cartoon illustrations of a red elephant and blue donkey butting heads

The dumbest political attack of the year in a big roomful of contenders

BY: - September 5, 2023

As with all previous presidencies, there are undoubtedly some legitimate criticisms that can be leveled at the Biden-Harris administration for its performance over its first 31 months in office. While the decision to face reality and end the United States’s hopelessly futile occupation of Afghanistan proved correct, the process and communication surrounding it could have […]

A jobs available sign

Job growth exceeds economists’ expectations as unemployment inches up

BY: - September 3, 2023

The labor market is stable and healthy, economists and policy experts say, although the unemployment rate ticked up in the month of August. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report released Friday showed that unemployment rose to 3.8% in August from 3.5% in July. Meanwhile the economy added 187,000 jobs, above expectations of 170,000 jobs from […]

a "now hiring" sign on a sidewalk

Economy adds more jobs in June even as hiring slows

BY: - July 8, 2023

Although hiring inched down in June, the U.S. labor market is still showing signs of strength, with unemployment falling and earnings continuing to rise, the latest jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor showed. The economy added 209,000 jobs as the unemployment rate fell to 3.6% from 3.7% in May. “In excess of 200,000, […]

a nurse at work in a hospital

States see record low unemployment across the US

BY: - May 25, 2023

Across much of the country, the jobs market is as strong as it’s ever been, and Black women, young people and people with disabilities are among the workers benefiting, recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show. Twenty states reported an unemployment rate under 3% in April, while 15 states saw record lows, led by […]

A jobs available sign

Powell signals higher interest rates. Here’s why Friday’s jobs report will affect Fed’s decision.

BY: - March 9, 2023

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said this week that interest rate increases could be higher and come faster if Friday’s unemployment data shows the nation’s labor market isn’t cooling off. Stock indexes fell after his comments.


Veteran national economist: A recession would be worse than today’s inflation

BY: - July 18, 2022

Why overreacting about short-term problems could cause long-term economic suffering This piece first appeared on the Economic Policy Institute’s Working Economics blog. The Federal Reserve has been under intense pressure in recent months to sharply raise interest rates in the name of taming inflation. The voices calling for these rate increases often explicitly say that […]


In an unprecedented economic recovery, why are we only talking about inflation?

BY: - May 17, 2022

The economic news is much better than most media coverage would have you believe  The latest jobs report shows that the U.S. economy continues its rapid recovery from the pandemic crisis. Employers added 428,000 new jobs in April, continuing a now-year-long streak of similarly strong job growth. After surging to a post-World War II high […]


Automatic or the people? The rapidly changing nature of work

BY: - April 20, 2022

Automation is already here: What is our responsibility to the people and communities left behind? Somewhere on Minnesota's Iron Range a railroad engineer noses an 85-car train under the load-out chute at a taconite plant. One by one, each car fills with almost 100 tons of iron ore. The contents of this train will be worth several hundred thousand dollars to the company.

Making the simple impossible: We don’t want to admit the real worker shortage problem

BY: - February 24, 2022

A week ago, I was talking to an educator whose job it is to run training programs for students and adults in higher education. She told me that around a dozen different companies and groups were sponsoring training courses for things like nursing assistants, medical workers, electricians and truck driving.


Local job data: Nearly 75% of NC counties still have fewer people working than pre-pandemic

BY: - February 3, 2022

The last local jobs report for 2021 is in. Significant strides toward recovery were made, but true economic healing has still not been realized in many communities across North Carolina. Several rounds of federal aid have helped families navigate tough times and made the recovery from the COVID-19 recession much faster than we saw in […]


New report: Virginia-North Carolina comparison shows value of raising the minimum wage

BY: - January 18, 2022

Be sure to check out a new report that the good folks at Carolina Forward have published this morning about the minimum wage. As it notes, the fact that Virginia raised its wage substantially and that North Carolina has not, provides a handy experiment to see which of two very similar neighboring states is making […]

Fibs, fraud, and frustrations: North Carolina’s unemployment program draws more scrutiny

BY: - December 6, 2021

Claire Niver, a senior vice president with Pepsi Bottling Ventures, told legislators last week the global pandemic has had a “monumental impact” on the North Carolina-based company. Niver described in detail how the company hand-made 1,600 masks for frontline workers and created a partnership with Jim Beam so employees would have a ready supply of hand sanitizer when it was unavailable in most stores. "We had no layoffs and no furloughs. We are an essential business," Niver said proudly.