Tag Archives: employment

State of the Union Reaction

By Congressman Steve Austria

Last month, President Obama presented his annual State of the Union address to Congress and the American people. While I appreciate the President’s tough talk on no more bailouts or government handouts, for three years this Administration’s tough talk has not matched its actions. Over the past three years we have heard that if we enact certain policies the economy would improve and that we would see the creation of jobs. However since his major policies, such as the $1 trillion stimulus plan, the health care plan, and the Dodd-Frank plan have been enacted we’ve seen the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression and our deficit has more than doubled. Many of you have expressed your concerns about the same failed policies of more spending, higher taxes, and more government regulations that we have seen from this Administration. Neglecting to rein in the out-of-control spending in Washington and raising taxes on our job creators will not solve our nation’s fiscal crisis but will only create more uncertainty in our financial and business markets.

President Obama closed his State of the Union address with a reference to Abraham Lincoln: “I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed: That Government should do for people only what they cannot do better by themselves, and no more.” It is time for this Administration and Congress to act on Lincoln’s words, begin working together to limit government and help our job creators produce the long term sustainable jobs needed to turn our economy around. Our nation has always showed resilience in the face of adversity, and I will continue to have strong faith in the American people and their ability to prosper without the need of intrusive policies and government regulations.

As a member the Appropriations Committee, I welcome the opportunity to work with the President in eliminating the wasteful Washington spending and produce a fiscally-responsible budget, something we have not seen from the Senate in over 1,000 days.

Women Continue to Lose Jobs in the Public Sector

(Washington, DC) A new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), finds that women employees lost 81 percent (473,000) of the 581,000 jobs lost in the public sector since December 2008. Many of these jobs were lost at the local and state level where women in the public sector are most likely to be employed as elementary and middle school teachers.

At the local level between December 2008 and July 2011, the number of women in public sector employment decreased by 4.7 percent while the number of men decreased by only 1.6 percent. At the federal level in the same period, women employees saw a decrease of 3.2 percent in their ranks while the number of men employed actually increased by 5.3 percent, possibly due to increased employment in areas such as homeland security and civilian employment in the Department of Defense.

Women employed at the local level in the public sector are most likely to be elementary and middle school teachers, teacher assistants, secondary school teachers, and secretaries and administrative assistants. Men employed at the local government level are more likely to be police and sheriff’s patrol officers, elementary and middle school teachers, secondary school teachers, janitors, and firefighters.

Due to the recession and the dwindling of economic stimulus funding, state and local government budgets have decreased, resulting in layoffs. While the private sector gained 17,000 jobs in August, the public sector lost an equal number resulting in a zero jobs gains last month.

“The American Jobs Act proposed by President Obama will ensure investment in the country’s infrastructure and education,” said Jeffrey Hayes, senior researcher at IWPR. “The boost in funding will help women employees in the public sector, in turn allowing them to invest in their families, their communities, and in the economy overall.”

The President’s proposal includes a $30 billion investment in education to prevent the layoffs of up to 280,000 teachers while keeping more law enforcement officials and firefighters on the job. By allowing districts to use the money for longer school days or years and to support after school activities, working parents might benefit from knowing their children are being cared for in a safe and instructive environment.

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) conducts rigorous research and disseminates its findings to address the needs of women and their families, promote public dialogue, and strengthen communities and societies. IWPR is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that also works in affiliation with the women’s studies and public policy programs at The George Washington

(Underlined emphasis above was added by the editor.)

Real World Employment News

Last week, mainstream news outlets gleefully reported a booming growth of 151,000 new jobs. Even the liberal Economic Policy Institute (EPI) joined in the celebration of accelerated job growth. The EPI was also pleasantly surprised by the modest level of state and local government jobs. The real party pooper was the announcement that the national rate of unemployment remained at 9.6 percent. In a more sober moment, the EPI said it will take years before we will see pre-recession levels of employment growth. Bummer….

Unfortunately, the above employment numbers are not real. According to the Dr. Lacy Hunt of Hosington Investment Management, the broader measure of household employment fell by 330,000. While 151,000 more people where included in payroll statistics, 330,000 more working people living in households became unemployed. Using Dr. Lacy’s figures, the total number of newly unemployed was 171,000 in October.

Dr. Lacy also explained why the unemployment rate remained the same. The reason was 254,000 members of the unemployed dropped off the statistical charts. They are no longer getting unemployment checks. They are no longer hoping for a decent job or any job. They no long looking for work. They are dropouts. As of October, the civilian labor force participation rate fell to a record low 64.5 percent. This means 35.5 percent of working age people were not employed. One can only wonder about how the paternal godfathers and mothers on Capitol Hill will attempt to save those dropouts–a new entitlement program maybe?

To make matters worse, the number of full-time workers who lost jobs was 124,000 increasing the total number of full-time job losses over the past 5 months to 1.1 million. This reduces the level of full-time employment to those in 1999. An economy cannot generate income growth by continuing to substitute part-time work for full-time employment, according to Dr. Lacy.

The Feds recent infusion of $600 billion new dollars will further erode the household incomes with which to purchase goods and service and pay their bills.

Xenia taxpayers will have even less after-tax income to spend once the 1/2% income tax, health service tax, and other tax increases take effect.

Source: Thoughts from the Frontline Weekly Newsletter

Health Care Reform Consensus: It Will Harm Millions of Small Businesses

By Daniel Downs

Small business employs more people than large corporate establishments. By comparison, small businesses employ 50.2 percent of all American workers, while large corporations employ only 49.8 percent. Depending on the statistical source used, the number of Americans employed by small businesses is between 60 to 69 million. Self employed entrepreneurs make up between 32 to 38 percent of small businesses.

Small businesses also lead the nation in creating new jobs. According to Small Business Trends, two-thirds of all new jobs are created by small business. http://smallbiztrends.com/2009/11/who-creates-the-most-jobs.html

So why do Congressional Democrats favor the interests of big business? Why does their health care reform legislation give them large deductions for self-insured health care? One answer might be elite the liberal Congressional millionaires maybe attempting to protect their investments self-insuring corporations. Another possibility maybe that big corporations have better lobbyists, but who cares?

The largest and best employers in America are overwhelmingly opposed to Congress’ health care reform legislation. They oppose it not only because it gives unfair breaks only to large corporations but also because it will raise the cost of doing business, and threatens the ability of small firms to grow their business and create new jobs.

One aspect of the legislation specifically targets the construction industry, according to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. “The bill singles out the construction industry by not exempting businesses in this sector from the “play-or-pay” employer mandate that other firms with 50 or fewer employees are exempt from.” Interestingly, the government defines small business as firms with 500 or less employees. Consequently, many other small businesses will be adversely affected by the unfunded mandates.

About one-third of the 22 million self-employed cannot even afford health insurance. Those who do purchase health coverage have experienced double-digit premium increases every year, making it difficult to retain insurance, according to the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE). Because the Senate tabled an amendment that would have given a 50 percent deduction to small businesses, the cost of adequate health care will continue rise if the Democrats health care bill passes.

As outlined by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Congress’ health care reform will significantly increase the cost of health care to small businesses in the following ways:

The legislation includes a new $60 billion tax that falls almost exclusively on small business because the fee (tax) is assessed on insurance companies, which is confirmed by the Congressional Budget Office. This cost will be passed on to small business in the form of higher premiums, at least 10 percent higher. The cost of health care insurance is already 18 percent higher for small businesses than for large corporations. And, as previously stated, the new legislation exempts self-insuring large corporations from the additional costs.

Because employer mandates assess multiple penalties based on the income of full-time employees, there will be job loss, greater reliance on part-time employees, and harm to entry-level and low-wage workers.

The new reporting requirements increases administrative costs by $17 billion.

Small business with high rates of employee turnover may be put out of business because of a $600 fine for not providing all employees health insurance within 60 days.

Congress’ health care reform also limits previous cost saving options like tax-exempt Health Savings Accounts.

According to Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, a government-run health care plan cannot compete fairly with the private market and threatens to destroy the marketplace, further limiting choices.


One thing is certain; the health care reform of congressional Democrats will be neither affordable nor free-market friendly. Those are a few reasons why small businesses should petition their representatives. Small business owners can also sign the SBECs “Not On Our Backs” Small Business Health Care “Not On Our BacksPetition to voice their opposition to the proposed national health care legislation.