News & Commentary

July 9, 2017

According to the June jobs report released on Friday, the labor participation rate increased slightly from 62.7% in May to 62.8% in June.  The labor participation rate, or the share of American civilians over the age of 16 who are working or looking for a job, has declined steadily since 2008.  An August 2015 analysis by the President’s Council of Economic Advisers suggests that about half of the drop comes from structural, demographic factors, like aging baby boomers dropping out of the work force.  Last week, economists from Goldman Sachs weighed in that the opioid crisis may be limiting the labor participation rate as well.  Use of both legal prescription pain relievers and illegal drugs may be limiting individuals’ participation, as employers surveyed noted that many applicants could not pass drug tests.  Bloomberg reports.

The increase of 220,000 jobs in June was partly driven by the increase in consumer online shopping.  Parcel carriers and delivery firms added 4,200 jobs last month, ramping up hiring for the third month in a row.  Online retail sales are expected to reach $436 billion in 2017, up about 10% from 2016.  TheWall Street Journal reports.

Lambda Legal announced Thursday that they would be appealing the case of Jameka Evans, a hospital security guard who alleges that she was forced out of her job because of her sexual orientation.  As previously reported on the blog, the 11th Circuit decision in Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital conflicted with the 7th Circuit’s decision in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, which found that Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination did include discrimination based on sexual orientation. CNN reports.

The Senate Labor Committee has set confirmation hearings for Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel for the National Labor Relations Board for July 13.  Business groups have expressed concern about lingering vacancies on the 5 member board.  The Wall Street Journal reports.




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