Archive for graph – Page 2

Bikini Graph time! Job growth picks up steam, 204,000 jobs added! #BlameObama


bikini itsy bitsyIt’s time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. This comes to us from the Maddow Blog, courtesy of the wonderful Steve Benen:

bikini graph November 2013 overallbikini graph private sector November 2013

According to the new BLS report, the U.S. economy added 204,000 jobs in October, double economists’ expectations. The private sector added 212,000 jobs – the second best total of the year thus far.

The overall unemployment rate inched higher, from 7.2% to 7.3%, though as we’ve discussed many times, that’s not uncommon when job creation picks up.

Even better still are the revisions... a combined 60,000 additional jobs that had been previously unreported... [This year] the economy has added 1.86 million jobs, which puts the U.S. on pace for the best year for job creation since before the 2008 crash.

Can you imagine how much better this report would be had the GOP government shutdown not happened? And how much better off we'd all be? But in spite of all the Republican sabotage, the economy is plugging along and we had some unexpected job growth.

Boy howdy, will this ruffle a few GOP feathers! But oh wait, nobody's talking about good news. Everyone's too busy buzzing about the president's apology, the rocky Affordable Care Act roll out, and Chris Christie, Chris Christie, Chris Christie.

This is positive stuff, people. Smile.

For more analysis by Benen, follow the link.


Guess who makes more income in states with lots of #union members?


no sh-- Sherlock

From the Department of No Sh** Sherlock:

Think Progress: The middle class brings home a substantially larger share of aggregate earnings in states that have high rates of union membership than in those where fewer workers are organized, a Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) analysis of Census data shows. Amid very high and still increasing income inequality, union density appears to offer some buffer for middle-class Americans. [...]

...CAPAF’s David Madland and Keith Miller found that the states with the lowest rates of union membership return below-average shares of income to their middle-class residents. [...]

The rise of inequality over the past three decades tracks closely with the decline of union membership.

The income of the richest one percent has risen as middle class incomes drop.

As TP points out, and as we have in many posts, as unions get stronger, they increase their ability to stand up for workers. When that happens, not only does it improve work place conditions, but in the long run, income inequality is reduced.

And since the very rich make way more than the rest of us, leveling the playing field benefits the entire country, the health and welfare of more Americans, and the economy.

Not to mention, the decline of organized labor has helped worsen racial wage gap.

While you're at it, check out "What a difference a union can make!" and "Why unions matter, in a measly 1 minute 19 seconds."

chart graph why unions matter

unions gave us


Decline of organized labor has helped worsen racial wage gap


union pay difference food industry

unions right to work for less cartoon gop

Meredith Kleykamp and Jake Rosenfeld are professors of sociology at the University of Maryland and the University of Washington, respectively. Both are members of the Scholars Strategy Network, and both wrote an op-ed for the Los Angeles Times.

The topic: How the decline of labor unions has widened the racial wage gap and that "African Americans and other people of color have a lot at stake." They track the history of unions, their rise, their more recent sliding numbers, and the effect that has had on wages:

[O]ur research aimed to discover what wage trends among blacks and whites, men and women, would have looked like if union membership in the private sector of the U.S. economy had not declined so sharply. Here is what we learned:

• Had union membership rates for women remained at late-1970s levels, racial wage inequality among women in private sector jobs today would be reduced by as much as 30%.

• If rates of union membership among African American men working in the private sector were as high today as in the early 1970s, weekly wages would now be about $50 higher. For a full-time worker, that translates to an income increase of $2,600 a year. Regardless of race, all male workers have lost ground in the private sector as unions have declined.

They describe the modern labor movement as "remarkably inclusive" and one that has boosted African American and white workers and their families economically. The authors also conclude that the dwindling number of private sector unions has made the state of America's economic and social problems worse, including racial wage gaps.

Here are a few of the benefits that unions have provided:

labor unions brought us

See: "What a difference a union can make!" and "Why unions matter, in a measly 1 minute 19 seconds."

chart graph why unions matter


Bikini Graph time! 169k new jobs, jobless rate dips to 7.3%, Obamacare not "significantly hindering job growth"


bikini itsy bitsy

It’s time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. This comes to us from the Maddow Blog, courtesy of the wonderful Steve Benen:

bikini graph September 2013 overall

bikin graph September 2013 private sector

The new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the U.S. economy added 169,000 jobs in August, which is roughly in line with expectations. After years of public-sector layoffs serving as a drag on the overall economy, we're starting to see a slight turnaround -- the private sector added 152,000 jobs last month, while the public sector added 17,000 jobs. That may seem like a fairly modest number, but it's the most in recent memory.

The overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.3%, which is the lowest it's been in nearly five years, but it's not evidence of good news -- it ticked down largely because of people leaving the workforce [...]

All told, so far in calendar year 2013, the economy has added 1.44 jobs overall, and 1.47 million in the private sector.

For more analysis by Benen, follow the link.

Earlier Paddy posted "Video- Fox's Stuart Varney Previews Jobs Report By Pushing Myth About Obamacare Causing Part-Time Employment." When in doubt, blame Obama, right Stewy?

He should have checked out this Los Angeles Times report. It's an assessment of the Affordable Care Act's effect on the economy from Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics:

Zandi said the labor market was holding up well despite the drag from the automatic federal spending cuts and implementation of the healthcare reform law. Although there would be more hiring without those two factors, he said there's no indication they are significantly hindering job growth.


VIDEO: Why unions matter, in a measly 1 minute 19 seconds


chart graph why unions matter

Via Colin Gordon from June 2012:

Author's analysis of Historical Statistics of the United States,, Piketty and Saez (2003), and The World Top Incomes Database (http://g-mond.parisschoolofeconomics....)

The video is from the Economic Policy Institute, and it shows how unions are declining, paralleling the abrupt uptick of income inequality. Gee, what a coincidence... and what a shame, because: "What a difference a union can make!"

Along with the video, Think Progress has three charts also showing why unions matter, including how the income of the richest one percent has risen as middle class incomes drop:

Income inequality is skyrocketing, while worker wages stagnate and more and more people leave unemployment for low-wage, part time jobs. [...]

[L]ike many workers, fast food employees could greatly benefit from the ability to collectively bargain. After all, their minimum wage jobs have actually become worth even less as time goes on. While those one percent of top earners are seeing a great spike in their incomes, the low-wage worker is feeling deflated.

Earlier I posted an L.A. Times reader who suggested, "Instead of tying the minimum wage to state law, let us tie that wage to corporate profits." Twitter pal @vinctee added, "Or CEO pay."

And another of my Twitter followers, @johnncastlerock, tweeted, "Raise to $16/hr and tie annual increases to national productivity. Corp 'profits' too easy to manipulate."

And finally, if you missed it, this is a must-see: A genius made this video, a British guy who calls himself a "Labor geek."


VIDEO: Bobby Jindal and disrespect for transgender people all in one Sunday. Somebody talk me down.



It's time for Blood Pressure Crisis Sunday! Today's blood pressure crisis was brought on by a Meet the Press (surprise!) segment with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and a subsequent and unrelated MSNBC interview with a member of the military.

Frankly, I can't bring myself to re-watch the Jindal interview, so I'll post it without the usual transcript excerpts. If you can make it through the entire thing, you'll see why I was so exasperated:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

In short, Jindal did nothing but lie and exhibit his usual hypocrisy. He was asked a direct question about the state of the Republican party, but he refused to respond, instead going off on his usual "privatize and de-unionize" education speechifying, couching his argument in gauzier terms that the non-political junkie might misinterpret in his favor. His idea of the American Dream is a countrywide enforcement of the bigotry and corporate goals of the GOP-- or as he called it "the stupid party."

He also blamed President Obama for wanting to shut down the government. Seriously.

And said we have a deficit problem. Seriously.

chart maddow budget deficit 2013 shrinkingMemo to GOP: Federal deficit shrinking at surprising rate, long-term debt stabilized for next decade 

And in a Politico op-ed today, Jindal blamed racial inequality on minorities being too proud of their heritages

Did I mention that phony, self-serving, privatization-happy, voucher-school-loving creationist Bobby Jindal now most unpopular GOP governor in U.S.? Great choice of spokesperson, GOP. Way to go.

Following Meet the Press was Weekends with Alex Witt sans Alex Witt (I can't find the video). The host interviewed a member of the military (apologies for not catching his name, rank, and serial number, but I was listening from another room and popped in only long enough to scream at the Tee Vee Machine). They were discussing Chelsea Manning (formerly Bradley Manning) who was just sentenced to 35 years in prison and announced his intention to transition from male to female.

Putting aside the arguments over whether the military prison in Fort Leavenworth should accommodate her for now, I was struck by the blatant insensitivity and apparent bigotry of the guest. His attitude screamed, "Manning casually decided to be a girl on a whim, tough luck freak, now enjoy your time in the slammer."

No, "sir," actually Manning has long struggled with gender identity, identifies as female, and has "felt that way since childhood."

How about respecting that instead of belittling and willfully making false assumptions, "sir"? Even if he broke the law, he's still a human being. How about educating yourself instead of perpetuating ignorance and misinformation, "sir"?

The increasingly deteriorating discourse and dearth of challenges to what passes for informed commentary fed to viewing and listening audiences are not only infuriating, they're scary... and they are harmful to democracy.

blood pressure


Bikini Graph time! Unemployment rate reaches lowest point in nearly 5 years


bikini itsy bitsy

It’s time to bring back the Bikini Graph! As always, red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration. And today we get a bonus graph, courtesy of the wonderful Steve Benen:

graph chart unemployment Obama benen Maddow

Incidentally, the other main Republican talking point on jobs for much of Obama's first term was that the net total of jobs gained on the president's watch is zero. It was always a ridiculous argument -- it was predicated on the assumption that Obama deserved the blame for the jobs lost a couple of weeks after his inauguration -- but it looks even sillier now. To date, the net gain for jobs under Obama is about 2.1 million overall and nearly 2.8 million in the private sector.

And here are the Bikini Graphs. The Maddow Blog has more details. Benen starts by calling the jobs report "underwhelming" because the 162,000 jobs added in July were below expectations. However, there was a glimmer of positive news, too:

bikini graph August 2013 overall

bikini graph August 2013 private sector

In a rare sight, public-sector layoffs were not a drag on the overall totals -- the private sector added 161,000 jobs, while the public sector added 1,000 jobs. (In recent years, the public sector ordinarily sheds several thousand jobs per month). The overall unemployment rate dropped to 7.4%, but largely because of people leaving the workforce. [...]

We're steadily adding jobs every month at rates above population growth, but we're seeing neither a hiring boom nor a deteriorating employment landscape. It's just ... leveled off.

Money quote (no pun):

Republican leaders remain committed to sequestration cuts that are holding back job creation on purpose, and are focused primarily on spending bills that punish those already struggling.

I made similar points here: Boehner wants Pres. Obama to destroy a growing economy.

So far this year, 1.34 million jobs were added overall, 1.37 million in the private sector.