Chad Stone: “We’re smiling and the markets are smiling and this is actually a good jobs report. It’s one of the few good jobs reports we’ve had in this recovery. We had 240,000 jobs on private and government payrolls combined. 257,000 jobs in the private sector. 23 straight months of private sector job creation. Another two years of that, we’ll have erased the hole that got created by the Great Recession.”
Local governments — mostly school districts — cut another 11,000 jobs last month. Total job losses at the state and local government levels have reached 668,000 since employment in this category peaked in August of 2008.
To put these figures in historical context, it’s useful to separate education workers (teachers, librarians, administrators, and so on in public schools, colleges, and universities) from other state and local workers (police, firefighters, garbage collectors, bus drivers, and so on).… Read more
Georgia in 2008 enacted tax breaks to expand health coverage by encouraging people to buy high-deductible insurance plans that they could pair with a Health Savings Account (HSA). Newt Gingrich’s Center for Health Transformation designed and promoted the law, claiming that 500,000 Georgians would gain health coverage using the tax breaks.
But, as our new analysis shows, these claims didn’t hold up. Georgia’s uninsured rate has gone up since then, not down, and at a faster rate than in the region and the country as a whole (see chart).… Read more
Today’s jobs report is encouraging, but we should judge it against the overall sluggishness of the economic recovery and a persistently large jobs deficit that remains after 23 straight months of private sector job creation. Payroll employment is still 5.6 million jobs short of where it was at the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, there are four jobless workers for every job opening, and long-term unemployment remains at an historic high level.
Below are some charts to show how the new figures look in historical context.… Read more
States and localities lose up to $23 billion in revenue a year in sales taxes that are legally due on interstate sales but that online retailers and other “remote sellers” do not collect. That hurts local retailers, too, since they have to collect sales taxes but their online competitors don’t.
Fortunately, the past week has seen two significant developments in states’ fight to force remote sellers to collect and remit sales taxes.
First, on January 27, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that Scholastic Book Clubs must collect sales taxes on book sales in which teachers distribute the company’s marketing materials to students, collect the money, and distribute the books.… Read more