Today's News and Commentary – July 7
Wall Street Journal guest author John Hood writes that since North Carolina state lost its eligibility to participate in the extended-benefits program in July 2013, the state “had one of the nation’s largest improvements in labor-market performance and overall economic growth.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of payroll jobs in North Carolina rose by 1.5% in the second half of 2013, compared with a 0.8% rise for the nation as a whole. Total unemployment in the state dropped by 17%, compared with the national average drop of 12%.
The New York Times reports that despite Mayor Bill de Blasio promising to issue an executive order to expand the city’s living wage law in February, “there has been no executive order, no expansion of the living wage law and no public discussion about where things stand.” “He gave such strong language about that issue,” said Stephanie Luce, an associate professor of labor studies at the City University of New York. Luce said that she and other advocates for the living wage had been puzzled for months over the delay in the executive order.
In immigration news, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson “vowed Sunday that the Obama administration would stem the tide of unaccompanied minors from Central America who have illegally crossed the Southwest border in record numbers in recent months,” reports the L.A. Times. Although U.S. officials need to “do right by the children” who are in custody, “at the end of the day … our border is not open to illegal migration, and we will stem the tide,” Johnson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The New York Times DealBook reports that immigrants from Latin America and Africa will be “squeezed” as government regulators crack down on the financing of terrorists and drug traffickers and many big banks abandon the business of transferring money from the United States to other countries. “The government’s efforts to root out illicit activity have effectively put the banks into a law enforcement role, industry experts say. And the result is undercutting another public policy goal — helping immigrants, who are primarily low income, move into mainstream banking.”