US Economy

US meatpacking giant Tyson announces closure of two plants

By James Brewer, 21 November 2015

The layoffs are a direct product of the corporate drive toward monopoly, the rationalization of production and the slashing of labor costs in pursuit of ever greater profits.

“Positive” US jobs report belied by mass layoffs

By Josh Varlin, 7 November 2015

While the US economy added more jobs in October than in previous months, the great majority of new jobs were in low-wage sectors of the economy.

Fed chair says rate hike in December a “live possibility”

By Barry Grey, 5 November 2015

The Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee demonstrated their subservience to the banks by arguing against any increase in interest rates until 2016 at the earliest.

Global markets cheer dismal economic figures

By Andre Damon, 3 November 2015

Global stock markets are surging as negative economic news makes interest rate cuts by central banks more likely.

Chevron to lay off 7,000 workers

Mass layoffs in US point to deepening slump

By Tom Hall, 31 October 2015

Friday's announcement by Chevron was in response to the continuing slump in oil prices, due in large part to falling demand.

Half of US workers make less than $30,000 per year

By David Brown, 29 October 2015

The decades-long stagnation of wages in the US has left millions of workers unable to start a family or buy a house.

Holding rates near zero, Fed keeps option of a hike in December

By Barry Grey, 29 October 2015

The Fed has come under enormous pressure to abandon its stated intention, declared last year, to begin gradually raising interest rates in 2015 for the first time in nine years.

Ford third-quarter profits double

By Jerry White, 27 October 2015

With the auto companies, the corporate media and the UAW warning workers not to make “unrealistic” demands, Ford and GM have raked in billions in profits in North America.

West Virginia counties, school districts make drastic cuts as coal industry contracts

By Naomi Spencer, 27 October 2015

Local governments and schools across West Virginia are making deep reductions as the coal industry continues to contract and the state imposes a fresh round of cuts.

Collapse of West Virginia coal industry spurs growing inequality

By Naomi Spencer, 26 October 2015

As the coal industry has hemorrhaged jobs, state and local social services have been slashed and inequality has soared.

Pennsylvania budget impasse adversely affects social services, schools

By Douglas Lyons, 20 October 2015

With state funding cut back, some schools and non-profits have had to scale back or fully eliminate programs and lay off workers.

Walmart downgrade reflects depth of social crisis facing US workers

By Barry Grey, 15 October 2015

Walmart’s financial problems are above all a reflection of the devastating impact of years of wage-cutting and austerity on the company’s largely working class clientele.

US Supreme Court dismisses challenge to ruling undermining insider trading prosecutions

By Gabriel Black, 13 October 2015

The Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge to a recent ruling making the enforcement of insider trading laws virtually impossible.

Perplexity and gloom dominate IMF-World Bank meeting

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2015

A report issued on the eve of the IMF-World Bank meeting said that emerging market economies had over-borrowed by $3 trillion over the past decade.

The government-union conspiracy to raid US workers’ pensions

By Andre Damon, 10 October 2015

The Obama administration, Wall Street, major corporations and the trade unions have conspired to slash hundreds of billions of dollars from multi-employer pension funds.

Markets “celebrate” poor US jobs data

By Nick Beams, 6 October 2015

Like players in a gambling casino given free chips by the house, financial investors boosted share prices on the prospect that interest rises in the US are off the table for this year.

US jobs data underscore downbeat IMF assessment of world economy

By Nick Beams, 3 October 2015

The recessionary trends and falling commodity prices gripping the global economy are having a growing impact on the United States.

Wealth of America’s super-rich grows to $2.34 trillion

By Nick Barrickman, 3 October 2015

The total net worth for the multi-billionaires on the list set new records, displacing last year’s all-time high of $2.29 trillion.

Global recessionary trends intensify

By Nick Beams, 1 October 2015

The crisis of mining giant Glencore, whose shares plunged by 30 percent this week, is only one expression of the slump gripping the global economy.

Fed chief points to rate rise this year

By Nick Beams, 25 September 2015

The speech by US Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen Thursday sought to counter criticisms of the decision last week to keep interest rates on hold.

China, emerging economies and commodities roil financial markets

By Barry Grey, 24 September 2015

The very economies that were hailed as the engines of global growth following the Wall Street crash of September 2008 are now at the forefront of a deflationary crisis that threatens to plunge the world into a full-scale depression.

Fed decision fails to calm markets

By Nick Beams, 22 September 2015

Divisions have emerged in financial circles over the Fed’s decision not to lift interest rates, highlighting the absence of any coherent policy on the part of those in charge of the financial system.

US poverty rate and income growth stagnated in 2014

By Niles Williamson, 19 September 2015

The US Census Bureau reported this week that staggering levels of poverty remained unchanged between 2013 and 2014 as median household income held steady.

Citing global economy, Fed keeps rates near zero

By Barry Grey, 18 September 2015

Exuberance over the decision to delay a rate hike was tempered by concerns over the state of the global economy and financial system as reflected in the Fed statement.

Hewlett-Packard to cut 33,000 jobs

By a reporter, 17 September 2015

The cuts bring the job losses at HP to 87,000 in the past three years, one quarter of the total company workforce.

How Wall Street took over the auto industry

By Gabriel Black, 16 September 2015

The US auto industry has increasingly become dominated by financial capital, leading to the destruction of jobs, wages, and benefits.

Seven years since the Wall Street crash

By Nick Beams, 15 September 2015

Seven years after the eruption of the crisis, financial parasitism has reached unprecedented heights while the global economy stagnates.

Market turbulence linked to conflicts over ruling class policy

By Nick Beams, 11 September 2015

The market gyrations are an expression of the combination of greed and fear that underlies financial markets, arising from their parasitic dependence upon ultra-cheap money.

US markets fall after release of jobs report

By Gabriel Black, 5 September 2015

US employers added 173,000 jobs last month, while the labor force participation rate remained at 62.6 percent—the lowest rate since October 1977.

Wages for low-income workers collapsed under Obama

By Andre Damon, 4 September 2015

Pay for a typical US worker has fallen by 4 percent since 2009, and the incomes of many lower-paid workers have fallen up to twice as fast.

Central banks step in to prop up global financial bubble

By Andre Damon, 31 August 2015

Once again, the world’s central banks and governments have made clear that they will do whatever it takes to preserve the wealth of the financial elite.

Fed acts to push US stocks higher

By Barry Grey, 27 August 2015

The US central bank is prepared to provide whatever public funds are needed to shield the financial elite from the consequences of a new eruption of the capitalist crisis.

Global Ponzi scheme threatens to implode

By Andre Damon, 24 August 2015

The global stock market selloff reflects the inability of governments and central banks to address the fundamental contradictions of the capitalist system that led to the Wall Street crash of 2008–2009.

Panic sell-off on world financial markets

By Barry Grey, 22 August 2015

The meltdown on equity markets is being driven by signs that the world economy is sliding into a new recession or outright depression.

Global markets plunge amid signs of deepening slump

By Andre Damon, 21 August 2015

US stocks fell by the largest amount since February 2014, as fears of a world economic slowdown mixed with concerns over global exchange rate instability and geopolitical conflict.

World capitalism “toboggans toward catastrophe”

By Barry Grey, 19 August 2015

Seven years after the Wall Street crash, fears are growing within ruling circles internationally that the world capitalist economy is descending into depression.

Mass layoffs worldwide as corporate mergers near new record

By Andre Damon, 15 August 2015

Under conditions of slowing economic growth and record amounts of cash on corporate balance sheets, mergers and acquisitions are being used to intensify the assault on the working class.

Chinese currency devaluation underscores global instability

By Nick Beams, 12 August 2015

Stock markets and commodity prices fell sharply in the wake of the decision to devalue the yuan, reflecting concerns about the perilous state of the Chinese and world economy.

Report shows continuing stagnation in US jobs, wages

By Tom Hall, 8 August 2015

Friday’s jobs report shows that the American labor market failed to make any meaningful improvements last month as conditions for American workers continue to stagnate or decline.

Syracuse, New York ravaged by unemployment, poverty and low wages

By Steve Filips, 8 August 2015

Despite a decline in the official unemployment rate, thousands of people living in New York’s fifth largest city continue to struggle to find jobs and earn a decent living.

Second-largest US coal producer files for bankruptcy

By Andre Damon, 5 August 2015

The filing signals a new assault on jobs in the already devastated US coal industry.

The rot at the heart of the American economy

By Nick Beams, 4 August 2015

The latest US economic data show a contraction in investment amid the lowest wage increases in more than 30 years.

US-led Pacific trade pact talks break down

By Mike Head, 3 August 2015

The latest failure of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations is a debacle for the US drive to counter China.

TPP investor-state dispute settlement clauses allow corporations to sue governments

By Oscar Grenfell, 3 August 2015

The Obama administration’s ongoing push for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—a trade bloc of 12 countries—seeks to enshrine US economic dominance over the Asia-Pacific in binding agreements.

The Dodd-Frank banking law five years on

By Gabriel Black, 30 July 2015

The law, largely a token measure to begin with, has been watered down further to the point of near irrelevancy.

Obama administration issues wrist-slap fine for Fiat Chrysler’s deadly recall delays

By Shannon Jones, 28 July 2015

The $105 million penalty is a derisory amount, a small fraction of the automaker’s annual revenue and profits.

Mining job cuts: The destructive anarchy of the capitalist market

By Nick Beams, 27 July 2015

Anglo American’s decision to cut one-third of its workforce is symptomatic of the job destruction ripping through the global mining industry as commodity prices plunge.

How to make $7 billion in 45 minutes

By Andre Damon, 25 July 2015

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made more money Thursday than 300,000 US workers earn in an entire year.

Federal Reserve documents stagnant state of US economy

By Barry Grey, 21 July 2015

The explosion of asset values and wealth accumulation at the very top of the economic ladder has occurred alongside an intractable and continuing slump in the real economy.

Wages for California workers continue to decline

By Kevin Martinez, 15 July 2015

California’s high cost of living has accelerated the decline of real wages.

A summer without jobs for America’s youth

By Andre Damon, 9 July 2015

The prevalence of “Depression-era” youth unemployment goes virtually unmentioned by the American corporate media and political establishment.

New York Stock Exchange halts operations for nearly four hours

By Barry Grey, 9 July 2015

The shutdown was by far the longest ever trading halt attributed to computer problems.

Microsoft announces 7,800 layoffs

By David Brown, 9 July 2015

Microsoft's layoffs highlight a broader trend of tech industry job cuts in response to increasingly speculative financial markets.

Summer joblessness for US teens remains near record levels

By Nick Barrickman, 8 July 2015

The share of teenagers who are employed during the summer has plunged by nearly 50 percent since 2000.

Manhattan real estate prices hit record high

By Sandy English, 6 July 2015

The average sale price of an apartment in the New York City borough of Manhattan, the home of Wall Street, is now $1.87 million.

Top bankers’ pay rose 17 percent in 2014

By Andre Damon, 4 July 2015

The vast sums of money pocketed by bank executives are bound up with activities that range from borderline legal to flagrantly illegal.

US labor force participation rate hits lowest level in nearly four decades

By Andre Damon, 3 July 2015

The latest US jobs report, despite being greeted by the political establishment as another sign of a "recovery," points to continued economic stagnation.

US income inequality continued to soar in 2014

By Andre Damon, 2 July 2015

A new report by economist Emmanuel Saez found that the share of income going to the top one percent of US earners increased by one percentage point last year.

American CEOs paid 300 times more than workers

By David Brown, 29 June 2015

While the average worker made the same in 2014 as they did in 2009, CEO compensation at top companies rose by 54.3 percent.

State of California rules Uber driver is employee, not contractor

By David Brown, 25 June 2015

In an effort to drive down labor costs, companies are replacing regular employees with cheaper contract workers with no job security or health care.

Layoffs continue amidst economic stagnation

By Gabriel Black, 20 June 2015

US layoffs were up 13 percent in the first five months of 2015 compared to the prior year.

Wall Street’s legal offensive

By Andre Damon, 18 June 2015

A series of recent court rulings highlight the drive of the American financial aristocracy to assert the untrammeled domination of private capital over the public interest.

US stocks, bonds rally as Fed pledges to keep rates low

By Barry Grey, 18 June 2015

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen repeatedly stressed that the rate increases, once begun, would be small and incremental.

“School is like a second home”

Students and parents oppose closure of last high school in Highland Park, Michigan

By Zac Corrigan, 13 June 2015

The impoverished Detroit enclave’s emergency manager declared that keeping the school was no longer “financially feasible.”

OECD cuts global growth forecast amid growing financial turbulence

By Nick Beams, 5 June 2015

The downgrade follows what the OECD called the worst quarter for global economic growth since the 2008 financial crash.

Parasitism and the economic crisis

By Andre Damon, 2 June 2015

Seven years after the 2008 financial crisis, the world economy has become the object of unremitting plunder by the global financial aristocracy.

US farm income hit by collapse in grain demand

By George Gallanis and Alexander Fangmann, 2 June 2015

The American farming sector is facing declining revenue and land value, creating a cascading effect on farm equipment, fertilizer, and other agriculture-related companies.

Pennsylvania government is preparing to destroy public pensions

By Douglas Lyons, 1 June 2015

Pennsylvania lawmakers have passed a comprehensive pension reform bill that will permanently end pensions for future workers and diminish the returns of current workers.

US economy contracted in first quarter

By Andre Damon, 30 May 2015

The ongoing slump in the US economy comes amid a roaring stock market, combined with record share buybacks, mergers and acquisitions, and surging CEO pay.

Wall Street buybacks: Another expression of parasitism

By Nick Beams, 29 May 2015

An article in the Wall Street Journal this week has pointed to the growing role of share buybacks as a source of profit accumulation.

US CEO pay hits record high

By Nick Barrickman, 25 May 2015

The top 200 highest-paid US CEOs made an average of $22.6 million last year.

OECD report: Global social inequality hits new record

By Gabriel Black, 23 May 2015

The growth of inequality has been accompanied by the expansion of part-time and contingent labor, particularly for younger workers.

Hundreds of unemployed workers apply for jobs in Pittsburgh

By Evan Winters and Samuel Davidson, 23 May 2015

Hundreds of people attended a job fair Wednesday to apply for part-time work, paying $10.75 an hour, at Amazon’s newly opened warehouse.

Why aren’t the banksters in prison?

By Andre Damon, 22 May 2015

Behind the threadbare trappings of democracy, America increasingly resembles an aristocratic society.

Los Angeles City Council moves to raise minimum wage

By Adam McLean and Jerry White, 21 May 2015

The Los Angeles City Council voted to draft an ordinance to raise the city’s minimum wage from $9 to $15 an hour by 2020.

Only one in four workers worldwide has a stable job

By Andre Damon, 20 May 2015

Jobs created in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis have been disproportionately contingent and part-time, according to a new report published by the International Labor Organization.

Five major banks to plead guilty to rigging currency markets

By Andre Damon, 15 May 2015

The effect of guilty pleas for crimes involving massive manipulation of financial markets will be essentially zero, beyond the immediate costs the fines levied on the institutions.

Massachusetts governor deepens austerity drive with early retirement legislation

By John Marion, 12 May 2015

Social service agencies could lose as much as half of their staff under an early retirement measure enacted by the Republican governor with the backing of the Democrats.

April employment report masks extent of US jobs crisis

By Gabriel Black, 9 May 2015

The jobs added in the US last month were overwhelmingly in sectors dominated by part-time, low-wage work.

Bond market sell-off signals mounting financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 8 May 2015

In the last two weeks an estimated $2 trillion has been wiped off share and bond markets.

Massive payout for US hedge fund chiefs in 2014

By Andre Damon, 6 May 2015

On average, the 25 top-earning hedge fund managers last year took home $400 million, or more than 10,000 times the median household income in the United States.

Parasitism, plutocracy and economic depression

By Andre Damon, 2 May 2015

The ongoing global economic slump is inseparable from the parasitic activities of the financial oligarchy, aided and abetted by the state.

Department of Justice sues Detroit-based Quicken Loans for mortgage fraud

By Kathleen Martin, 1 May 2015

The suit alleges that the firm, owned by billionaire Dan Gilbert, encouraged employees to underwrite loans they knew would go into default.

US economy stalled in first quarter

By Andre Damon, 30 April 2015

Business investment collapsed in the first quarter, even as US companies sat atop a record $1.4 trillion cash hoard.

Majority of US public aid recipients are from working families

By Zaida Green, 25 April 2015

Some 73 percent of people enrolled in public welfare programs, including food assistance, come from families with at least one member who is employed.

Most US states saw jobs losses in March

By Ed Hightower, 24 April 2015

Nonfarm payroll employment declined in 31 states and the District of Columbia last month, further belying the Obama administration’s claims of an economic “recovery.”

More layoffs as global oil price slump continues

By Niles Williamson, 18 April 2015

The world’s largest oilfield service company, Schlumberger, announced this week that as a result of declining oil production it will cut 11,000 jobs worldwide, bringing the firm’s total layoffs so far this year to 20,000.

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke hired by hedge fund Citadel

By Andre Damon, 18 April 2015

Bernanke’s new job constitutes little more than a kickback for services rendered to Wall Street.

The insider trading fix and class justice in America

By Barry Grey, 8 April 2015

In America, “justice” for the working class and poor is remorseless, brutal and final.

March US jobs growth slowest since 2013

By Andre Damon, 4 April 2015

The latest jobs report adds to a growing body of data showing that US economic growth has slowed significantly over the past six months.

US layoffs mount amid signs of economic slowdown

By Andre Damon, 28 March 2015

US steel companies announced thousands of layoffs this week.

Republican budget plan slashes Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps

By Patrick Martin, 28 March 2015

Similar plans were passed by the House of Representatives Wednesday and the Senate early Friday.

Merger between Heinz and Kraft likely to destroy thousands of jobs

By Gabriel Black, 27 March 2015

H.J. Heinz and Kraft Foods announced Wednesday that they would merge to form the world’s fifth-largest food company.

Unemployment benefits availability in US at lowest level in history

By E.P. Bannon, 23 March 2015

Only 23.1 percent of unemployed workers were receiving benefits in December 2014, the lowest level since unemployment insurance benefits were first established.

Detroit to resume mass water shutoffs

By Andre Damon, 21 March 2015

As many as 28,000 households in America’s poorest large city face having their water service shut off.

US stocks surge as Fed signals slower rise in interest rates

By Barry Grey, 19 March 2015

Any tightening of the central bank cash spigot threatens to bring the bull market, and the windfalls it provides the rich and the super-rich, crashing down.

Financial markets hang on wording of US Federal Reserve statement

By Nick Beams, 18 March 2015

Global financial markets are waiting to see how soon the Fed may begin to raise interest rates.

Wall Street bonuses at highest level since 2008 crash

By Shannon Jones, 18 March 2015

The $28.5 billion in Wall Street bonuses is double the annual pay for the 1 million US workers employed full time at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.