The Washington Independent

Posts by Ed Brayton

Rate of active job seekers crucial to unemployment rate

Bill McBride of the Calculated Risk blog explains why the participation rate — the percentage of Americans either working or actively seeking a job — is crucial in determining how far and how fast the unemployment rate drops.

The participation rate has dropped due to the economic problems of More…

Weekly unemployment report shows decrease in jobless claims

The U.S. Department of Labor’s latest weekly unemployment report shows another sizable decrease in the number of new unemployment claims, down to 368,000.

In the week ending Feb. 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 368,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week’s


Ohio Senate votes to curb collective bargaining rights for public employees

As battles over anti-union bills continue in Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin, Ohio may be the first one to actually pass legislation that limits collective bargaining rights for public employee unions. The Ohio Senate narrowly approved such a bill on Wednesday.

It includes changes unveiled by its Republican


Sec. Clinton avoids stating position on Keystone XL pipeline

By | 03.03.11 | 11:20 am | More from The Michigan Messenger

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the U.S. Senate on Wednesday and was asked about her position on the Keystone XL pipeline, but deferred comment because her agency is tasked with making a decision on whether to approve the project.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton


Auto companies show increased sales in February

Domestic auto sales in February were up 27 percent over the same month a year ago, led by a staggering 46 percent increase for General Motors. Ford posted gains of 10 percent while Chrysler jumped 13 percent. The annualized sales were 13.4 million vehicles, far surpassing analysts’ expectations.

Job growth data indicates further strife

Bill McBride, the economist behind the Calculated Risk blog, sums up the uninspiring data on job growth over the last few years and how the next few will likely play out:

And we have to remember the numbers are grim:

• There are 7.7 million fewer payroll


Unemployment extension falls short in House

An attempt by Rep. Barbara Lee to attach her 14-week unemployment extension for the 99ers to the continuing resolution that will fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year failed late Wednesday night due to a procedural objection.

The bill, estimated to cost $16 More…

Keystone pipeline from Canada to Gulf Coast would benefit Koch brothers

Reuters points out one fascinating subplot to the story of whether the Obama administration will approve completion of the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf Coast: It would help make his most prominent political adversaries even richer.

What’s been left out of the ferocious debate


Report: New unemployment claims drop again

A bit of good economic news this week as the Department of Labor says new initial unemployment claims last week dropped by 36,000 from the week before, down to 383,000 claims.

It still needs to drop lower — and it has to be offset even more by positive job More…

GOP identifies Stabenow seat as a key battle in 2012

Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s seat in the U.S. Senate is looking like a key battle for control of Congress in the 2012 election. After defeating pols in similar situations in 2010, the GOP is targeting that seat in the next campaign:

Roll Call reports:

At this point in