Department of Labor

Weekly Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected, Blizzard Cited

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but still remained at levels consistent with a steady improvement in labor market conditions. Initial jobless claims increased 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, the Labor Department said.

Too Many 401(k) and IRA Investors Know Too Little About Their Fees

How seriously do Americans take our retirement plans? Not seriously enough to do our homework: A new study shows that two-thirds of Americans with defined-contribution plans or IRAs spend less than five minutes scrutinizing each disclosure statement. But wait: It gets worse.

People@Work: Construction Job Growth Is Slowly Rebuilding

New forecasts show that the worst may be over for the construction industry, which was hit harder by the Great Recession than any other sector, as construction projects slowly resume. Some 27% of construction firms say they plan to add staff this year, while only 20% plan to cut jobs.

What the Rising Stock Market Doesn't Say About Jobs

If the stock market reflected the entire economy, happy days would surely be here again. But, alas, it reflects just the profit potential of public companies. And for millions of unemployed Americans, that's proving to be no help at all.

Legal Briefing: A Roundup of Labor-Related News

Labor Day isn't just about rounding out the summer season with a nice three-day weekend, of course. It's a "national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country", notes the Labor Department, and has been a national holiday for over 100 years. In that vein, here's a roundup of recent labor-oriented legal news:

Labor Department Issues New Rules on 401(k) Fees

New rules mean that companies that provide 401(k) plans and services to employers will have to spell out their fees. Over 10 different types of fees and expenses can be charged against a 401(k) account for services such as recordkeeping and administration, according to The Associated Press. Many account holders don%u2019t realize the fees exist, as they are often taken out the account%u2019s investment gains.

Children and Workers Among 40 Million U.S. Poor

Poverty is growing in the recession, with nearly 40 million Americans living at or below the official poverty level in 2008. That figure includes more than 14 million children and a growing class of "working poor."

What's the "Real" Jobless Rate?

Although it seems like toting up the numbers should be fairly straightforward, it turns out to be a complicated calculation, thanks to several inherent difficulties. For starters, unemployment is a snapshot of a moving target.