Policy Points

16.10.2009 Policy Points No Comments

Weekend Wonk Out

A round-up of policy reports from the week ending on 10/16:

16.10.2009 Policy Points No Comments

Jobless Recovery Takes Hold in NC

September’s employment report offered more proof that a jobless recovery has taken hold in North Carolina.

Last month, private-sector employers eliminated 13,600 more positions than they created. However, hiring in the public sector offset most of these losses, leading to a total statewide loss of just 600 positions. These findings come from data released today by the Employment Security Commission.

In September, North Carolina employers eliminated 600 more positions than they added. Private-sector employers eliminated 13,600 positions, with losses occurring in every major industry except for construction. These losses were offset by a net gain of 13,000 public-sector positions, primarily at the state (+4,600 positions) and local levels (+8,600 jobs).

Click to read South by North Strategies’ analysis of the latest employment report.

16.10.2009 Policy Points No Comments

Obama and Public Policy: An Assessment

At Grasping Reality with Both Hands, economist Brad DeLong assesses the performance of the Obama administration in handling the recession, regulating the financial sector, protecting the environment, and reforming health care. Blogs DeLong:

Don’t get me wrong: My complaint is not that the Obama administration has not been liberal enough. My complaint is that the Obama administration, so far, has not been devoted enough to good policy –to the good technocratic policies of what I used to see as the bipartisan center–and has been unwilling to use any leverage at all against a congress that is underbriefed, unfocused, and easily captured by special interests. You can only use such leverage if you have a moment arm–allow daylight to open up between the President’s position and the position of the marginal senator, and say that the President’s policies are those he and has staff have concluded after sober reflection are best for the nation but that he will take what he can get from congress.

15.10.2009 Policy Points No Comments

Around the Dial – Oct. 15

Economic policy reports, blog postings, and media stories of interest:

15.10.2009 Policy Points No Comments

Unemployment Claims in NC: Week of 9/26

For the benefit week ending on September 26th, 16,383 North Carolinians filed initial claims for unemployment insurance, and 181,622 individuals applied for continuing insurance benefits. Compared to the prior week, there were fewer initial and continuing claims. These figures come from data released today by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Averaging new and continuing claims over a four-week period — a process that helps adjust for seasonal fluctuations and better illustrates trends — shows that an average of 16,785 initial claims were filed over the last four weeks, along with an average of 185,522 continuing claims. Both levels were down slightly compared to the previous four-week period. The four-week average for initial claims is now at the lowest level recorded since the period ending on November 1, 2008.

weekly claimsThe graph shows the changes in unemployment insurance claims (as a share of covered employment) in North Carolina since the recession’s start (12/07).

Although new and continuing claims appear to have peaked for this cycle, the claims levels remain elevated and point to a labor market that remains extremely weak.