With the release of the Jan. 2014 employment situation report on Feb. 7, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) updated its estimates of a number of data items. This is a yearly occurrence, and can make a significant difference in the numbers. With those changes, the data that the BLS considers most accurate can be examined and analyzed.
Category: American Economy
Due to the federal government shutdown that began Oct. 1, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) delayed its release of the Sept. 2013 Employment Situation Report until this morning. The unemployment rate fell from August’s 7.3 percent to 7.2 percent. The BLS estimates an initial gain of 148,000 new jobs in the month.
In an e-mail from Jennifer Wasmer, Director, Services PR, Xerox Corporation, we have received a more detailed explanation of the events that shut down EBT card services in 17 states on Saturday. The unprecedented collapse of the Electronic Benefit Transaction card system affected low income Americans with SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program), TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) or other, related benefits. The events of Saturday resulted in some violence and theft, as we reported yesterday.
Low income Americans in the former Food Stamp program and other, similar, assistance programs use the Electronic Benefits Transfer card (EBT) to purchase groceries. It works just like a debit card, or it is supposed to. On Saturday, users in 17 states found that their cards would not work from late morning through late afternoon. Xerox, through a division called Xerox State & Local Solutions, Inc., provides the services necessary to operate the program in those states and a system failure turned Saturday into a confusing and concerning day for many.
Who has health insurance in the United States? Who needs health insurance in the United States. These are two similar questions, but the answers may be very different. Since the lack of health insurance is driving the debate about funding the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), it is important to understand the data that is available. That data suggests that as many as half of those without insurance have it available and have not taken advantage of their options.