Workers Want A Green Economy, Not A Black Environment

"Don’t get me wrong. The USW supports job creation. But the union believes clean air pays; clear water provides work. Engineers design smokestack scrubbers, skilled mechanics construct them and still other workers install them. Additional workers install insulation and solar panels. Untold thousands labor to make the steel and other parts for wind turbine blades, towers and nacelles, fabricate the structures and erect them. Withdrawing from the Paris Accord diminishes these jobs and dispatches the innovators and manufacturers of clean technologies overseas where countries that continue to participate in the climate change agreement will nurture and grow them."

Full employment

"Full employment, in macroeconomics, is the level of employment rates where there is no cyclical or deficient-demand unemployment.[1] It is defined by the majority of mainstream economists as being an acceptable level of unemployment somewhere above 0%. The discrepancy from 0% arises due to non-cyclical types of unemployment, such as frictional unemployment (there will always be people who have quit or have lost a seasonal job and are in the process of getting a new job) and structural unemployment (mismatch between worker skills and job requirements). Unemployment above 0% is seen as necessary to control inflation in capitalist economies, to keep inflation from accelerating, i.e., from rising from year to year. This view is based on a theory centering on the concept of the Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment (NAIRU); in the current era, the majority of mainstream economists mean NAIRU when speaking of "full" employment. The NAIRU has also been described by Milton Friedman, among others, as the "natural" rate of unemployment. Having many names, it has also been called the structural unemployment rate."

NY State vs Federal Minimum Wage

Both the Federal Government and New York State set a minimum wage for workers. Right now the state's minimum wage is $9.70 (upstate) while the federal minimum wage is $7.25. This is the largest discrepancy between federal and state minimum wages, at least since 1968.

Data Sources:

U.S. Department of Labor, Federal Minimum Wage Rate under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act [STTMINWGFG], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, February 22, 2017.

U.S. Department of Labor, State Minimum Wage Rate for New York [STTMINWGNY], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, February 21, 2017.

Monthly Job Creation, April 2012-2017

In April 2017, the economy created 211,000 new jobs. The previous month, March 2017's job creation numbers were revised down to 79,000 jobs created. While still in positive territory, the job creation numbers have slowed down as we've gotten closer to full employment.

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, All Employees: Total Nonfarm Payrolls [PAYEMS], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, May 5, 2017. Change from Prior Month.

Average Wage for Manufacturing Workers in New York State

Politicians always like to talk about how wonderful manufacturing jobs are. But at least in New York State, most of them have seen their wages grow relatively slowly while employment has generally declined in these fields. Computer and electronic products manufacturing, along with chemical manufacturing are some of the bright spots for manufacturing in our state.

Data Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Annual Data, Manufacturing Workers.

Construction Jobs in New York by Region, 2000-2015

During the Great Recession, there was a down tick in construction jobs in the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and New York City but much smaller of a drop Upstate. The Capital Region saw almost no drop in the number of construction jobs during the recession.

Data Source: Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages Annual Data: Beginning 2000.

Google Maps: 2016 Unemployment Rate

Yesterday I posted the unemployment statistics for March 2017. Those stats are not seasonally adjusted, so they don't calculate in the difference of seasonal employment, which impacts many of the more rural parts of New York State. This map in contrast shows the unemployment rate for all of 2016, which gives you a better idea on what the actual unemployment rate is for various cities and counties across the state.

Data Source: NYS Local Area Unemployment Statistics, NYS DOL.

Google Maps: March 2017 Unemployment Rate

This interactive map shows the 160 communities where Local Area Unemployment Statistics are generated. All 62 counties in New York have an unemployment rate calculated monthly, along with the 98 cities, towns, and villages with a population greater then 25,000. Monthly numbers are not seasonally adjusted, and in some regions of the state unemployment rises during certain periods of the year. You should only compare like months (e.g. March 2017 vs March 2016). You can download the data going back to 1970s here:

US Unemployment Rate, January 2009-March 2016

President Barack Obama became president during January 2009. He left office in January 2017. This shows the unemployment rate for each of the eight years he was president, along with the first two months of the presidency of President Donald Trump.

Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Civilian Unemployment Rate [UNRATE], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis;, April 24, 2017.