National News

Long-term unemployed suffer shaky re-employment

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2014-07-22 01:00

Even though the economy is improving, there are still about 3 million Americans who have been out of work for six months or more. Plus, research indicates that the longer they are out, the tougher it will be for them to get back into the workforce. Making matters worse: when they do find work, it often doesn't last.

Lori Barkley Struckman knows what that's like. At the end of 2011, she lost her job as an office administrator. For the next two years, she bounced around jobs that were temporary or part-time.

"I had five different jobs. But nothing full-time," she says.

Struckman finally landed a full-time position as an office administrator at a Twin Cities law firm earlier this year. Her rocky road to recovery would not surprise researchers like Alan Krueger, a professor of economics at Princeton University and former White House chief economist.

"The long-term unemployed, when they do find work, it's often inconsistent, it's often part-time, they often find a job that doesn't last very long," says Krueger.

Krueger and fellow researchers looked at government surveys of Americans who said they'd been out of work for six months or longer at some point between 2008 and 2012. When those individuals were surveyed again more than a year later, only 36 percent had landed work. Of that group, only 11 percent had steady, full-time jobs.

Krueger says a lot of these folks end up suffering the same setbacks, and unsteady employment, as new workers.

"If you look at workers just starting out, a lot of the jobs they find don't work out, they're transitory, it's a mismatch," he says. "They don't get along with the employer or their skills aren't right for the job."

And sometimes the stress of  having been out of the workforce for a long time persists, making it hard to hold onto a new job. 

"There's a lot of spiralling of all sorts of things, trouble with the children, trouble with finances, which affects every piece of your life. Do you still have health insurance? Were you able to keep your house? All those things are so stressful; you're just treading water," says Mary White, a job counselor with a nonprofit called HIRED in St. Paul.

Lori Barkley Struckman is familiar with some of those stresses. A layoff she suffered a decade ago, well before her more recent jobless spell, coincided with her divorce. When she returned to work back then, she was easily distracted.

"You're still thinking about all the other turmoil that's going on in your life. It's hard for you to concentrate. So that is a real task to just make yourself go, 'Okay you're here to work. Give it up,'" she says.

Faced with poor job prospects or additional layoffs, many long-term unemployed give up looking for work. Krueger's collaborator, Judd Cramer, a doctoral student in economics at Princeton University, says the expiration of extended unemployment benefits has contributed to that trend.

"We've seen the rate at which the long-term unemployed have exited the labor market has risen," Cramer says. 

Kerry's Aim In Egypt: First, Get Israel And Hamas To Cease Fire

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo trying to help forge a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

» E-Mail This

Energy Concerns Complicate Potential EU Action Against Russia

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

Renee Montagne talks to Anton La Guardia, who covers the European Union for The Economist, about the possibility of deep EU sanctions against Russia at Tuesday's foreign ministers meeting.

» E-Mail This

Other Cities Poach Police From Detroit's Low-Wage Force

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

From Toledo to Houston, cities are courting Detroit cops, who are seen as battle-tested from routinely dealing with high crime rates — and fed up from years of low pay and cuts in benefits.

» E-Mail This

Some Food Companies Are Quietly Dumping GMO Ingredients

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

Many mainstream companies are creating GMO-free foods, but they're not publicizing the changes. Meanwhile, some are also fighting state initiatives that would require them to label GMOs ingredients.

» E-Mail This

Violence Flares In Libya, Leaving Main Airport In Ruins

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

Militias in Libya spent the past week battling for control of the main airport in Tripoli, leaving much of it in ruins and dozens dead. Steve Inskeep gets the latest from The Guardian's Chris Stephen.

» E-Mail This

Despite Growing Anger, EU Nations May Balk At Russian Sanctions

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

Foreign ministers meeting Tuesday in Brussels are threatening deep sanctions against Russia over the Malaysia Airlines crash. But some nations might hesitate because of their economic ties to Russia.

» E-Mail This

Rubio: U.S. Cannot Admit All Children Seeking Asylum

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tells NPR the nation can't "absorb" all migrants fleeing violence and must secure its own border first. He dismissed potential 2016 rival Hillary Clinton as old news.

» E-Mail This

Before Snowden: The Whistleblowers Who Tried To Lift The Veil

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

Unless you have documents, nobody listens. It's a bitter lesson learned by former NSA officials who tried to work within the system to expose what they considered unconstitutional programs.

» E-Mail This

Ebola Is A Deadly Virus — But Doctors Say It Can Be Beaten

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

There is no cure for Ebola. But doctors are able to treat the virus successfully, raising hope that the outbreak that began in West Africa in March will eventually be brought under control.

» E-Mail This

Teens Say Looks Can Be Liberating Despite Fashion Police

NPR News - Tue, 2014-07-22 00:44

An NPR poll finds that stressed-out American adults commonly feel that their appearance contributes to their anxiety. But how do teens experience stress over their appearance?

» E-Mail This

North Korea Is Not Pleased: Dance Video Features Kim Jong Un

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-21 17:04

Citing a threat to the leader's dignity, North Korea reportedly asks China to block a video that inserts Kim Jong Un's image into bizarre situations, all set to a bouncy dance track.

» E-Mail This

Net Neutrality, Shall I Compare Thee To A Highway? A Showerhead?

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-21 14:31

Net neutrality can be an issue that's difficult to understand and difficult to explain, so the metaphor that's used to describe it is kind of important. See what neutrality is being compared to.

» E-Mail This

Sandwich Monday: The Menage A Trois

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-21 14:01

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try the Menage A Trois sandwich from Ike's Place in San Francisco. It features chicken with three sauces and three cheeses.

» E-Mail This

Hospital Settles Lawsuit By Thousands Of Women Over Exam Photos

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-21 13:51

The Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that includes more than 7,000 women.

» E-Mail This

Breaking down the fees and taxes in a plane ticket

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-21 13:29

The Transportation Security Administration is increasing the fees it assesses travelers to $5.60 per leg of your flight.

What's that mean? If a layover is more than four hours, then the TSA considers that to be two trips and assesses the fee again.  So, that could mean about $22 extra on your layover flight. That made us wonder what are we paying for air travel these days.... besides the actual airfare, that is.

Let’s say you’ve got a $500 round trip ticket from New York City to Los Angeles with a long layover in each direction, here's what you'll be paying.

(Numbers courtesy of Airlines for America.)

Fare: $500

TSA 9/11 Fee: $5.6 per segment x 4 = $22.40 

Federal Aviation Excise Tax: 7.5% = $37.50

Flight Segment Tax: $4 per segment x 4 = $16.00

Airport passenger facilty charge: $4.50 per segment x 4 = $18.00

Effective Tax Rate: 18%.  This can vary depending on how many layovers and how expensive your fare is.  If this example fare were for a direct flight, for example, it would be taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent. 

Flying international? International flights have a whole additional set of fees depending on the country and the airport, and these fees can range into the hundreds of dollars. 

And let us not forget the fees for some kind of basic rudimentary comfort, says airline analyst Robert Mann, Jr:

Want to pick your own seat? $0 to $25

What about a seat with legroom? $25 up to hundreds of dollars

Check a bag? $0 to $80

Oh, you want to carry on that bag? $0 to $100

Hungry?  How does $5 for a snack and $15 for a sandwich sound?

The TSA has said historically, it spends significantly more money on aviation safety than it receives from airlines or passengers.  However, the revenues raised from government fees and excise taxes do not directly go to their supposed purpose, says George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchDog.com.

“A lot of the money actually ends up in the general fund to reduce the deficit and never sees its way as was intended to improve air travel.”

Breaking down the fees and taxes in a plane ticket

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-21 13:29

The Transportation Security Administration is increasing the fees it assesses travelers to $5.60 per leg of your flight.

What's that mean? If a layover is more than four hours, then the TSA considers that to be two trips and assesses the fee again.  So, that could mean about $22 extra on your layover flight. That made us wonder what are we paying for air travel these days.... besides the actual airfare, that is.

Let’s say you’ve got a $500 round trip ticket from New York City to Los Angeles with a long layover in each direction, here's what you'll be paying.

(Numbers courtesy of Airlines for America.)

Fare: $500

TSA 9/11 Fee: $5.6 per segment x 4 = $22.40 

Federal Aviation Excise Tax: 7.5% = $37.50

Flight Segment Tax: $4 per segment x 4 = $16.00

Airport passenger facilty charge: $4.50 per segment x 4 = $18.00

Effective Tax Rate: 18%.  This can vary depending on how many layovers and how expensive your fare is.  If this example fare were for a direct flight, for example, it would be taxed at an effective rate of 9 percent. 

Flying international? International flights have a whole additional set of fees depending on the country and the airport, and these fees can range into the hundreds of dollars. 

And let us not forget the fees for some kind of basic rudimentary comfort, says airline analyst Robert Mann, Jr:

Want to pick your own seat? $0 to $25

What about a seat with legroom? $25 up to hundreds of dollars

Check a bag? $0 to $80

Oh, you want to carry on that bag? $0 to $100

Hungry?  How does $5 for a snack and $15 for a sandwich sound?

The TSA has said historically, it spends significantly more money on aviation safety than it receives from airlines or passengers.  However, the revenues raised from government fees and excise taxes do not directly go to their supposed purpose, says George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchDog.com.

“A lot of the money actually ends up in the general fund to reduce the deficit and never sees its way as was intended to improve air travel.”

Orange really is the new black (and white)

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-21 13:29

The quarterly earnings report from Netflix came out this afternoon and Netflix did just fine, making just about as much money as everybody expected.

But that's not really the point. The biggest takeaway?

Netflix's comedy-drama series "Orange Is The New Black" was the most watched show on Neflix So many people watched world-wide, the orange jumpsuits in the series have apparently become chic enough to irritate the sheriff in Saginaw County, Michigan.

"You see people wearing all-orange jumpsuits at the mall," he said.

The local sheriff has become so fed up that he's started ordering the old-style black and white striped uniforms for his inmates.

Europeans weigh economic sanctions against Russia

Marketplace - American Public Media - Mon, 2014-07-21 13:29

Tensions between Russia and the West over the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane may have receded slightly Monday. But President Vladimir Putin is still facing a fresh wave of economic sanctions. Tuesday, European Foreign Ministers meet to consider tough new action to pressure the Russians into helping end the fighting in eastern Ukraine. These would follow last week’s additional U.S. measures.

The Europeans have bickered for months over stepping up sanctions against the Kremlin. Countries like Britain want to hit the Russians hard, but the Germans and Italians – who are heavily dependent on Russian energy – are afraid of antagonizing President Putin. The French are in the process of supplying two warships to Moscow and don't want to rock the boat.

However, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Phillip Hammond, says the downing of flight MH17 changes everything, uniting the Europeans.

“What we need to do now is use the sense of shock, the sense of outrage to galvanize opinion behind a more robust stance. We have tools in our tool box,” says Hammond.

The UK wants to follow the U.S.'s example and slap Putin’s inner circle of oligarchs with visa bans and asset freezes, even though that could harm London’s financial sector. Nina Shick of the Open Europe think tank says Europeans could also use their leverage as Russia’s biggest trading partner.

“They could target European exports to Russia, which Russia is dependent on," she says. “We’re talking about things like machinery and medicine. These are things that Russia depends on, things that Russia won’t be able to source easily from other places."

Russia could retaliate by turning off the oil and natural gas that supplies 30 percent of Europe’s energy needs. But that would spark an all out economic conflict which – some analysts claim – Europe would win.

“Any economic war would be compounded five-fold on Russia compared to that of the EU. If it were to genuinely get serious, then the effects on Russia would be such that I think President Putin is actually a very worried man right now,” says James Nixey of the Chatham House Institute.

But as they prepare for their meeting on Tuesday, some European foreign ministers are also very worried. They feel they have to punish Putin but without driving up their own energy costs and tipping their fragile economies back into recession.

What The Odds Fail To Capture When A Health Crisis Hits

NPR News - Mon, 2014-07-21 13:05

Making health decisions based on the odds can be an extremely difficult thing to do when you're a patient, even for people who study the science of how we make decisions.

» E-Mail This

ON THE AIR

KBBI is Powered by Active Listeners like You

As we celebrate 35 years of broadcasting, we look ahead to technology improvements and the changing landscape of public radio.

Support the voices, music, information, and ideas that add so much to your life.Thank you for supporting your local public radio station.

FOLLOW US

Drupal theme by pixeljets.com ver.1.4