Unemployment

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
3:35pm
Thu Sep 22

Human Services Advocates Urge Rauner To Protect Food Stamp Eligibility For 259,000 Illinoisans (VIDEO)

Human services advocates are pressing Gov. Bruce Rauer to renew a federal waiver that would allow 259,000 Illinoisans to remain eligible for food stamps.

The Alliance for Community Services demonstrated at the Thompson Center Thursday afternoon in a call for the governor to take action and stop federal limits from being imposed on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

At issue is the federal government's three-month limit on SNAP benefits for jobless, able-bodied adults without dependents. Under the rule, such people cannot have SNAP benefits for more than three months over a three-year period. 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
10:58am
Thu Sep 8

Experts: Federal Reserve Is 'Past Due' For New Monetary Policy Framework

An overhaul of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy framework may be needed in order to achieve a "full employment future."

Economic experts make that argument in a new paper for the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

The CBPP report explored alternatives to the Fed's current practices. The goal was to examine the proposals' potential effectiveness in promoting full employment, particularly "the strong and sustained labor market conditions that boost living standards and career trajectories across the income distribution and contribute to broad prosperity," the paper reads.

Carola Binder, assistant professor of economics at Haverford College in Pennsylvania and Alex Rodrigue, a Haverford College math and economics major, co-authored the CBPP report. They wrote about their research in an op-ed for the Huffington Post.

"The Fed's monetary policy is not entirely to blame for the problems associated with labor market slack- weak demand, chronically low or negative inflation, slow growth, stagnating wages, and rising inequality - but it could be part of the solution," the op-ed reads. "That will require more than just fine-tuning, however; it will require a new framework for monetary policy. We aspire for a future characterized by full employment: consistently strong labor market conditions that enable workers across the income distribution to bargain for higher wages."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
1:48pm
Thu Aug 11

Chicago Urban League Unveils 10-Year Blueprint For Dismantling Structural Racism

The Chicago Urban League released a 10-year blueprint Wednesday to undo structural racism in the city and create more equitable education, employment and economic development systems for African-American residents living in the most disadvantaged communities.

Chicago Urban League officials released the plan as the organization commemorates its 100th anniversary.

"Our vision is that by 2026, residents of every community area in Chicago will have access to the services and supports they need not just to succeed, but to really thrive as members of the greater Chicago community," said Stephanie Schmitz Bechteler, vice president and executive director of the Chicago Urban League's Research and Policy Center.

"The league's 10-year plan is a focused effort that lays out our commitment to making racial equity a reality. When this happens, it sets the stage for a stronger African-American community and that, in turn, makes a stronger Chicago."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:13am
Wed Jul 6

Job Barriers Facing Ex-Prisoners Could Cost U.S. Economy At Least $78 Billion

U.S. economic growth suffers when former prisoners and convicted felons are locked out of the labor market, a new study shows.

Employment barriers faced by former offenders resulted in the estimated loss of 1.7 million to 1.9 million workers in 2014, reducing the overall U.S. employment rate by almost 1 percentage point, according to the report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

That translates into a $78 billion to $87 billion loss in annual gross domestic product (GDP) for the United States.

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