Mississippi single mothers poorest in the nation

Shae Hill holds her 3-month-old daughter inside a store May 7, 2009 in Glendora, Mississippi, a highly impoverished town in the rural Lower Mississippi Delta region. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation.  But its status is not without trying to walk away from this title.  Although social services and benefits have allowed the poorest of the poor to receive more food and health care, the ability for Mississippi’s poor to journey out of poverty has been a long and challenging battle.

The Mississippi poor consist of a large population of single mothers — who are working.  Many have graduated from high school but are unable to find a living wage in the small town and rural communities for which they live.

In an article by NPR’s WUBR, “Women and Children Most At Risk in Mississippi,” Carol Burnett, executive director of the Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative, discusses the situation in Mississippi, as well as underlying issues and myths.

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Report reveals large gap between states in unemployment claims

Initial unemployment claims are profoundly different depending on which U.S. state a person lives and is seeking employment. ohud.com photo

-  SurvivingTimes.com staff report

Although U.S. unemployment claims have reduced from more than 5.6 million in January 2013 to a cut of more than 3.7 million in January 2014, millions of Americans are still facing unemployment with rate fluctuations between states throughout the country.

A U.S. Department of Labor report for the week ending Jan. 4, 2014, shows a large gap between U.S. states for initial unemployment claim reduction and increase. For example, Texas reports close to a 13,000 increase in claims and California reports more than 8300 claims. On the flip side, Georgia reports close to 7200 decrease along with New York showing a reduction as much as 18,000 in unemployment claims.

States with the highest increase in unemployment claims, including Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida and Pennsylvania, report a substantial increase in layoffs in agriculture, manufacturing, construction and administrative support services.

In the meantime, states dropping in unemployment claims attribute fewer layoffs in manufacturing, transportation and trade industries. Other states facing this drop include Wisconsin, South Carolina, Minnesota, Oregon, Kentucky and Alabama.

The unemployment rate stands at 6.7 percent as of December 2013.  Seasonal employment layoffs might show a higher rate in February.

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Shriver Report website brings issues of women to forefront

The Shriver Report is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary look at how American families live and work today, giving clear insight into one of the most important social trends of our time: the emergence of women into all areas of society.  To view this new website, link here.

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Unemployment rates dropping, also wages and quality jobs

While unemployment percentages dropped in December, 3.9 million Americans are still on long-term unemployment. overfiftyandoutofwork.com photo

By Sharon Dunten, editor of SurvivingTimes.com

Today’s jobs report at first glance looks promising with the unemployment rate falling to 6.7 percent.  But if you look at the guts of this information, the unemployment crisis is still affecting so many Americans.

In an Associated Press’ article, “US economy adds 74K jobs; rate falls to 6.7 percent,” by Christopher S. Rugaber, this week’s figures are only a weak gain compared to other reports since October 2008. Yes, the unemployment percentages are falling, but the figures might not show the circumstances behind the drop.  For example:

  • Many individuals looking for jobs have stopped looking; therefore, the government no longer counts them as unemployed
  • The jobs acquired might be part-time or contract positions leaving many Americans with lower and unpredictable wages
  • Many new older workers now working again are earning less pay; new younger workers are in entry-level positions
  • December is a time for seasonal employment, and many employers are not hiring for permanent positions, especially in retail
  • US minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living since the 1970s

To stimulate the economy, U.S. businesses need to provide better paying jobs, support more job training and provide more security in the job market. Without these elements, the dropping unemployment percentages could only be an illusion of statistics rather than the reality of workforce.

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Most members of Congress are millionaires

U.S. Congress namaddjeiprymc.wordpress.com photo

For the first time in history, most members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal financial disclosure date by the Center for Responsive Politics.  To link to this report, link here.

How do you feel about so many millionaires in the U.S. Congress?  Go to our Facebook page, Facebook.com/survivingtimes1 or Twitter   @_survivingtimes to respond.  We want to hear from you.

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Unemployed over age 55 face only 47 percent chance of new job, statistics reveal

The unemployment trend since the beginning of the Great Recession is to layoff workers over the age of 55. Many are joining the college graduates in search of career opportunities. Phys.org photo

At the beginning of the Great Recession and continuing today is the trend to layoff individuals over the age of 55. The layoffs or firings have nothing to do with job performance or loyalty to a business or corporation. Employees over 55 just cost to much. If you think about it, most 55+ are at the highest salary of their careers and are looking toward the end of the tunnel called retirement. Another reality check facing 55+ employees is their increase use of health insurance to cover medical needs as they grow older.  In return, those medical needs could possibly cost an employer more and affect their financial bottle line.

Read Tom LeCompte’s blog from Boston’s NPR news station website, WBUR, which discusses job loss statistics and why over 55 might mean delayed retirement and new career challenges.

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Too many LinkedIn requests might lead to restriction on website

Using LinkedIn as a network tool has both a positive and negative side.  On the positive side, LinkedIn might connect you with individuals in your field that you would not normally have access to without LinkedIn. Outstanding, right?  Well, like the famous cliche states, “Quality is better than quantity” rules true with LinkedIn. Developing a central core of quality individuals could be more successful than joining the “500 plus club” or power users. And if LinkedIn observes users “gaming the system,” the user could end up restricted from the site. To learn more about building a quality and strong LinkedIn network, watch J.T. O’Donnell’s video below or linking here. O’Donnell is founder of Careerealism.com and considers herself an “influencer” in understanding LinkedIn.

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Workforce schedules compete for flexibility versus strict office hours

- SurvivingTimes.com staff report

There are pros and cons of flexible work schedules.  Many businesses want to keep talented employees who might demand flexibility to their work load each week, while others are fearful of employees slacking off if they work from a remote location like their homes. Either way, today’s workforce schedules are changing to meet the needs of both the businesses and employees.  With the businesses’ bottom lines in demand, is there a possibility for a compromise for both the employee and the employer?

One HR Director, Jackie Reses, from Yahoo! wrote a memo announcing all remote employees were now required to work from the Yahoo! offices.  Read the article from Business Insider by Nicholas Carlson that covers the reasons why the business decision was made to bring the troops back to the offices by linking here.

In an article by Careerealism.com, Yahoo!’s decision to end remote employment is also mentioned but also gives several suggestions on why flexible work schedules still have a future in the business world.  Read Amanda Haddaway’s article by linking here.

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Today’s workforce schedule concepts are outdated for 21st Century

In rigid shift situations with “no-fault” attendance policies—through which workers accrue points for every unforeseen absence from work, regardless of the reason—being a few minutes late can cost someone his or her job.
elev8.com photo

By Sarah Jane Glynn and Emily Baxter, Center for American Progress

In the 1950s close to 20 percent of the workforce were made up of women.  Today, women make up 55 percent of the workforce.  For both male and female workers, life has changed since the days where mom stayed home with the kids and dad went to work to give allegiance to the corporate god.  In 2014, it might take two incomes or a single parent might face the load alone to  live above the poverty line or even reach the middle-class status.  But even though more than 50 years have passed, the workforce concept of strict schedules has not changed with the times. Families now face more daily childcare and older-adult care circumstances, mandatory overtime work hours and an unchanged living wage.  To read more about these workforce issues and possible solutions, link here.

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