Local News

Unemployment Drops in Most of Kentucky

The unemployment rate has dropped in Louisville, and in most of Kentucky.

The most recent numbers from the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training show unemployment at 8.1 percent in Jefferson County, meaning about 30 thousand residents are without jobs.

That’s an improvement over last month and last year. The numbers are not seasonally-adjusted, and can’t accurately be compared to the 8.3 percent state unemployment rate or the 8.1 percent national unemployment rate.

Overall, 110 counties in Kentucky saw unemployment drop last month. The lowest rate was 5.1 percent in Woodford County, though Fayette, Oldham, Shelby and Hancock counties all have rates of six percent or less. The highest unemployment rate, 20.5 percent, was in Fulton County.

Here and Now Uncategorized

Birth Control Debate in Senate; Why Long-Term Unemployment Is At Record Levels; Foreign Language Study in JCPS: Today on Here and Now

1:06pm: Access to contraception was debated in the Senate Thursday, and Senators voted down a measure that would have let insurance plans and employers, not just at religious institutions, refuse to cover health services that violate their religious beliefs or morals. The measure was sponsored by Republicans Roy Blunt of Missouri and Marco Rubio of Florida. It would have let insurance plans and employers refuse to cover health services that violate their religious beliefs or morals. We’ll talk about the political repercussions.

1:12pm: Why can’t people who have been unemployed for more than six months find jobs? Analysts say the number of people who have been long term unemployed hasn’t been this high since the Great Depression. Those on the political right might say it’s because they’ve become dependent on unemployment benefits, and those on the left might say it’s because their skills are outdated and they need training. According to some new research, it’s neither. Heidi Shierholz, economist at the Economic Policy Institute says the reason is simpler: there are just no jobs.

1:35pm: When they’re at home, many Jefferson County Public Schools students speak a language other than English—more than 100 different languages across the city. But the school district only teaches six, and one of them is Latin. Kentucky has made small gains to encourage students to study foreign languages, but much of that the work has been overshadowed by changing assessment standards for other subjects. WFPL’s Devin Katayama has more on the present and future of foreign language study in Kentucky.

Local News

Jobless Rate Falls in Most Kentucky Counties

The unemployment rate dropped in most of Kentucky between September and October.

The Office of Employment and Training shows lower jobless rates in 99 counties and higher rates in 20 counties.

Jefferson was among those with a lower rate. Unemployment dropped from 10.4 percent in September to 9.5 percent in October.

The lowest unemployment rate was in Woodford County at 6.4 percent. Fayette, Oldham and Owen counties were close behind with rates around 7 percent.

The highest unemployment rates were around 15 percent in Jackson, Fulton and Meade counties.

Indiana’s unemployment rate rose in October for the 5th straight month, hitting 9 percent. The national unemployment rate is 9 percent.

Local News

Jobless Rates Improve in 60 Percent of Kentucky Counties

September employment numbers improved in 72 Kentucky counties.

The good news is tempered by the fact that Kentucky’s overall employment rate is still nearly 10 percent. Unemployment increased in 43 counties and stayed the same in five.

The state’s lowest jobless rate is in Woodford County at 7.2 percent. Unemployment in Fulton County is the state’s highest; more than 17 percent of the county’s workforce is unemployed. Louisville’s unemployment rate is 10.3 percent, up from 10.1 percent.

Here and Now

Jobs Bill Faces Defeat in Senate, Tech Companies Find Workers Overseas, Attorney General Candidate Todd P’Pool: Today on Here and Now

Democrats are trying to snatch victory from the jaws of almost certain defeat today, as the Senate is poised vote down the President’s $447 billion jobs bill. As that curtain falls, Democrats are scrambling to save parts of the plan, including a payroll tax holiday, with smaller bills more likely to make it through Congress. The President, meanwhile, is meeting with his Jobs Council, the group of executives who have been advising him on the economy, as they make their recommendations today. We’ll speak with Binyamin Appelbaum, Washington Correspondent for The New York Times.

Last week, we spoke about how many high tech companies are unable to find qualified workers — especially engineers. Mo Koyfman, a venture capitalist, told us that the firms he works with want to hire Americans but they need to go overseas to find workers with the qualifications they require. Listeners weighed in. Michael Royce has worked as a programmer and IT manager in the past. Now he’s a school custodian. He says employers don’t hire him because he’s too expensive and foreign workers cost less. We’ll also speak with Ron Hira, associate professor of public policy, Rochester Institute of Technology, who says statistics that show that America isn’t producing enough engineers are just plain wrong.

And at 1:30 this afternoon, we’ll spend a half hour talking with the Republican candidate for Attorney General, Todd P’Pool. He’ll talk about the issues in the campaign and take your questions and comments. Join us at 502-814-8255.

Here and Now

Christie Speculation Heats Up, Tech Jobs Grow, Wiki-Leaks Names Names: Today on Here and Now

Now that Florida has decided to move up its GOP presidential primary, the thinking is that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will have to decide this week whether to throw his hat into the ring for the White House. While campaign watchers wait to hear from him, the other Republican candidates are keeping an eye on Mitt Romney, whose campaign says he took in between $11 million and $13 million in the last fundraising quarter, and also how Rick Perry beat back a story on leasing a ranch with a racially offensive name. We’ll have more from Holly Bailey, senior political reporter for Yahoo! News.

With the unemployment rate stuck at 9.1% since April, job seekers are spending months, if not years, looking for work. But according to a new report by the financial services firm, Jones Lang LaSalle, high-tech jobs are growing nearly four times faster than the national average. The report also shows that venture capital is driving the job boom, with high-tech accounting for 50% of total venture capital funding over the past year. Companies say it’s difficult to find and recruit talent, because there is a dearth of qualified engineers. So what is the answer to the high-tech job glut, and can the industry sustain it? Jeanne O’Keefe, senior vice president of the Massachusetts-based firm, Mathworks, explains why the company has 250 job openings. She’s joined by Mo Koyfman, principal at Spark Capital.

All 250 thousand classified diplomatic cables in WikiLeaks‘ possession have now been made available on the web. WikiLeaks has been releasing them since last year in conjunction with news organizations like The Guardian (with names of vulnerable people, like informants, redacted). But more recently, WikiLeaks published cables that included those names — starting a new argument about the ethics of keeping and releasing secrets. We’ll find out more from Princeton bio-ethicist Peter Singer. His article in this month’s Harpers is called Visible Man: Ethics In A World Without Secrets.

Local News

Court Rules on JCPS Student Assignment, Kentucky Kingdom Talks Break Down, EPA Rejects Mining Permits, and Changes to Unemployment in Indiana: Afternoon Review

  • The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled that students have the right to enroll and attend the school nearest their home. But if JCPS takes the case further, it will delay having to comply with the Court of Appeals decision.
  • The plan to re-open Kentucky Kingdom has hit another snag, with talks breaking down between the state Fair Board and businessman Ed Hart’s Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency has objected to 19 coal mining permits in Kentucky. The EPA said the permit applications lacked basic information about the characteristics and effects of the proposed pollution, and called into question the accuracy of the information provided.
  • In compliance with a new state law, Indiana workers taking voluntary buyouts will no longer be eligible for state unemployment benefits starting tomorrow, and severance pay will be counted against unemployment payouts. The changes are part of Indiana’s plan to pay off a $2 billion loan from the federal government.
Local News State of the News

Lawmakers React to Obama’s Jobs Plan

President Obama is proposing an ambitious, nearly $450 billion jobs plan to Congress — a key feature of which is a 2012 cut in payroll taxes. Thursday night, he presented the plan to a joint session of Congress. James Carroll, from the Courier-Journal’s Washington Bureau, joined us on Friday’s State of the News to explain how lawmakers have reacted to the plan, and what the chances are that it will be approved.

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Local News Noise & Notes Politics

CBO: Slow Growth, High Jobless Rate for Years

Projecting slow growth and high unemployment over the next six years, the Congressional Budget Office released its updated report Wednesday that paints a dire economic picture for the foreseeable future.

The nonpartisan agency forecasts the country’s jobless rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014 and economic growth will be 2.7 percent next year. President Obama’s critics pointed out that the projection breaks a promise by the administration, which said the stimulus package would reduce unemployment.

And while the budget deficit will remain at about $1.3 trillion this year, the CBO highlights the debt ceiling bill Obama signed on August 2 will reduce the deficit over the next two years.

The problem with the semi-annual report is that it makes a number of assumptions, such as a divided Congress being able to cut government spending and raise revenue.

From The Daily Caller:

The CBO is required to assume that Congress will continue existing law — meaning that it will not extend the tax cuts signed by President George Bush in 2003 and President Barrack Obama in 2011, won’t extend the alternative minimum tax, and will cut fees paid to Medicare doctors according to the timeline of current law.

Local News News About WFPL

Marketplace Special Tonight at 7pm: The Breakdown of the US Economy

It’s been a turbulent month for the markets and economies around the world. Marketplace has covered the story daily, and tonight at 7pm, Kai Ryssdal hosts a Marketplace special examining where the U.S. economy is headed and how we got here.

We’ll explore what’s behind the recent market swings. Senior Editor Paddy Hirsch will offer an overview of the major financial events of the past three years. We’ll also examine the biggest impact of the economic crisis to individuals: joblessness. How do we create more jobs? Is 9% unemployment the new normal?

THE BREAKDOWN: Our Economy, One Step at a Time airs tonight at 7pm on WFPL. Or you can listen now.