Friday, June 21, 2013

California May 2013 Unemployment Rate

According the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), California's official unemployment rate continued to improve in May 2013, dropping by 0.4% from 0.9% in April to 8.6% in May. The national unemployment rate increased 0.1% to 7.6%. California's unemployment rate continues to lag the nation as a whole and is tied with New Jersey at the 5th-highest in the nation ahead of Nevada, Mississippi, Illinois, Rhode Island, and North Carolina.

SOURCE:  U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics:  Unemployment Rate for States, Seasonally Adjusted (April 2013, preliminary).

The current 8.6% unemployment rate is at its lowest level since October 2008, just before the 2008 Presidential election. The current 8.6% unemployment rate remains higher than the 7.0% peak during the prior recession although it currently is lower than the peak of the early 1990s recession.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis: Unemployment Rate in California (CAUR)

Total non-farm payroll jobs in California grew by 10,800 jobs and presently stands at 14,612,500 jobs.  The current levels is up 727,200 jobs since the bottom of the recession but is is down 529,600 jobs from January 2008. At the current growth rate of 10,800 jobs per month, total employment will reach January 2008 levels in approximately four yours.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics:  California, Total Nonfarm, Seasonally adjusted - SMS06000000000000001.

Approximately 1.6 million Californians remain unemployed, down 364,000 from May 2012.

At the national level, the civilian participation rates in the job market (CIVPART, EMRATIO) remain at their lowest levels in a generation and show no immediate signs of improvement.

The average (mean) duration of unemployment (UEMPMEAN) and the median duration of unemployment (UEMPMED) remain well above the highs set in prior recessions.  The average duration is for all those who are unemployed.  The median indicates that 50% of those who are unemployed had a longer duration, 50% had a shorter duration.  The difference between the mean and the median indicates that there are a large number of long-term unemployed people.  This may be a possible effect of providing 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.

Overall national unemployment rates exhibit their typical ethnic and education-level patterns.

Nationally, Black or African American unemployment is highest at 13.5%, followed by Hispanic or Latino unemployment at 9.1%.  White unemployment is 6.7% while Asian unemployment is lowest at 4.3%.

The unemployment rate is highest for those lacking a high school diploma, currently at 11.1%.  The data is only for those 25 and older, so it does not include teenage unemployment data. Those who are high school graduates, but no college have a 7.4% unemployment rate.  For those with a bachelor's degree or higher, unemployment stands at 3.8%.  In all categories, the overall unemployment rate is higher than historical averages.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Rare Day Indeed: Drudge Report and Huffington Post are Critical of the Same Politician

June 6, 2013 was indeed a rare day.  The Drudge Report and Huffington Post are often politically diametrically opposed.  Both the Drudge Report and Huffington Post took aim at President Barack Obama and both disapproved of his Administration's policies allowing covert NSA eavesdropping and data mining operations that allegedly involved innocent Americans.

Drudge Report (June 6, 2013)

Huffington Post (June 6, 2013)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The IRS' Employee Union Historically Gives 90%+ to Democrats

The IRS is accused of targeting Tea Party and similar groups for excess scrutiny when these groups applied for tax-free 501(c)(4) status.  Various reasons for the extra scrutiny is alleged.  However, does the IRS' own public-sector employee union play a role?

IRS employees are organized by the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), who also manages employees within other divisions of the federal government.  The Tea Party groups advocate for smaller, more affordable government which is in direct conflict with employees and their union within the federal government.  Is this the reason for the additional IRS scrutiny?

While the NTEU isn't among the bigger political spenders at the national level, historically, they give roughly 90% or more to Democrats.

Targeting the Tea Parties While Obama Allies Remain Tax-Free

There is ample evidence that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investigated "Tea Party", "Patriot", and "9/12 Project" groups with "extreme prejudice" when they applied for 501(c)(4) tax-free status.  The excuse for the excessive reviews is because these grassroots groups may potentially engage in overt political activities.  Groups with 501(c)(4) tax-free status can also keep their donors secret while political organizations like the Republican and Democratic parties cannot because they're subject to campaign disclosure laws.

The excess IRS scrutiny, especially over concerns about overt political activity, is especially laughable given the 501(c)(4) status granted to another group, Organizing for Action (OFA).

Organizing for Action (OFA) is the latest incarnation of Barack Obama's Organizing for America (OFA) from the 2008 and 2012 Presidential elections.  Organizing for America (OFA) was a community organizing project of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Organizing for Action is a tax-free, 501(c)(4) "social welfare" organization.  Does Organizing for Action directly advocate for any politician or political party, which might violate its tax-free status?  You decide.
  • You can find Organizing for Action on the web at This is the same web address used by President Obama's Organizing for America operation during the 2008 and 2012 election cycles.
  • Organizing for Action's stated purpose is to "support President Obama."
  • Organizing for Action uses the familiar, trademark Obama logo to brand its site.
  • Organizing for Action is a tax-free 501(c)(4) organization meaning that it can keep its donors secret.

  • The official, authenticated Twitter account for Barack Obama is @BarackObama.
  • The Twitter page includes the President's photo and name.
  • The profile summary acknowledges that the @BarackObama Twitter account is "run by Organizing for Action staff."
  • The Twitter feed often includes links to other content found on the Organize for Action web page.

Again I ask, do you believe that tax-free Organizing for Action will advocate on direct behalf of any politician or political party?

How is Organizing for Action anything different than a tax-free branch of the Democratic Party?

How can the IRS, in good conscience, deny Tea Party groups for up to three years but approve of the President's community organizing group?  Need I remind you that the IRS is part of the Treasury Department, which itself is part of the Executive Branch headed by President Barack Obama?