Unemployment

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
12:38pm
Tue May 12

Currency Manipulation Key Issue In Heated Debate Over TPP, 'Fast-Track' Trade Bill

As debate over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal rages on, a growing number of lawmakers and economic experts are troubled by the massive trade agreement's lack of strong rules against currency manipulation by foreign member countries. Calls for currency manipulation prohibitions in the TPP also come amid heated deliberation over legislation that would give President Barack Obama "fast-track" trade authority.

Currency manipulation involves a country artificially suppressing the value of its currency, usually relative to the U.S. dollar, to reduce the price of its exports, essentially giving itself a leg up over competitors. This practice is a key cause of the continuing U.S. trade deficit and has displaced between 1 million and 5 million American jobs.

It's estimated that between $200 billion and $500 billion of the U.S. trade deficit is due to currency manipulation by foreign countries, according to research from the Washington, D.C.-based Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:39pm
Thu May 7

College Grads Face Bleak Wage Landscape, A Breakdown Of Illinois Jobless Rates By Race

The average hourly wage for young female college graduates was a mere $16.56 in March -- just 1.2 percent higher than what was earned by the same demographic at the end of 1989, according to new data released by the Economic Policy Institute.

That's just one of the takeaways from EPI's analysis of wage trends for college and high school graduates, ranging from December of 1989 to March of 2015.

The wage figures -- issued ahead of Friday's jobs report for April -- provide a "glimpse at the future for the graduating class of 2015" and are part of a larger forthcoming EPI report on recent young graduates and the U.S. job market they face.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
5:18pm
Thu Apr 16

Report: Illinois Black Unemployment Rate Expected To Fall In 2015, But Still At 'Crisis Level'

Research from the Economic Policy Institute shows Illinois is one of only two U.S. states expected to see "significant reductions" in African-American unemployment levels throughout 2015. Still, African-American jobless rates in Illinois and nationwide are still far higher than where they should be, EPI's report argues.

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