Young black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts. The unemployment rate for African Americans has been double that of whites for more than half a century. And yet Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first black president spelled doom for racist policies and racist beliefs. In fact, racist thought is alive and well in America; it has simply become more sophisticated and more insidious.

Award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality, we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society.


The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in February, unchanged since January.


The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate dropped to 3.4 percent in January, down one tenth of a percentage point over December.

At this season in which charity is high on our agenda, I’d like to address some economic issues. I recently spoke with you about what the oligarchs are doing to American democracy. This time I’d like to talk with you about is happening to our jobs and wages. Jobs have recovered slowly from the 2008 crash; wages have flatlined for a decade. Candidates should be talking about jobs and wages.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate held steady last month at 3.6 percent.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

Although the unemployment rate in New York’s North Country remains above the statewide average, businesses are hiring.  In Plattsburgh this afternoon dozens of companies have been participating in a job fair seeking qualified employees.

Unemployment Down, But Dream Jobs Still Out Of Reach

Aug 30, 2015
Acadia Otlowski













In New York and Connecticut, unemployment is at 5.4 percent, the lowest it has been in seven years. Nationwide, unemployment has dropped its lowest levels since the recession, giving those entering the workforce more opportunity. But for many, that elusive dream job is still out of reach. 

U.S. Army

A New York congressman is sponsoring a bipartisan bill to reform the veterans employment program.

Connecticut's Labor Department says the state added jobs for a sixth straight month in July, dropping the unemployment rate to 6.6 percent.

Massachusetts has announced a rebranding of its regional employment offices as part of a campaign to get the long-term unemployed back to work.

Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rachel Kaprielian said her office will put up 62 billboards across the state, put ads on the internet, and signs on mass transit in an effort to increase usage of the state’s 33 one-stop career centers.

" We  are rebranding our efforts so that job seekers know how many services we offer to the job seeker and to the employer."

    Long-term unemployment affects millions of Americans.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Paul Tonko tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the unemployed deserve support in their time of need.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney
Courtesy of the Office of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney

    Unemployment is a national problem, especially since the recession.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Sean Patrick Maloney tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that benefits must be extended to the long-term unemployed.

Revised numbers out today show Massachusetts added 55,200 jobs last year, almost all of them in the private sector. State officials say it is the largest number of new jobs in a December-to-December period since 2000. The Massachusetts unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 percent in January. The Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development, Rachel Kaprielian, said the job gains were varied.


  Today 4.7 million Americans have been unemployed for more than six months. In France more than ten percent of the working population is without work. In Israel it’s above seven percent. And in Greece and Spain, that number approaches thirty percent. Across the developed world, the experience of unemployment has become frighteningly common—and so are the seemingly endless tactics that job seekers employ in their quest for new work.

Flawed System/Flawed Self delves beneath these staggering numbers to explore the world of job searching and unemployment across class and nation.

    We are bombarded every day with numbers that tell us how we are doing, whether the economy is growing or shrinking, whether the future looks bright or dim. Gross national product, balance of trade, unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence guide our actions, yet few of us know where these numbers come from, what they mean, or why they rule our world.

Nationally, Republicans are still fighting unemployment relief and virtually every piece of a public safety net. Their solution to every problem is to blame the victim. Out of work? Must be because people didn't look, or just like poverty. Never mind people spending their days looking for work. It must be their fault, because the only victims worth caring about, of what we politely call the business cycle, are businessmen. Everything would be fine if people would work for pennies a day like much of the world, so the companies they work for could pocket the difference while workers forego food, clothing, shelter and health.


The end of 2013 also marks the end of benefits for 1.3 million long-term unemployed Americans.

Checks from the federal government providing aid to those unemployed for more than 30 weeks stopped for nearly 1,000 people in Berkshire County this week. John Barrett is the director of Berkshire Works, an organization that provides career-driven services and unemployment assistance.

NYS Jobless Rate Drops

Dec 23, 2013
WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

A sign that New York State's economic fortunes are on an uptick — some encouraging numbers have been released by the labor department.

State officials say New York's unemployment rate dropped from 7.7 percent in October to 7.4 percent in November, the lowest level in nearly five years.  Career-transition expert Dan Moran with NextAct of Colonie says while the number may seem small, it is "significant."  "That's a nice, healthy drop in the unemployment rate, and as well the number of new jobs that hit the market. We are seeing real job growth."

A new report on the status of workers finds the period since the 2008 market crash may turn out to be a “lost decade” for New Yorkers, as wages stagnate and the average time for unemployment lengthens.

Sean MacEntee/Flickr

Vermont's unemployment rate has climbed to 4.6 percent in July, the third consecutive month reporting an increase in the state's rate.

New numbers just out on consumer confidence in New York State and employment nationwide are leading to cautious optimism from those who monitor the pulse of the economy.

The latest numbers on consumer confidence for New York State show some improvement. The latest New York State Index of Consumer Sentiment survey from Siena College’s Siena Research Institute shows that consumer optimism grew in June for the the second month in a row.

Mark Crawley / Flickr

The Massachusetts House of Representatives has voted to restore funding to a program designed to assist at-risk youth in finding summer employment that is facing cutbacks.


The monthly unemployment report shows Vermont’s remains far below the national rate.  But some say that’s because more people are dropping out of the labor force, not because they’ve found jobs.

New numbers indicate economic recovery from the Great Recession is underway upstate - with a few exceptions - for the most part, the latest jobs and unemployment numbers offer hope.  Dan Moran, with career management firm NextAct of Colonie, says the job market has been flat but consistent.

State Labor Department analyst John Nelson said the economy is showing signs of improvement. At 7.4 and 7.7 percent respectively, Albany and Saratoga rank among the counties with the lowest unemployment rates in New York. Tompkins County, at 5.8 percent, was the lowest in the state.

Burt Lum

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's Department of Labor says the state unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in January.

The department says the state added 4,700 jobs in January -- a sign of considerable improvement in the state's labor market.

The agency's research director says the data shows the state's job market is continuing on a modest but positive recovery path established in 2011.

New statistics released this week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that from June 2011 to June 2012 Saratoga County experienced the largest employment growth in New York State at 3.1 percent, with strong job growth in manufacturing and leisure and hospitality.

WAMC’s Patrick Donges spoke with Saratoga County Board of Supervisors Chairman Alan Grattidge for his reaction to the positive numbers

  Rich Honen from Phillips Lytle LLP joins us to discuss everything from the economy to the current state of the stock market to the attempts to limit unemployment.

The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance dipped by 5,000 last week from the week before, to 330,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

That means claims remain at a low level not seen since January 2008.

Another measure, the "4-week moving average" that is supposed to give a broader look at the trend, declined by 8,250 — to 351,750.

According to state officials in Massachusetts, the unemployment rose to 6.7% in December, and for the Berkshires, the unemployment rate is now above the state average.

Although the numbers released by the State Executive Office of Labor and Workforce development are not seasonally adjusted, the Berkshires now face an unemployment rate at 6.6% That’s up half a percentage point from October and November, and the highest it’s been since February 2012.

The Vermont Department of Labor says the state's unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of one percentage point in December to 5.1 percent.

Labor Commissioner Annie Noonan says the recovery from the Great Recession has been slower than from past economic slowdowns, but progress is being made.