Weekend News and Commentary — May 3–4

Published May 4th, 2014 -  - 05.04.141


The New York Times reports that Chinese workers are utilizing technology to increase labor organization efforts.  The Times highlights workers’ struggle for fair benefits contributions against their employer Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, the world’s largest manufacturer of branded athletic shoes.  Social media and increased organizing efforts led to “one of China’s largest strikes in recent memory, involving 40,000 workers who stayed off assembly lines for two weeks and cost Yue Yuen about $27 million in losses.”  This “mass walkout illustrates the growing might of Chinese workers amid a shrinking labor pool, a slowing economy and the Communist Party’s fears of social unrest.”

Friday’s jobs report was covered and analyzed by many news outlets this weekend: the Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece entitled “Spring Jobs Rally,” a New York Times column entitled “The Jobs Number Is Actually Four Numbers”, and a New York Times column entitled “Should You Believe the New Jobs Numbers? Depends on What You Mean by ‘Believe’”.  The New York Times also reported that “Despite Strong Jobs Report, Shares Inch Lower After Mixed Earnings.”  Further, New York Times writer David Leonhardt claimed that “It’s a Mistake to Pretend This Jobs Report Tells a Consistent Story”.

The New York Times analyzed the recent New York City Teachers’ Union agreement, stating that it contains “vestiges of policies pushed by Mr. de Blasio’s predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg.”  The new deal does incorporate many of Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to “retain experienced teachers and improve outreach to parents.”  Before going into effect, labor agreement must be approved by members of the United Federation of Teachers union as well as a city labor board.  

The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reports that law school jobs data shows a large divide between graduates of top 50 law schools and other law school graduates.  Only “about 5% of class of 2013 graduates from a top 50 school were still looking for work in February, about nine months after spring 2013 graduation,” while 14% of graduates of schools below the top 50 were still searching for a job in February.  The overall unemployment rate for all 201 ABA-approved law school graduates is 11.2%.   The Wall Street Journal also reports that the legal services sector “shed 1,200 jobs in April, the steepest one-month dip in employment numbers in five months.”

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