Commentary: New Biden Labor Dept. Rule Likely to Hurt Millions of Small Businesses, Independent Contractors

Remote Worker

Some 99% of American companies are small businesses, and 100% of businesses started out small, but a recently finalized rule from the Biden administration’s Labor Department will make it harder for small businesses to start, grow and succeed.

As of last May 1, a White House news release pointed out, “Young firms, which often start small with few employees, are a driving force in job creation.” That’s been particularly true since the COVID-19 pandemic, as small businesses with fewer than 50 employees have accounted for a growing share of new jobs.

Read More

Bidenomics: Unemployment Insurance Claims Leap as over 1.8 Million Americans Receive Benefits

State unemployment insurance claims rose last week by 12,000 while the number of people who are receiving benefits reached 1.875 million for the week ending Dec. 16, according to seasonally adjusted data released Thursday by the Labor Department. 

Seasonally adjusted initial claims hit 218,000 for the week ending Dec. 23 after rising by 12,000, according to the latest data. 

Read More

Biden’s Labor Department Is Planning to Shake Up a Key Rule for Gig Workers

The Department of Labor on Tuesday announced a proposed change to rules governing independent contractors that could re-classify millions of gig workers as full employees, dramatically increasing their chances to obtain certain benefits.

The Labor Department repeatedly characterized the move as a way to reduce “misclassification” of workers who deserved to be counted as employees in a document explaining the rule change. If the new rule is approved, millions of workers that do not currently qualify for minimum wage, overtime, Social Security contributions and other benefits, could see their standing reconsidered, according to The New York Times.

Read More

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Boss: Energy Policies Driving Record-High Inflation

The latest inflation snapshot has the head of Wisconsin’s largest business group talking about energy policy.

Kurt Bauer,  Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce president and CEO, on Wednesday said the latest numbers show the Producer Price Index is up almost 11% year-over-year. He said that’s not sustainable for manufacturers and producers in Wisconsin.

Read More

Commentary: President Biden Sides Against Union Rank-and-File

While rank-and-file union members embraced President Trump, virtually every major union endorsed Joe Biden. A quietly issued Labor Department regulation helps explain this disconnect. President Biden has put union leaders first — even at the expense of union members.

Late last year, the Labor Department rescinded Trump Administration union transparency regulations. These regulations would have required union trust funds — like apprenticeship funds and strike funds — to disclose their receipts and expenditures.

Read More

Annual Wholesale Inflation Rises 11.2 Percent, Mirroring Record Consumer Price Index Numbers

Wholesale prices in March increased by 11.2%, compared to 12 months earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

The report also show the prices increased 1.1% from February to March.

The newly released numbers follow the agency saying Tuesday the price of consumer goods in March increased by 8.5%, compared to the same time last year, making the Consumer Price Index’s so-called “annualized rate” the highest since December 1981.

Read More

Commentary: Pharma Giant’s Mandate Makes Ex-Workers of Vaccine Objectors

Eli Lilly Corporate Center, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Mandy Van Gorp was confident that her employer of 18 years, Eli Lilly and Company, would treat her fairly when she objected to its company-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The pharmaceutical giant had promised to exempt employees with valid health or religious objections to the policy and she believed she had had both.

Despite presenting a doctor’s note in support of her exemption, citing an auto-immune disease, the company denied her request for a medical exemption. To add injury to the insult she felt, she tested positive for COVID-19 the day after receiving her rejection letter. She then appealed for a six-month deferral on grounds of the positive test. Lilly also denied that request. When she then raised her religious concerns, Lilly said she had missed the application deadline – a deadline that had lapsed several weeks before Lilly replied to her initial accommodation request.

The “toughest night was when we were sitting at the dinner table and my 12-year-old was sobbing, hysterically begging me to get the vaccine so I could keep my job,” recalled Van Gorp, a 42-year-old sales representative and mother of three. “I had to explain that my choice was not about money and that I felt God was leading me not to follow a mandate. It’s hard to explain that to a 12-year-old.”

Read More

Jobless Claims Remain Near Record Lows

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims totaled 205,000 in the week ending Dec. 18, a new post-pandemic low.

The Labor Department figure shows an unchanged amount of claims from the previous week ending Dec. 11. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimated that claims would remain around last week’s reported level of 206,000, just above the lowest number in 52 years.

Read More

Commentary: The Unemployment Rate Does Not Offer Guidance Now

The Labor Department’s official unemployment rate—the most well-known gauge of the labor market’s health—counts as unemployed only those who aren’t working but are actively seeking a job.

Yet there is very little that we can infer from the jobless rate about the health of the economy.  The unavoidable conclusion is that the only reason investors follow the calculation is because both Washington’s politicians and the Federal Reserve are expected to react to it.

Read More