News & Commentary

June 15, 2017

The number of Americans filing for unemployment dropped 8,000 to 237,000 last week, which was 5,000 more than economists had expected. For 119 straight weeks, claims have been below 300,000, which is the threshold associated with a healthy labor market. The New York Times reports.

Baltimore is training youths for both public and private-sector jobs in the water industry. The Baltimore City Water Industry Career Mentoring Program aims to solve two of Baltimore’s biggest problems: joblessness and a polluted Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Bay. The program covers everything from working on pipes to fixing erroneous water bills, and includes mentoring for youth. Several city council members have advocated for more city agencies to create similar apprenticeship programs. The Washington Post reports.

Today, Trump is expected to sign an Executive Order to expand apprenticeships and job-training programs by giving more freedom to third-party companies and schools (previously noted here). Though the Department of Labor will provide oversight on the program, the order will shift certification of federally funded apprenticeship programs from the Labor Department to grant recipients themselves; instead of reporting to the Labor Department, companies can essentially monitor themselves.

This week, the EEOC commissioners held a meeting convening experts and lawyers to discuss the presence of age-related discrimination in the workplace. Advocates urged the EEOC to be more aggressive in pursuing cases of discrimination that begin as early as the job search. Some job listings require maximum years of experience or that applicants be “digital natives,” meaning the applicants grew up using technology. Past research has shown that younger applicants received more callbacks for entry-level positions than applicants aged 64-66, despite having identical resumes. For older women, the discrimination is more severe and starts earlier than for older men. The Washington Post reports.

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