At the same time, there are millions of Americans you can't find in monthly job reports. They've been unemployed so long they're no longer counted, or they're working just a few hours a week in jobs that can't support them. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also said yesterday that what they call the labor force participation rate fell again to 63.5 percent, the lowest number since 1981.
This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. When it comes to job creation, the U.S. economy has been in a rut. Now, in a moment, we'll hear from Americans who have been struggling to find work, but yesterday's jobs report suggests things might be changing a bit. Employers added far more jobs than expected, and the unemployment rate declined to its lowest point in more than four years.
Even so, the news produced more relief than celebration. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.
StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of the participants in this project have been speaking about being separated from their loved ones.
This week, Weekend Edition is featuring two stories of families reuniting after deployment.
Both of the Radlinski brothers served in the Navy. Luke deployed in 2001 to the Persian Gulf in support of the conflict in Afghanistan. His brother, Mark, went to Iraq in 2006.
There is an advertising battle going on over the Arabic term jihad. In Chicago, a group has launched a bus and subway ad campaign meant to reclaim the term jihad from another series of ads that presents jihadists as violent.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. The Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League have done something remarkable. They've gone half of the current season, 24 games, without losing in regulation time. Here to talk about that feat and other hockey news is sportswriter Stephen Fatsis. Hey there, Stephen.
Philadelphia is closing almost two dozen of its public schools. The move prompted outcry in the nation's fifth largest city, but the schools in Philly face declining enrollment, aging infrastructure and massive state budget cuts. And those forces came to a head last night when the city's school reform commission took a vote. Benjamin Herold is covering the emotional decision from member station WHYY.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. 7.7 percent is the latest unemployment rate. That's the number for February, according to the Labor Department's report out this morning. Economists were expecting a ho-hum job survey. Instead, they got a pleasant surprise, as NPR's Dan Bobkoff reports.
Some U.S. Senators are demanding answers after an Air Force commander dismissed a sexual assault conviction against one of his officers. Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkerson had been sentenced to a year in prison and dismissal from the military for aggravated sexual assault, but he's been reinstated. Senators Jean Shaheen and Barbara Boxer called the decision a travesty of justice. They and Senator Claire McCaskill have written to defense officials about the case.
As lawmakers in Washington continue to negotiate over immigration policies, they'll have to grapple with a fundamental disagreement about the link between immigrants and crime.
Elected officials from Pennsylvania to Arizona have argued that undocumented immigrants contribute to higher crime rates, but some social scientists tell a different story. They argue that first-generation immigrants actually make their communities safer — and they point to some of the nation's biggest cities as proof.
The educational division of the media conglomerate News Corp., called Amplify, unveiled a new digital tablet this week at the SXSW tech conference in Austin, Texas, intended to serve millions of schoolchildren and their teachers across the country.
Amplify promises the tablet will simplify administrative chores for teachers, enable shy children to participate more readily in discussions, and allow students to complete coursework at their own pace while drawing upon carefully selected online research resources.
When he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol and other charges in 2005, Stephen Slevin had no way of knowing that an opinion about his mental state would put him on a path to spend more than 22 months of solitary confinement in a New Mexico county jail, despite never having his day in court. This week, he reached a $15.5 million settlement with Dona Ana County.
Caught between the gritty political realities of needing cash and being linked to a political leader who has repeatedly denounced money's influence in Washington while raising record sums, former campaign aides to President Obama appeared to side with the money.
That had opened officials now heading Organizing for Action — which was formed from the Obama for America campaign committee to promote the president's second-term agenda — to charges of hypocrisy.
Behind most politicians is a speechwriter, typing rapidly somewhere in a small office and trying to channel the boss's voice.
The man who has held perhaps the most prominent speechwriting job of the new millennium is Jon Favreau, a 31-year-old from Massachusetts who was President Obama's chief speechwriter until this month. He started writing for Obama when the president was just a senator in 2005.
He tells Audie Cornish, host of All Things Considered, that writing for the president means walking a line between two worlds.
The Education Department has launched an investigation into discipline rates in Seattle public schools.
Students of color have long been punished in far higher numbers than white students in Seattle, but now the department's Office for Civil Rights is looking at whether black students are disciplined more frequently and more harshly than white students for the same behavior.
Senator Rand Paul did get a lot of attention for his nearly 13-hour filibuster, but the Kentucky Republican wouldn't even crack the top five for the longest talking filibusters. The top spot goes to South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond back in 1957. He held the floor for over 24 hours. For more on that and other notable filibusters, we talked to Senate historian Donald Ritchie. He says back in 1957, Senator Thurmond came to the Senate floor ready.
Boeing's Dreamliner 787s remain grounded. And neither investigators nor Boeing can say exactly what caused a battery fire on a Japan Airlines jet. Nevertheless, Boeing thinks it has a fix, and while the Federal Aviation Administration is poised to allow Boeing to begin proving the redesign will be effective, the planes won't be back in service anytime soon.
The first major gun bills in nearly two decades had their first hearing in the Senate on Thursday, including an assault weapons ban and a ban on so-called "straw purchases." Still, even in the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., the legislation faces an uphill battle. Ailsa Chang talks to Melissa Block.
Think your job is bad? Quit whining, unless you're a shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico.
Commercial fishermen have the highest rate of on-the-job fatalities of any occupation in the country — 116 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2010. A majority of the deaths happen when a fishing vessel sinks. About a third occur when someone goes overboard.
Several female mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are trying out new attire that allows them to skip bathroom stops. Here, a musher and his team pass fans at the ceremonial start of the race in Anchorage.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, reggae soul singer Etana tells us how she's been cracking the glass ceiling in reggae. Yes. She says there is one. That's later in the program.
But first, you might have heard about what appeared to be a series of racial incidents at Oberlin College. That's in northern Ohio. Scrawls of racially offensive graffiti and reports of someone wearing a Ku Klux Klan-style robe have upset students and caused administrators to cancel classes there earlier this week.
Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 10:52 am
Update at 12:45 p.m. ET. One Measure Approved So Far:
"The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday making gun trafficking a federal crime as lawmakers cast the first vote in Congress to curb firearms since December's horrific shootings at a Connecticut elementary school," The Associated Press writes.
A federal judge in Michigan could rule as soon as Thursday on a challenge to the state's ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions. The challenge comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear two cases dealing with gay marriage later this month.
In the Michigan case, a lesbian couple sued not because they want to be married, but because they want to be parents.
When President Obama signs an updated version of the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday afternoon, the law will include new requirements for how colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual assault.
Laura Dunn, who's been invited by the White House to attend, plans to be there.
Bacon and bologna are hardly health food. But a huge new study offers the strongest evidence yet that eating processed meat boosts the risk of the two big killers, cancer and heart disease.
A multinational group of scientists tracked the health and eating habits of bacon-loving Brits, wurst-munching Germans, jamon aficionados in Spain, as well as residents of seven other European countries — almost a half-million people in all.