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  • Labor Day Highlights, Struggles

    More than 130 years after the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated by organized labor, union membership is down to 6.6 percent in the private sector. In this photo, Whole Foods employees and union activists protest July 31, 2013, in Chicago. The campaign, dubbed "Fight for 15," calls for workers to be paid at least $15 per hour and have the right to form unions without retaliation.
    Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Labor Day Highlights Unemployment Struggles

    While the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, the next of which will be released Sept. 6, 2013, has shown employment growth, many workers have dropped out of the labor force, causing misleading numbers. There are 11.5 million unemployed persons in the U.S. while the number of long-term unemployed without jobs for 27 weeks or more is 4.2 million, the Labor Department reported on Aug. 2, 2013.
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  • Labor Day Highlights Struggles

    A report by the Urban Institute's Josh Mitchell shows the share of unemployed workers without a job for at least 27 weeks from 1948. "The rise in the long-term unemployment share at the start of the Great Recession was far worse than at any other time in the postwar period, peaking at more than 45 percent of the unemployed," Mitchell wrote, compared to 25 percent during the 1983 recession.
    Urban Institute
  • Labor Day Highlights Struggles

    The Urban Institute's study showed newly unemployed workers (those who have been unemployed for five weeks or less) made up 22.6 percent of the unemployed in December 2012. Job seekers unemployed between five and 14 weeks made up another 23.1 percent of the unemployed. The longer someone spends unemployed, the harder it becomes to find a new job, the institute's Mitchell said.
    Urban Institute
  • Labor Day Highlights Unemployment Struggles

    Economists have concerns about the quality of jobs and part-time employment growth. The number of people employed part-time for economic reasons, referred to as involuntary part-time workers, was 8.2 million in July 2013. Those individuals were working part time because their hours were cut or because they were unable to find a full-time job, the Labor Department said.
    John Moore/Getty Images
  • Labor Day Highlights Struggles

    President Barack Obama, shown Aug. 15, 2013, in Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, Mass., has proposed eliminating loopholes that encourage companies to ship jobs overseas. He has proposed a top tax rate of 28 percent with a manufacturing tax rate no higher than 25 percent and asked Congress to create up to 45 new manufacturing innovation institutes over 10 years, tripling the 15 originally proposed.
    Rick Friedman-Pool/Getty Images
  • Labor Day Highlights Struggles

    Markets remain volatile as Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, says that the unemployment rate remains "elevated." The Federal Reserve is keeping the federal funds rate, the rate at which banks can borrow from each other, near zero while the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent and and inflation expectations remain anchored.
    Pete Marovich/Bloomberg/Getty Images
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