Posts tagged low unemployment
Nebraska: State employees union approves labor contract granting raises of up to 10%-27%
February 9, 2023 // State workers have ratified a new labor contract that contains the largest salary increases in at least 35 years, a contract aimed at filling critical job vacancies. Gov. Jim Pillen and the Nebraska Association of Public Employees (NAPE) announced the approval of the labor agreement, which would deliver wage hikes of 5% and 2% over the next two years for a majority of employees, and up to 10% and 27% for critical and hard-to-fill positions. NAPE’s executive director, Justin Hubly, said they represent the largest raises since the labor union was organized in 1987 and should go a long ways toward resolving worker shortages in several state agencies
Commentary: The labor market’s double-edged sword
October 14, 2022 // The unemployment rate now matches the pre-pandemic, half-century low of 3.5 percent. But with 2.8 million missing workers, low unemployment is both a blessing and a curse. In this photo from August 5, 2022, a hiring sign is posted at a Target store in San Rafael, California. In this photo from August 5, 2022, a hiring sign is posted at a Target store in San Rafael, California. © Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/TNS There are millions more job openings than there are people looking for work. Employers have responded by creating more flexible workplaces, adding new benefits and expanding opportunities for people to advance upward — including opening doors for workers without college degrees. And annual wages are up nearly 7 percent (not including inflation) since January 2021. But even as workers have benefited from an opportunistic labor market, they haven’t been immune from its consequences: shortages of goods and services, crowded emergency rooms, reduced public safety, delayed deliveries and higher prices. The average worker’s $3,600 pay raise since January 2021 is equivalent to a $3,000 pay cut after factoring in inflation.