Americans are increasingly foregoing paychecks due to disability, school or retirement
by Kasia Klimasinska
How come more people are retiring in their early 20s? Why are middle-age men becoming stay-at-home dads? What’s keeping women out of the workforce other than illness, kids or school?
Those are some of the questions raised in a new Bureau of Labor Statistics report that shows changes over the past decade in why people stay out of the labor force. Finding answers is key for the Federal Reserve as it maps the contours of a job market that’s becoming harder to predict with the aging of the baby boomers and shifting household priorities.
Here’s what the bureau found, broadly: Thirty-five percent of the U.S. population wasn’t in the labor force in 2014, up from 31.3 percent a decade earlier. (You’re considered out of the workforce if you don’t have a job and aren’t looking for one. That’s distinct from the official unemployment rate, which tracks those out of work who are actively job hunting.)
Drilling down into the numbers reveals more about the shifts in the reasons some people forego a paycheck. In all age groups, for instance, more people cited retirement as the reason for being out of the labor force, and it wasn’t just older people. Continue reading
The number of people collecting paychecks rose more than had been expected and the tally of people counted as jobless fell, placing the unemployment rate — 5.9% — at its lowest level since 2008.
While the trends are positive, they offer only distant hope to a middle class that is taking home less pay than it used to and can only watch as the wealthy enjoy ever greater prosperity.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way under President Obama, tribune of ordinary folks who, as he likes to say, play by the rules. Continue reading
NBC News contacted around 20 small businesses and other entities for this report and found that employee hours are being cut to 29 hours because of Obamacare, despite the delay of the employer mandate. But the White House, NBC News reports, says that there is no systematic evidence that this is because of Obamacare and dismisses the report as anecdotal. Unions and employers say the White House is dead wrong.
by Lisa Myers and Carroll Ann Mears
Employers around the country, from fast-food franchises to colleges, have told NBC News that they will be cutting workers’ hours below 30 a week because they can’t afford to offer the health insurance mandated by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Continue reading
The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (aka, “ObamaCare,” enacted in March 2010) is so “affordable” that more than 1200 companies (half the number) and unions (half the number) have sought and obtained partial waivers from its burdens and mandates. The U.S. Congress itself had the audacity to exempt itself from the law, a fact acknowledged only this week by the Office of Personnel Management (the federal government’s HR department).
Earlier this year the Wall Street Journal reported on “ObamaCare’s health-insurance sticker shock,” on how health insurance “premiums in individual markets will shoot up due to the mandates that take effect in 2014,” specifically: “requirements that health insurers (1) accept everyone who applies (guaranteed issue), (2) cannot charge more based on serious medical conditions (modified community rating), and (3) include numerous coverage mandates that force insurance to pay for many often uncovered medical conditions. . . . Insurers are adjusting premiums now in anticipation of the guaranteed-issue and community-rating mandates starting next year.” A more recent Journal report explains why premiums “could soar” (i.e., triple) even for the healthy under ObamaCare. Continue reading