Heidi Shierholz at the Economic Policy Institute sets the record straight:
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain responded to a question about the Occupy Wall Street protests by saying, “Don’t blame the big banks. If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.”
Here are the facts: This morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released new data from the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showing that there were nearly 3.1 million job openings in August. However, we know from other BLS data that there were 14 million unemployed workers in August. In other words, there were nearly 11 million more job seekers than job openings.
The ratio of unemployed workers to job openings is now 4.6-to-1. A job seeker’s ratio of more than 4-to-1 means there are literally no jobs available for more than three out of four unemployed workers. In a given month in today’s labor market, the vast majority of the unemployed are not going to find a job no matter what they do.
- The FCC and consumer groups are questioning whether AT&T's hoped-for purchase of T-Mobile would create jobs as AT&T has claimed. The Communications Workers of America are strongly behind the merger.
- Work that needs doing. Check out how much work does need doing, and submit your own picture.
- Against what you typically hear about pensions vs. 401(k)s:
A new study finds that defined-benefit pension plans are not only preferred by state employees, but more cost efficient for state governments than defined-contribution plans like 401(k)s.
- Less of a "there's good news and there's bad news" situation than a "the news is slightly less bad, but still bad" one:
Small-business optimism gained 0.8 points in September, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB’s) latest Index, ending a six-month decline. However, NFIB’s chief economist cautions that in spite of this uptick, there is little among the 10 Index components that can be considered “positive.” Reports of owners expecting real sales to improve were higher than last month, but were still negative. Similarly, owners expecting better business conditions in six months increased modestly, but this reading also remained negative.
- Jill Filipovic finds "We are the 53%" to be "actually very sad," but Amanda Marcotte is embracing it. Also, Sady Doyle's The Percentages: A Biography of Class, linked in Jill's post, is not to be missed.
Just a couple of the workplace safety stories that pop up every time you look:
- A Pennsylvania tree service was hit with 12 serious violations after an accident that killed one worker.
- A Long Island swimming pool manufacturer was found to have 20 violations after an accident that crushed a worker's fingers.
- Sifco Forge Group in Cleveland was cited for 12 serious violations and one repeat violation after having been previously cited in 2010.
- And 29 violations at a New Jersey lab equipment company.
What are we talking about here? Violations of occupational safety and health regulations. They're everywhere, and it's just lucky when they get caught before killing or maiming someone. But Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum want us to think regulations are bad and not think about the lives on the line.