News & Commentary

December 26, 2013

The Wall Street Journal reports that four western retailers will establish a fund to compensate victims of the factory collapse in Bangladesh in April.  The total in the fund will be close to $40 million.

The New York Times editorial board warns of the negative repercussions of the upcoming cut in nutrition aid.  In November, the temporary food stamp increase that was part of the 2009 stimulus package expired.  In January, food stamps are set to be cut once again as part of the farm bill.  The House and Senate are reportedly close to a compromise deal for $8 billion in cuts.  These cuts would end a practice in 16 states of supplementing food stamp aid to ensure that families don’t need to choose between paying for food or for heat.

Josh Eidelson in Salon has a retrospective on the most important labor stories of the year.  He highlights the fast food worker strikes, Wal-Mart’s labor issues, and the AFL-CIO quadrennial convention, each of which we have covered this year.

The Washington Post reports that unemployment is at a four-year low in 27 states.  Moreover, not a single state saw unemployment rise in November.  However, to reach pre-recession employment rates, 37 states will still need to add jobs at a rate higher than 5%.

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