Elevated unemployment rates remain an indicator of significant economic distress for many states. In May 2011, the national unemployment rate was 9.1 percent, up slightly from April. Twenty-four states reported a decrease in their unemployment rate in May over April, 13 states and the District of Columbia reported increases, and 13 had no change.
Check out where your state stands with CSG's interactive Unemployment Tracker. Learn:
- The most recent unemployment rates.
- Changes in unemployment rates over the past year.
- How much states have borrowed from the Federal Unemployment Account to cover the costs of paying out unemployment benefits.
The U.S. Department of Education announced on Wednesday that states will begin reporting high school graduation rates for the 2010-2011 school year using a new, more rigorous, uniform four-year adjusted method, first developed by the nation's Governors in 2005. The new reporting guidelines will likely result in lower reported graduation rates than in previous years, according to a news release issued by the U.S. Department of Education.
From the “in case transportation folks didn’t already have enough to worry about department”: Yesterday I blogged about how a potential failure to raise the debt ceiling might impact transportation funding and about how a lack of momentum for a new transportation authorization bill combined with a toxic political atmosphere in Washington will make getting a new authorization in place by September 30 (when the latest SAFETEA-LU extension expires) extremely difficult. While another temporary extension of SAFETEA-LU might be an option, even that’s not a given in light of last week’s failure by lawmakers to reach agreement on a temporary extension of the Federal Aviation Administration, which forced a partial shutdown of the agency. But September 30 is a key looming deadline for another reason as well: that’s the day the federal gas tax, or at least most of it, expires.
The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) Treasurer Rep. Greg Wren (AL) will appear before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services on July 28th, 2011 at 10:00 am ET. He will discuss SLIMPACT, an interstate compact that authorizes the development of allocation formulas, uniform payment methods and reporting requirements while also providing for foreign insurer eligibility requirements and a single policyholder notice for nonadmitted insurance.
With Washington still embroiled in the debt ceiling debate and no momentum for a new transportation reauthorization bill, we get a glimpse this week at the potential cost of doing nothing to improve America’s infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) issues a new report today entitled “Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Surface Transportation Infrastructure.” The report indicates that not only are American households and businesses absorbing enormous costs today as a result of deteriorating infrastructure, over the next 30 years these costs could further reduce America’s productivity and competitiveness in the world, cause millions of Americans to forgo discretionary purchases in order to pay transportation costs that could have been avoided, cause the U.S. to lose out on creating jobs in high paying services and manufacturing industries, produce a significant drain on wages and productivity and result in the United States losing billions of dollars in foreign exports.
After four years of high school most students are probably eager to put high school behind them. A study in Maine, however, could lead to students having the option to remain in high school for an extra year if they choose to do so.
As Washington continues negotiations over raising the debt ceiling, state leaders are bracing for the worst and hoping for the best. If the federal government doesn’t find a clear debt ceiling solution by the August 2 deadline, states could face higher borrowing costs, risks to their investments and an abrupt stop to federal funding for key programs.
Dodd-Frank, One Year Later: A Look at States’ Role in Financial Services Regulation under the Landmark LegislationBy Zach Huitink | Tuesday, July 26, 2011 at 8:46 am
July 21, 2011 marked one year since Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the most significant retooling of the financial system since the Great Depression. This policy brief considers states’ regulatory role under Dodd-Frank, with attention to two issues: 1) the standard governing federal preemption of state consumer finance laws, and 2) state oversight of mid-sized investment advisors. Each is an example of how Dodd-Frank sought to “reset” the balance between state and federal financial regulators, and to preserve states’ regulatory authority in the financial services industry.
CSG Research & Expertise in the News: School Discipline; Surplus Lines; Canda-U.S. Relations; Population GrowthBy Kelley Arnold | Monday, July 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm
CSG Research & Expertise in the News: 7/17-23, 2011
The following compilation features published news stories during the week of July 17-23 that highlight experts and/or research from The Council of State Governments. For more information about any of the experts or programs discussed, please contact CSG at (800) 800-1910 and you will be directed to the appropriate staff. Members of the press should call (859) 244-8246.
CSG Justice Center Lauds U.S. Department of Justice/Department of Education Supportive School Discipline InitiativeBy CSG Justice Center | Monday, July 25, 2011 at 11:16 am
On July 21, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the launch of the Supportive School Discipline Initiative, a collaborative project to encourage effective disciplinary practices that help make classrooms safer and more conducive to learning. It will also promote evidence-based practices that reduce the likelihood that students disciplined at school will have subsequent contact with the juvenile justice system. The initiative was announced at the Coordinating Council on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, whose membership includes representatives from 12 federal agencies.