Sunday, September 18, 2011

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage by US Census Bureau

Sept. 13, 2011 -- The census Bureau released it annual report on income, poverty and health insurance in the US during the year 2010. The report has loads of bad news.

Median household income dropped 2.3% from XXX in 2009 to $49,445 in 2010. Median income for Blacks dropped -3.2% from $33,122 to $32,068.

The poverty rate increased to 15.1 percent of the population from 14.3% 2009. 46.2 million people earned below the poverty line. 22% of kids were in poverty. 27% of Blacks were in poverty.

The number of people without health insurance rose to 49.9 million.

The only good news is the relative large press coverage of the results.

There line to the US Census report is here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Try before you buy: Unpaid internships part of Georgia unemployment program

Interesting write-up on Georgia employment program with unpaid internships: Here.

The web-site is the typical state job website. However this one has a skills certification program. You cannot tell is they a solved the critical unemployment office issues: 1) Do they list every job available, and 2) are they actively placing workers.

Their are two differences I can see. One, they administer tests for reading, math and reasoning skills. They give grades such as bronze, silver, gold and platinum. Then they grade job categories to skills to help employers pick among low and medium skilled workers.

Second, they also sponsor employees at selected companies for up to 24 hour per week for 8 weeks. The employer pays nothing and the trainee is given a stipend of up to $240 dollars per week. The employer can train and access the employee with no risk.

They have the typical problem of southern states, except for VA and MD, that of being under resourced and underfunded.

The current unemployment rate in Georgia is 10.1%

Here is the official website. Here.

Mitt Romney's Economic Plan seems like a conservative grab bag

Mitt Romney's economic plan is a collection of standard middle ground Republican proposal. Not much new but definitely nothing too right-wing either.

1) Reduce the corporate income tax to 25%
2) Sign free trade agreements with Columbia, Panama and South Korea
3) Expanding US energy production and off shore drilling
4) Cut domestic and non-security spending
5) Try to stop Obama's health care legislation
6) Sanction China for unfair trading practices.

Only the proposal to go after China is new or interesting. The Evil Black Economist is a proponent of "fair" trade not free trade.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

OCED PISA: Program for International Student Assessment

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (the European Development Organization) has released it's international student assessment results. Here. The United States if fairly middle of the pack: Above average in reading, in the middle in math and below average in science.

However, I must say the quality of publication, reseach, writing and statistical analysis is outstanding. If you really want to understand the drivers of student performance you have to read some of this stuff.