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Connecticut becomes first state to pass $10.10 minimum wage

By Richard Weizel MILFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy on Thursday signed into law a measure that will phase in the highest minimum wage of any U.S. state, in line with a push by Democrats nationwide to raise the entry-level wage. The bill, which was approved by state legislators a day earlier, will raise the state's minimum hourly rate to $10.10, a figure that matches what U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to consider imposing nationally.

Unemployment rates fell in 29 US states in February as hiring picks up

WASHINGTON - Unemployment rates fell in most states in February and two-thirds of the states reported job gains, evidence that most of the country is benefiting from slow but steady improvement in the job market. The Labor Department says unemployment rates dropped in 29 states, rose in 10 and was unchanged in the remaining 11. Meanwhile, hiring rose in 33 states and fell in 17.

U.S. jobs market dropouts increasingly likely to stay out

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A growing number of Americans quitting the labor force are likely gone for good, offering a cautionary note to the Federal Reserve as it tries to gauge how tight the jobs market is and how quickly to raise interest rates.

Younger workers having hard time finding work and keeping jobs, new Labor Dept. study shows

WASHINGTON - Young adults born in the early 1980s held an average of just over six jobs each from ages 18 through 26, a Labor Department survey showed Wednesday. Since 1997, the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics has been keeping tabs on about 9,000 young men and women born in the early 1980s, surveying their educational and workplace progress. The latest survey is from interviews conducted in 2011-2012. According to the survey, more than two-thirds of the jobs held by high-school dropouts lasted less than a year.

Budget watchdog says little evidence of labour shortages, skills mismatch

OTTAWA - Canada is not experiencing significant job or skills shortages, says a new report from the country's budget watchdog that also takes a shot at a recent government analysis pointing to a growing problem. The findings by parliamentary budget officer Jean-Denis Frechette appear to once again put the office on a collision course with the Harper government, which had a series of public spats with predecessor Kevin Page. A spokesperson for Employment Minister Jason Kenney insisted there was no disagreement between the government and the PBO on labour shortages, however.

Long-term jobless face a dark future in U.S.: study

By Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The millions of Americans suffering through long stretches of unemployment could be left behind as the economy strengthens, a study by an influential former White House economist found. Alan Krueger, a respected labor market economist who led President Barack Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, said those unemployed long term tended to put less effort into their job hunts than others and were often viewed by employers as undesirable.

Senate jobless benefits plan poses problems: state agencies

By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday a U.S. Senate plan to extend long-term unemployment benefits retroactively "is simply unworkable" after a state officials group warned of implementation problems. The National Association of State Workforce Agencies said in a letter that some states may find the plan's verification requirements too costly and onerous, and could try to opt out.

British unemployment drops in pre-budget boost

British unemployment is falling and the number of people in work has struck a record high, official data showed on Wednesday, boosting the government ahead of its latest budget announcement. The number of unemployed fell by 63,000 people to 2.33 million in the three months to January, compared with the three months to October, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) announced in a statement. Employment jumped to 30.19 million in the same period, which was the highest level since records began in 1971, it added.

Spain's Rajoy meets with employers, unions to push dialogue

Madrid, Mar 18 (EFE).- Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy held a meeting Tuesday with representatives of business and organized labor to push for social dialogue and reactivate economic growth and job creation. Attending the meeting with Rajoy and Employment Minister Fatima Bañez were the heads of the CEOE employers confederation, Juan Rosell, and the CEPYME small-business association, Jesus Terciado, as well the chiefs of the CCOO and UGT labor federations, Ignacio Fernandez Toxo and Candido Mendez, respectively.

Boehner raises questions about Senate deal renewing benefits for long-term unemployed

WASHINGTON - House Speaker John Boehner said Friday he thinks a bipartisan Senate deal to renew expired benefits for the long-term unemployed isn't feasible, a remark that suggested the agreement is in trouble in the Republican-run House. Asked Friday by The Associated Press what he thought of the Senate compromise, he said, "You mean the one that can't be implemented?" Asked if his comment meant he didn't like the measure or that he wouldn't bring it to the House floor for debate, Boehner, R-Ohio, said, "I didn't say that."
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