Today’s News & Commentary — March 10, 2017

The U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in February, decreasing the unemployment rate slightly from 4.8% to 4.7%.  The job gains occurred mostly in construction, private educational services, manufacturing, and health care. The number of long-term unemployed people stayed at 1.8 million.

The Atlantic published an article yesterday on the threat posed by President Trump to solidarity within organized labor.  Support for Trump within organized labor is currently fractured along vocational lines, which themselves track racial and regional differences.  As a presidential candidate, Trump generated significant support from craft, building trade, and industrial unions, while being “anathema” to service, teacher, and public-employee unions.  One labor official predicts that the wall Trump promised, if the project materializes, would become a flash point within labor — pitting building trades unions against their Hispanic members and other Hispanic union members, especially.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument yesterday on Browning-Ferris Industries’s challenge to the NLRB’s “joint employer” rule, articulated in the NLRB’s Browning-Ferris decision from 2015.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation, and other business groups have criticized the NLRB decision.  Members of the tree-judge panel criticized the NLRB rule as unclear during oral argument.  The case is before Judge Patricia Millett, Robert Wilkins, and Judge A. Raymond Randolph.

ABC and the National Association of Broadcast employees have reached a tentative four-year agreement, the union announced yesterday.  The contract would cover over 2,700 employees.  Terms in the agreement include a 9% wage hike spread over four years and paid sick leave for daily hires.