Today’s News & Commentary — November 4, 2016

Published November 4th, 2016 -  - 11.04.162


Nonfarm payrolls increased by 161,000 jobs in October, the Department of Labor announced today. That brings the unemployment rate from 5% to 4.9%.  Further, average hourly earnings increased by 10 cents.  The Department of Labor also revised its August and September data to reflect the addition of 44,000 new jobs.  The broad measure of unemployment including part-time workers and people who would like to work but have given up searching is now at 9.5%.  Though the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that rates would be unchanged until at least mid-December, some think that this strong November jobs report hints at the possibility of a mid-December rate increase.

The NLRB ruled yesterday that Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas violated the National Labor Relations Act when it refused to bargain with Culinary Workers Union Local 226, the Nevada union that represents more than 500 of the housekeeping, food, beverage, and guest services workers employed at the hotel.  The hotel is owned by Trump Ruffin Commercial LLC, which itself if owned by Trump’s business partner, Phillip Ruffin. The NLRB ordered that the company post notices to its employees about the violation and to bargain with the union.  The workers at Trump International Hotel voted to affiliate with Culinary Workers last December.

The New York Times reported yesterday worker frustrations at grocery chain Trader Joe’s, a company known for its “friendly employees” and “good jobs” that offer above-market pay and benefits.  Workers interviewed expressed frustration with arbitrary treatment by management, safety lapses, and “an atmosphere of surveillance.”  But above all, workers resented an alleged constant pressure to appear happy, a work condition critical to Trader Joe’s branding.  A longtime Trader Joe’s employee filed an unfair labor practices charge yesterday with the NLRB seeking redress for such pressure.

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