WBEZ | Jobs http://www.wbez.org/tags/jobs Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Rauner, Quinn battle for African-American votes http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-quinn-battle-african-american-votes-110940 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/AP911111007939.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr" id="docs-internal-guid-6f97a6f2-1582-0782-483a-897455cafe20">As the clock ticks down to election night, Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican challenger Bruce Rauner continue to battle over what&rsquo;s best for Illinois&rsquo; future. The top candidates have now faced off in two televised debates.</p><p>The focus of Tuesday&rsquo;s debate, three weeks ahead of the election, was mostly African-American voters, and issues they&rsquo;ll be thinking about in the polling booth. The panel of journalists posing questions to the candidates focused on jobs, the economy, the minimum wage, public safety and the state&rsquo;s finances.</p><p>And it was obvious by their responses that both candidates on stage at the DuSable Museum of African American History realized the importance of getting those votes.</p><p>&ldquo;My investments and my donations to the African-American community have totaled tens of millions of dollars,&rdquo; Rauner said, when asked about his recent <a href="http://abc7chicago.com/politics/rauner-promises-$1m-to-south-side-credit-union-/231631/">million dollar donation</a> to a South Side credit union.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;ve opened up the doors to many more contracts&mdash;I think it&rsquo;s up to a thousand contracts&mdash;for African-American owned businesses,&rdquo; Quinn said, to a question about government hiring.</p><p>The two also wasted no time trying to cut their opponent down to size&mdash;a recurring theme in both televised debates and on the campaign trail. Quinn accused Rauner of not hiring any African Americans in his company.</p><p>&ldquo;My opponent had 51 executives in his company, no African Americans, not one,&rdquo; Quinn said.</p><p>Rauner shot back that Quinn was &ldquo;taking the African-American vote for granted. He&rsquo;s talking but not delivering results.&rdquo;</p><p>Rauner also accused Quinn of kicking Stephanie Neely, Chicago&rsquo;s city treasurer who is black, off the list of running mates. Neely was rumored to be on the short list of Quinn&rsquo;s choices for lieutenant governor. Quinn later countered that his choice of Paul Vallas was due to Vallas&rsquo; experience with schools and budgeting.</p><p>&ldquo;African-American families are suffering in Illinois: brutally high unemployment, deteriorating schools, lack of proper social services and rampant cronyism and corruption that&rsquo;s taking away job opportunities from African Americans,&rdquo; Rauner said.</p><p>The candidates spent a lot of time in this debate talking about public safety and gun control. Rauner wouldn&rsquo;t say if he supported a ban on assault weapons. He said he believed the conversation about gun control should instead be on getting guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill, and creating jobs. Rauner said it was the lack of opportunity that has lead to the state&rsquo;s issue with crime.</p><p>Quinn came out in support of banning assault weapons and called for a limit on high capacity ammunition magazines.</p><p>The ongoing conversation about the minimum wage also surfaced in this debate. Rauner was pressed by the panel to explain his position, as there has been much back and forth about whether he wants to <a href="http://politics.suntimes.com/article/springfield/rauner-admits-he-once-favored-eliminating-minimum-wage/thu-09042014-113am" target="_blank">ditch</a> the minimum wage all together, or raise it.</p><p>Rauner reiterated he wanted to see a national hike to the minimum wage, so Illinois could remain competitive, but he would support raising Illinois&rsquo; minimum wage (currently at $8.25) if it came with &ldquo;tort reform, tax reduction [and] workers comp reform.&rdquo;</p><p>Quinn said he&rsquo;d work to raise the minimum wage to $10 by the end of this year, though he faced questions from both Rauner and the debate panel about why he hadn&rsquo;t boosted it in his six years in office. Quinn responded that &ldquo;you have to build a majority for anything in life&rdquo; and brought up President Barack Obama&rsquo;s tactics with passing the Affordable Care Act as an example.</p><p>The end of the debate featured a special opportunity for the candidates: Rauner and Quinn were able to ask one question of their opponent. You can listen to that exchange here:</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="20" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/172278238&amp;color=ff5500&amp;inverse=false&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_user=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>The candidates are scheduled to face off in at least one more debate before the election on November 4.</p><p><em>Lauren Chooljian is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">@laurenchooljian.</a></em></p></p> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:28:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-quinn-battle-african-american-votes-110940 Left out of economic recovery, workers go underground http://www.wbez.org/news/left-out-economic-recovery-workers-go-underground-110399 <p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Santana%20CROP.jpg" style="height: 377px; width: 300px; float: right; margin-top: 4px; margin-bottom: 4px;" title="‘I barely make ends meet. Why should I pay taxes?’ a Chicago ice-cream vendor asks. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)" />Santana does not want to be part of Chicago&rsquo;s underground economy but says he has struck out everywhere else.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve tried getting a formal job at Menard&rsquo;s, Home Depot, Target, Walmart &mdash; all these big corporations, which usually do hire a lot of ethnicity people,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I have not been called back for an interview.&rdquo;</p><p>So Santana &mdash; who, like other workers in this story, spoke on condition we not publish his full name &mdash; spends most days pushing an ice-cream cart in Little Village, a Mexican-American neighborhood.</p><p>Santana does not earn much. &ldquo;On a decent day, maybe about $90,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>And he comes from a low-income family. &ldquo;I actually have to claim homelessness to get funds from the government such as a Link card,&rdquo; he said, referring to Illinois&rsquo;s food-stamp program. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been paying rent at my mom&rsquo;s since I was 16.&rdquo;</p><p>So Santana says he has good reason to skip paying taxes on his income.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s all off the books,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>Five years since the Great Recession, the U.S. economy has grown but a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/left-out-economic-recovery-workers-go-underground-110399#charts" target="_self">key labor-market gauge</a> shows little evidence of the recovery. As of May, more than 41 percent of the working-age population lacked employment, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on civilian, noninstitutionalized individuals. The most recent figure for Chicago, from 2012, is almost 44 percent.<br /><br />Many of the jobless folks are, like Santana, finding other ways to earn money. And there is reason to believe this shadow economy is expanding.<br /><br /><br /><span style="font-size:22px;">Down but not out</span><br /><br />It is hard to know how many jobless individuals have resorted to working off the books. Few economists will even hazard a guess.<br /><br />But Edgar Feige, a professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, estimates that income not reported to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service is as high as $2 trillion a year &mdash; equivalent to roughly 20 percent of the nation&rsquo;s total adjusted gross income. Feige said that number is &ldquo;approaching the levels that we observed during the Great Depression.&rdquo;</p><p>He means the one in the 1930s.<br /><br />Nowadays a business may look legitimate from the street while most of its staff works off the books.</p><p>&ldquo;I get paid $8 an hour to basically just clean this restaurant,&rdquo; a 25-year-old man said as he hosed off a grill in back of a South Side jerk chicken joint. &ldquo;No one here ever gets a check or pay stub. It&rsquo;s all paid in cash.&rdquo;<br /><br />What is driving people to take these shady jobs? Many of the workers say formal employment is beyond their reach. The labor market is particularly tough for young workers, African Americans, people with a criminal record, immigrants in the country illegally and high-school dropouts.<br /><br />And it can be tough even with a college degree. &ldquo;I have a bachelor&rsquo;s in information technology and I&rsquo;d like to be a Web developer,&rdquo; said a man I&rsquo;ll call Jonathan, a 27-year-old in Flossmoor, a suburb south of Chicago.<br /><br />Jonathan says he came up with nothing in searches for an internship or apprenticeship &mdash; anything that would put food on the table while he developed his skills. So he works on cars.</p><p>&ldquo;I go to the junkyard and I pick out an engine,&rdquo; he said. In his mom&rsquo;s garage, he installs those engines in cars he finds on Craigslist. Then he sells the cars.<br /><br />And the title on those vehicles?</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t even transfer the title into my name first,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I actually just pass it straight on to the person that&rsquo;s buying because I&rsquo;ve reached my limit as far as how many cars I can sell.&rdquo;<br /><br />Jonathan admits he is paying no income tax on this work. &ldquo;The choice is, Do I pay my water bill or do I pay my taxes?&rdquo; he said.<br />&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Everyone affected</span><br /><br />If you think Chicago&rsquo;s underground economy operates only in low-income neighborhoods, you are wrong.<br /><br />&ldquo;I live on the North Side of Chicago,&rdquo; said a 45-year-old woman I&rsquo;ll call Jennifer. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m a presentation designer and writer. I&rsquo;ve had no full-time employment since 2008.&rdquo;<br /><br />Jennifer does get freelance gigs in her field. &ldquo;But that&rsquo;s infrequent,&rdquo; she said.<br /><br />So she resorts to other paid work, much of it off-the-books. It includes dog walking, cat sitting and handing out swag at trade shows and street festivals. &ldquo;Then I figure out what things probably won&rsquo;t go noticed if I don&rsquo;t claim them,&rdquo; Jennifer said.<br /><br />She&rsquo;s not talking about hiding income from the IRS but from the Illinois Department of Employment Security. She doesn&rsquo;t want officials there to dock her unemployment checks.<br /><br />Jennifer says her options are few. &ldquo;Right now, I don&rsquo;t have electricity,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;My electricity was turned off five weeks ago. And I guess I owe ComEd $500 and I have no idea how I&rsquo;m going to get that $500.&rdquo;<br /><br />Even if people report all their income and pay taxes on it, they might still have close ties to the shadow economy. Maybe they have a nanny and do not report her pay to the IRS.</p><p>Or maybe the taxpayers shop at a big-box store. The prices might be great, but that could owe partly to shady contractors that clean the place at night. Those contractors might bring in janitors working off-the-books.<br /><br /><br /><span style="font-size:22px;">Drawbacks</span><br /><br />&ldquo;You can think of these underground economies as actually being a buffer that helps families get through difficult times,&rdquo; said Feige, the economist, pointing out that people making money off-the-books also spend it. &ldquo;It contributes to economic growth in the official economy as well.&rdquo;<br /><br />The informal economy does have its downsides. It does not generate many tax dollars to fund the job training or social services that some workers might need. The workers may also lack benefits and protections such as unemployment compensation and a minimum wage.<br /><br />&ldquo;A young person will have fewer and fewer contacts to the outside regional economy,&rdquo; said Steven Pitts, a labor economist at the University of California, Berkeley. &ldquo;They&rsquo;ll have a résumé that&rsquo;s undeveloped for use in that economy. So you may get a reproduction of poverty because of that.&rdquo;<br /><br />There are other risks, especially when the work is further outside the law, such as drug dealing.<br /><br />On Chicago&rsquo;s West Side, a 23-year-old who calls herself Ebony faces workplace hazards every day. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m a prostitute,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I work the streets.&rdquo;<br /><br />Ebony, a Chicago Public Schools graduate, says she does not enjoy her trade but considers it her best option. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve applied for McDonald&rsquo;s, Walmart, White Castle,&rdquo; she said.<br /><br />Employers have all passed on her &ldquo;because I don&rsquo;t have a work history,&rdquo; she said. Or at least not a formal work history.<br /><br />Ebony says she has been earning a living since she was 16.</p><p>&ldquo;I stand and wait for guys to pick me up,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;You get in a car. They ask you, &lsquo;How much is this?&rsquo; and &lsquo;How much is that?&rsquo; You give them a price. They give you the money. You either do it in the car, you rent rooms from people, or you go to a hotel.&rdquo;<br /><br /><br /><span style="font-size:22px;">Desperate measures</span></p><p>That brings us back to Santana, the young man who pushes the ice-cream cart. Even without paying taxes, he says he is not making enough money. And he could be heading down the same road as Ebony.<br /><br />&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve actually even considered being a sugar baby,&rdquo; Santana said, describing that as spending time with an older woman and providing her all sorts of services. &ldquo;She&rsquo;d be a cougar. I&rsquo;d be a cub. She&rsquo;d basically pay for my bills and stuff like that.&rdquo;<br /><br />To become a sugar baby &mdash; to find his sugar mama &mdash; Santana says he might have to become a stripper.</p><p>With that in mind, he says, he has been lifting weights. He has the shoulders and arms to prove it. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m never going to look this good again in my life,&rdquo; he said.</p><p>In Chicago&rsquo;s underground economy, Santana figures his body might be the best thing he&rsquo;s got.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><span style="font-size:22px;">Employment-population ratio<a name="charts"></a></span></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chart%201.PNG" style="height: 370px; width: 500px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chart%202.PNG" style="height: 390px; width: 500px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chart%203.PNG" style="height: 478px; width: 500px;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chart%204.PNG" style="height: 426px; width: 500px;" title="" /></div></div></div></div></div></div><p><em><strong>SOURCE:</strong> U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. <strong>NOTES: </strong>The employment-population ratio is the proportion of the U.S. working-age population (ages 16 and over) that is employed, either full- or part-time. That population includes everyone except members of the military and institutionalized persons. A 2013 figure for the city of Chicago is not yet available. Annual figures are averages of monthly figures. <strong>REPORTER:</strong>&nbsp;</em><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/cmitchell-0">Chip Mitchell</a> is WBEZ&rsquo;s West Side bureau reporter. Follow him on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/ChipMitchell1">@ChipMitchell1</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZoutloud">@WBEZoutloud</a>, and connect with him through <a href="https://www.facebook.com/chipmitchell1">Facebook</a>, <a href="https://plus.google.com/111079509307132701769" rel="me">Google+</a> and <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/ChipMitchell1">LinkedIn</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 14:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/left-out-economic-recovery-workers-go-underground-110399 Morning Shift: Teens struggle to find jobs in tough economy http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-30/morning-shift-teens-struggle-find-jobs-tough-economy <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Teen Jobs - Flickr-iwearyourshirt.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Chicago Sky have made made it to the playoffs for the first time in eight years. What does Cheryl Raye-Stout think about their chances? And we talk about how many teen jobs have been hijacked by unemployed adults.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-55/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-55.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-55" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Teens struggle to find jobs in tough economy " on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 30 Aug 2013 08:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-30/morning-shift-teens-struggle-find-jobs-tough-economy Advocates say giving ex-felons jobs could curb violence http://www.wbez.org/news/advocates-say-giving-ex-felons-jobs-could-curb-violence-108292 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Ex-felons_130805_AYC.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Advocates said new legislation that helps ex-felons find jobs could also curb violence.</p><p>Illinois Governor Pat Quinn on Saturday signed laws that could result in lesser sentences for nonviolent offenders, streamline the expungement process and, in some cases, could clear a defendant&rsquo;s record.</p><p>Anthony Lowery is the director for policy and advocacy at Safer Foundation, a local prisoner reentry program. He said ex-offenders often come home to high crime areas.</p><p>&ldquo;They have the majority of people who have arrest and conviction records and who can&rsquo;t get employment,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;So, young people don&rsquo;t see people coming out of the house going to work. They see people coming out of those houses standing on the corners.&rdquo;</p><p>Without job opportunities, &ldquo;they&rsquo;re in a hopeless situation,&rdquo; Lowery said.</p><p>Another law increased the tax credit incentive given to employers who hire ex-offenders.</p><p>Employers could earn up to $1,500 in income tax credit for each ex-felon they hire within three years after being released from prison. They can benefit from the credit for up to five years.</p><p><em>Aimee Chen is a WBEZ business reporting intern. Follow her at <a href="http://www.twitter.com/AimeeYuyiChen">@AimeeYuyiChen</a></em></p></p> Mon, 05 Aug 2013 16:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/advocates-say-giving-ex-felons-jobs-could-curb-violence-108292 Morning Shift: Photos, vets and violence http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-10/morning-shift-photos-vets-and-violence-108009 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Guns-Flickr- tdub303.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Hiring Our Heroes works to get Vets back into the job force. Senior Director Ross Cohen explains challenges vets face with employment. Also, photographer Richard Renaldi&#39;s new project &quot;Touching Strangers&quot; explores our connection to each other.</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-23.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-23" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Photos, vets and violence" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 08:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-07-10/morning-shift-photos-vets-and-violence-108009 Jobs, Education and the Economy: The Elmhurst College Governmental Forum http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/jobs-education-and-economy-elmhurst-college-governmental-forum-105593 <p><p>On January 30, days after President Barack Obama begins his second term, four of the region&rsquo;s foremost corporate leaders discussed the economic landscape and how our workforce can succeed in it, during the Sixth Annual Elmhurst College Governmental Forum.<br /><br />The topic of this year&rsquo;s Forum was &quot;Jobs, Education and the Economy.&quot; Moderating the event was&nbsp;<strong>John Engler</strong>, a former three-term governor of Michigan and, as president of the Business Roundtable, leader of the foremost CEO association in the country. The key presenters at the Forum were Caterpillar Inc. chairman and CEO <strong>Douglas R. Oberhelman</strong>, Johnson Publishing CEO <strong>Desiree Rogers</strong>; and TMX Group CEO <strong>Thomas A. Kloet</strong>, who also serves on the Elmhurst College Board of Trustees.</p><p><strong>Part One</strong></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F79834927" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><strong>Part Two</strong></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F79836320" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/EC-webstory_12.jpg" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image ">Recorded Thursday, January 30, 2013 at Elmhurst College.</div><p><br />&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 30 Jan 2013 15:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/jobs-education-and-economy-elmhurst-college-governmental-forum-105593 U.S. employers add 80,000 jobs as economy struggles http://www.wbez.org/news/us-employers-add-80000-jobs-economy-struggles-100686 <p><p>U.S. employers added only 80,000 jobs in June, a third straight month of weak hiring that shows the economy is still struggling three years after the recession ended.</p><div><p>The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.</p><p>The economy added an average of just 75,000 jobs a month in the April-June quarter &mdash; one-third of the pace in the first quarter.</p><p>For the first six months of 2012, employers added an average of 150,000 jobs a month. That&#39;s fewer than the 161,000 average for the first half of 2011.</p><p>Weaker job creation has caused consumers to pull back on spending.</p><p>Europe&#39;s debt crisis is also weighing on U.S. exports. And the scheduled expiration of tax cuts at year&#39;s end has increased uncertainty for U.S. companies, making many hesitant to hire.</p><p>Job creation is the fuel for the nation&#39;s economic growth. When more people have jobs, more consumers have money to spend &mdash; and consumer spending drives about 70 of the economy.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 06 Jul 2012 10:08:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/us-employers-add-80000-jobs-economy-struggles-100686 Live call-in: From school to work, the low-literacy problem http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/live-call-school-work-low-literacy-problem-100098 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/flickr_garryknight.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Thursday on the <em>Afternoon Shift</em>, host Steve Edwards will talk with experts about our continuing literacy problem. We&rsquo;ll discuss why it happens and who&rsquo;s trying to fix it.</p><p>Our panel will include Betsy Rubin, an Adult &amp; Family Literacy Specialist at <a href="http://www.litworks.org/" target="_blank">Literacy Works</a> in Chicago. Rubin has over 30 years experience in adult basic education, English as a Second Language and family literacy programming. She is the author and editor of several adult education textbooks.</p><p><a href="http://www.erikson.edu/default/faculty/faclistings/jane_fleming.aspx">Jane Fleming</a> started teaching as a middle school math teacher 23 years ago in Washington, D.C.&nbsp; She discovered that many of her students struggled with math because they couldn&#39;t read well, so she went back to school and became a reading specialist. Now an associate professor at the Erikson Institute, most of Fleming&#39;s work focuses on accelerating literacy learning for children in urban public schools.</p><p>Gloria Mwase will also join the conversation. Mwase is the program director for <a href="http://www.jff.org" target="_blank">Jobs for our Future</a>, where her work centers on helping low-skilled adults across the nation improve their skills and increase their opportunities for secure employment.</p><p>We also want to hear from you during the show.</p><p>Tell us why you think we still have a problem of low-literacy. What role does technology play?</p><p>How does it affect you? In the store or on the phone with customer service? Working alongside others? And who&rsquo;s responsible for fixing the problem? Parents? Teachers? Employers? Society?</p><p>We&#39;ll be on-air today talking about these issues. Join us at 312-923-9239 starting at 2 p.m. Central.</p></p> Thu, 14 Jun 2012 09:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/front-center/live-call-school-work-low-literacy-problem-100098 Young, educated and unemployed http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/young-educated-and-unemployed-98378 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP080731028512.jpg" style="height: 458px; width: 620px;" title="What kind of future can we envision for America with 54% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 unemployed? (AP/Paul Sakuma)"></div><p>On Friday April 6 the government announced that the unemployment rate had edged down to 8.2% from 8.3%, its lowest rate in three years. Although the percentage of unemployed workers keeps inching downward, a good thing in and of itself, the reality is that more than 12.9 million individuals still don’t have a job.</p><p>This pool of unemployed contains a statistical subset that I find quite alarming: According to the Department of Labor and the <em>Wall Street Journal</em>, more than 4.8 million young people with a college degree (or some college experience) are unemployed. And, according to <em>Time </em>Magazine, 54% of all Americans between the ages of 18 to 24 are unemployed.</p><p>Unfortunately, this trend of unemployed youth is not unique to America. Today’s distressed global economy is having an international impact on recent college graduates looking to enter the workforce for the first time. In Spain, more than half of all young people are out of work. In Greece, youth unemployment also exceeds 50%. In Italy, a college degree, without connections or helpful relatives, is no guarantee that a full-time job will be available, even if one possesses an advanced degree in law or business. And, recently, many commentators have pointed out that the phenomenon of the “Arab Spring” was, in part, sparked by young people’s rage and anger over the lack of job opportunities.</p><p>Lack of work, lack of prospects and lack of overall progress in the global economy is making the youth of the world angry and anxious. And, the reality is, when unemployment persists, people become desperate and despondent, perhaps even dangerous to themselves and others.</p><p>In America, work has always been seen as a promise, a sacred contract, a passport to the achievement of a good life. As a people, we have long believed that if you worked hard and played by the rules you would be rewarded. But when we cannot offer the youth of America and the world the promise of work, then, I think, we are all in danger, both politically and economically.</p></p> Thu, 19 Apr 2012 12:00:57 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/young-educated-and-unemployed-98378 Is college worth the cost? http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-01/college-worth-cost-96602 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-February/2012-02-21/Grad Caps_John Walker.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With tuition hikes, compounding student loans, and scarce entry-level jobs, an increasing concern for high school graduates is whether college is worth the cost. &nbsp;</p><p>The value of college, however, runs deeper than potential post-graduation employment. Colleges and universities were designed for more than job training programs: They were designed to produce educated and informed citizens:</p><p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/e3CASM5ofpc" width="560" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p><em>Al Gini is a professor of business ethics and chair of the department of management at Loyola University Chicago. He is also the co-founder and associate editor of</em>&nbsp;Business Ethics Quarterly,&nbsp;<em>and the author of several books, including</em>&nbsp;My Job, My Self&nbsp;and&nbsp;Seeking the Truth of Things: Confessions of a (catholic) Philosopher.</p></p> Thu, 01 Mar 2012 12:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-01/college-worth-cost-96602