U.S. Health Care Is (Still) Bad and Expensive  

Last month the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released an exhaustive survey of U.S. Health Care in International Perspective, measuring the United States against sixteen peer countries (other high-income democracies) on a wide range of health outcomes. The results—summed up in …



A Bad Year for Unions  

It hasn’t been a good year for American organized labor. Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its annual estimate of union membership in the United States. The graphic below summarizes the major trends, drawing on the work of …



A Jobless Recovery?  

In recent posts I’ve suggested various ways of looking at the national job numbers. In “Unemployment Numbers: The Long View,” I used a simple “back to pre-recession jobs” threshold to compare the 2007 recession and recovery to the trajectories of all …



Unemployment Numbers: The Long View  

The December U.S. jobs report offered little to cheer about. The country counted 155,000 new non-farm jobs in the last month of 2012, a rate of growth that echoed the average monthly job gain for the last year (about 153,000). …



The Folly of “Right to Work”  

Seventy-four years ago this month, sit-down strikers in Flint, Michigan began to give organizational shape and meaning to New Deal labor law. Last week, in a lame-duck legislative tantrum, Michigan marked that anniversary by becoming the nation’s twenty-fourth “right-to-work” state. …



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The Good Jobs Deficit  

The recent job actions and “Black Friday” protests at Walmart underscored the dismal wages and working conditions of many of the nation’s retail workers. Walmart hasn’t staked out some low-wage, no-benefit margin of the labor market: its labor and compensation …



Better Pizza, Bitter Politics  

By now it’s well known that Papa John’s Pizza CEO John Schnatter is claiming—or threatening—that compliance with the Affordable Care Act would force him to reduce employee hours or raise prices. This was one of a number of post-election “job-creator” …