more than half of those without jobs say they simply can't find one—all while businesses across Europe insist they struggle to find young people with the skills they need.

To understand this disconnect and what can be done about it, McKinsey built on the methodology used in our 2012 publication, Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works. We concentrated on four broad questions:

  • Is the scale of the youth-unemployment problem in Europe a result of lack of jobs, lack of skills, or lack of coordination?
  • What are the obstacles that youth face on their journey from education to employment?
  • Which groups of youth and employers in Europe are struggling the most?
  • What can be done to address the problem?

To answer these questions, we surveyed 5,300 youth, 2,600 employers, and 700 postsecondary-education providers across 8 countries that together are home to almost 73 percent of Europe's 5.6 million jobless youth: France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. We also examined more than 100 programs in 25 countries to provide examples of companies, governments, education providers, and nongovernmental organizations that may be relevant to Europe.


Strategies to Boost Economic Resilience

on Saturday, 18 January 2014 20:54.

Washington, DC (National Association of Counties, November 2013):  Counties, regions and communities that can foresee, adapt to and leverage changing conditions to their advantage are best positioned to attract and grow new businesses, retain skilled workers and families and promote a high quality of life.  Click here to download a recent report from the National Association of Counties.

This publication highlights eight counties that are applying innovative approaches to economic development to bolster economic growth and improve community quality of life. The case studies from this research effort indicate how some counties across the country are pursuing creative and innovative policies, partnerships and initiatives for economic growth.

Although not exhaustive, the purpose of this document is to highlight compelling examples and open a dialogue with county leaders about approaches to creating healthy, safe, vibrant and economically resilient communities.

Based on a series of interviews with county leaders and key partners, three common themes emerged:

  • ƒƒLong-Range Planning
  • ƒƒSupport for Targeted Industries, Local Businesses and Entrepreneurs
  • ƒƒWorkforce Development and Education

Older Workers "Stealing" Jobs from Younger Workers?

on Monday, 06 January 2014 09:59.

Chicago, IL (Associated Press, January 3, 2014): It's an assertion that has been accepted as fact by droves of the unemployed: Older people remaining on the job later in life are stealing jobs from young people.  One problem, many economists say: It isn't supported by a wisp of fact.

"We all cannot believe that we have been fighting this theory for more than 150 years," said April Yanyuan Wu, a research economist at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, who co-authored a paper last year on the subject.  The theory Wu is referring to is known as "lump of labor," and it has maintained traction in the U.S., particularly in a climate of high unemployment. The theory dates to 1851 and says if a group enters the labormarket — or in this case, remains in it beyond their normal retirement date — others will be unable to gain employment or will have their hours cut.

It's a line of thinking that has been used in the U.S. immigration debate and in Europe to validate early retirement programs, and it relies on a simple premise: That there are a fixed number of jobs available. In fact, most economists dispute this. When women entered the workforce, there weren't fewer jobs for men. The economy simply expanded.

The same is true with older workers, they argue.

"There's no evidence to support that increased employment by older people is going to hurt younger people in any way," said Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research and the co-author with Wu of "Are Aging Baby Boomers Squeezing Young Workers Out of Jobs?"

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