January 26, 2017

DaveSTo people familiar with sunny Silicon Valley, Finland may seem like a questionable tech hub. But thanks to the telecommunications giant Nokia, for years the snowy Scandinavian nation served as one of the central destinations in Europe for tech workers. Once Nokia began to collapse, however, the fortunes of many Finnish engineers declined as well.

These formerly prominent staffers then signed up for unemployment benefits in the hopes that the tech industry would turn around. When jobs largely failed to Continue reading

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June 16, 2016

While the government’s official unemployment rate has been hovering around 5 and 6 percent lately, that number doesn’t tell the whole story about joblessness in the U.S. This video summarizes the concept of the “real” unemployment rate and the different ways that the government defines joblessness in its statistics.

Questions:

  1. Why isn’t the “real” unemployment rate used as the official measure of joblessness?

 

  1. What does the large amount of underemployment in the U.S. say about the current state of the economy?
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August 30, 2014

In the Internet age, people don’t need to leave their homes in order to access near limitless choices of entertainment. Although convenient for consumers, this cultural shift has sent attendance at many theaters and symphonies across the country on a downward spiral. But it’s not just highbrow pursuits that have seen a drop in public interest. In fact, circuses are in such a dire state that industry insiders fear their decline will lead to a nationwide decline in the number Continue reading

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August 26, 2014

Economists have long argued that a skills gap is growing among the American workforce. Hundreds of businesses both large and small have echoed this sentiment, claiming that there aren’t enough qualified people to perform certain jobs. However, in most cases this line of thinking simply doesn’t add up. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed people exceeds the number of jobs available in every industry. In durable goods manufacturing, for instance, there are approximately 576,000 idle Continue reading

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March 11, 2014

 

When Kevin Hartford lost his consulting job in the mid-1990s, the knowledge and expertise he gained after years of hard work should have been enough to land him another job quickly. However, potential employers became hung up on one particular item not included on Hartford’s resume: his stutter. While his speech impediment had never been a problem at his previous job, Hartford says that it put off recruiters as he went on countless interviews. “I applied for job after Continue reading

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January 24, 2014

Over the past few decades farming towns across America have seen populations drop as more young people leave their rural homes behind in favor of big cities. However, urban living today doesn’t present as many opportunities as in the past. Not only do cities demand a higher cost of living, but also chances for career advancement can diminish given the large talent pool.

That’s the situation systems manager Wallace Harwood encountered at his job with an energy company in Lexington, Continue reading

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March 5, 2013

With economic recovery proceeding at a sluggish pace, many companies are operating on razor thin margins that can be easily disrupted. For instance, business got so slow at the plastics company Saint-Gobain last fall that executives cut worker hours by 40 percent. Although this type of story has become all too common since 2008, a federal government-funded work share program ensured the company’s staff didn’t lose their entire income. Thanks to the additional funds, Saint-Gobain’s employees recouped 70 percent of Continue reading

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