Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | New Evidence That Subsidized Jobs Programs Work

The EMC study shows that these programs helped businesses as well as job-seekers weather the worst of the recession.  It found:

Participation in subsidized employment programs led to significant increases in employment and earnings. Participants in four of the five programs covered by the study were much more likely to have an unsubsidized job in the year after working in a subsidized job than in the year before joining the program.  The findings from Florida are especially noteworthy because researchers could compare participants with applicants who were eligible for the program but didn’t receive a subsidized job.  There, participants earned an average of $4,000 more in the year after the program than in the year before it, compared to a $1,500 increase for people in the comparison group.

The programs were especially effective for the long-term unemployed. In Mississippi and Florida, average annual earnings of the long-term unemployed rose by about $7,000 after participating; in Los Angeles and Wisconsin, they rose by about $4,000.  In all four sites, earnings rose much more among the long-term unemployed than among people who had been unemployed for shorter periods.

Employers reported hiring more workers than they would have otherwise and workers with less experience than their usual hires. Two-thirds of the employers interviewed for the study said that they created new positions for subsidized workers.  Over half said they hired people with less work experience than their usual hires.

Most participating employers reported multiple benefits from the program. These included expanding their workforces, serving more customers, and improving their productivity.

via Off the Charts Blog | Center on Budget and Policy Priorities | New Evidence That Subsidized Jobs Programs Work.

Joe Lhota Insists There Are “Literally Thousands Of Cats” In The Subway System: Gothamist

Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota shocked cat lovers when he said that he wouldn’t have stopped subway service to rescue kittens that were on the tracks of a Brooklyn subway station, which basically made him the sociopathic candidate. Now he’s trying to backtrack!

Subway service was briefly suspended during “Kittens Gone Wild 2013” (and the cats were found after it was restored; they are chilling at a foster home now), but Lhota’s apparently anti-kitten stance gave rival John CATsimatidis an opportunity to rail against Lhota’s Grinchy persona. At yesterday’s Republican mayoral debate, Lhota insisted, “I never said I wanted to kill a cat,” explaining, “I’m not the anti-kitten candidate. We have thousands of cats — literally thousands of cats — that are in the subway system every single day, day and night, scurrying across the tracks, and they don’t get killed.”

Thousands of cats in the subway system? It’s one thing for there to be feral cats who hang out near tracks, but if there are thousands of cats in the subway system, why haven’t we seen more of them? We need some fact-checking on this—and in the mean time, can we mention how cats-as-station masters would be awesome?

via Joe Lhota Insists There Are “Literally Thousands Of Cats” In The Subway System: Gothamist.

GOP hates on women and now cats!?!

Texas pertussis levels on track to reach highest levels in 50 years | Vaccine News Daily

The cost of self-delusion that vaccinations are not needed or that refusing them for your kids is “freedom” related…

Two pertussis-related deaths occurred this year in Texas in infants too young to be vaccinated.

“This is extremely concerning,” Lisa Cornelius, an infectious diseases medical officer at the DSHS, said. “If cases continue to be diagnosed at the current rate, we will see the most Texas cases since the 1950s. Pertussis is highly infectious and can cause serious complications, especially in babies, so people should take it seriously.”

The DSHS issued a health alert on Tuesday advising doctors on how to diagnose and treat pertussis. The department strongly urged people to ensure their children’s and their own vaccinations are up to date.

The department recommends pregnant women get a dose of pertussis vaccine during each pregnancy, preferably between the 27th and 36th weeks of pregnancy. The vaccine helps protect the baby before he or she can start getting a vaccine series at two months of age. Family members and medical providers who will be around newborns should also be vaccinated.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection that typically starts with cold-like symptoms and a mild cough. After a week or two, severe coughing can start and last for several weeks. The whooping sound that follows the coughing fits gives the disease its other name, whooping cough.

via Texas pertussis levels on track to reach highest levels in 50 years | Vaccine News Daily.

Syria says it ‘welcomes’ Russia proposal on chemical weapons – The Washington Post

The government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday said it welcomed a Russian proposal to avert U.S. military strikes by having Damascus turn over control of its chemical weapons to international monitors.

The statement by Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem in Moscow offered the first indication that a diplomatic solution may be possible to the international standoff that has evolved since apparent chemical weapons attacks on rebel-held suburbs outside Damascus on Aug. 21.

via Syria says it ‘welcomes’ Russia proposal on chemical weapons – The Washington Post.

Tic for tack – Russia says it will push Syria to relinquish control of chemical weapons – The Washington Post

“We do not know whether Syria will agree to this, but if the establishment of international control over chemical weapons in that country will avoid strikes, we will immediately begin working with Damascus,” Lavrov said.

via Russia says it will push Syria to relinquish control of chemical weapons – The Washington Post.

Butler turns away more veterans seeking aid than any Ohio county |

Butler County turned away a higher percentage of veterans seeking emergency financial assistance for things such as rent, utilities or groceries than any other county in Ohio last year, an investigation by the Hamilton Journal-News/Middletown Journal found.

Less than 1 percent of the estimated 27,000 veterans living in Butler County received emergency aid in 2012 from county taxpayers. Of the 432 times a veteran asked for help, they were turned away nearly 40 percent of the time.

Butler County’s Veterans Service Commission spent more money paying its director, assistant director and five appointed commissioners than providing direct financial aid to veterans, the newspaper found.

The newspaper analyzed Ohio’s 88 county veterans service commissions following a recent study that pointed out that the property tax-funded system has led to affluent counties with more money than they need and poor counties lacking the resources to help veterans. County veteran service commissions were entitled to a combined $121 million in 2011, but many agencies spent less than half of those funds to help veterans.

via Butler turns away more veterans seeking aid than any Ohio county |

Guyana Judge Defends Law against Cross-dressing

Get with 21st Century – leave 19th Century to history books!

Repeating Islands

The_Man_in_the_Womans_Shoes-461x346-320x240Associated Press’ Bert Wilkinson (Georgetown, Guyana) and David McFadden (Kingston, Jamaica) report on how a controversial 1893 law on cross-dressing has been challenged and subsequently defended by a local judge, making it possible for police to arrest cross-dressers for ambiguous reasons.

A judge interpreting a colonial-era law has ruled that cross-dressing is a criminal offense only if it’s done for an ‘‘improper purpose’’ such as prostitution, but the partial victory has frustrated gay rights activists in Guyana who are pushing for the 120-year-old statute to be removed from the books.

On Sunday, a group called the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination said the constitutional court’s ‘‘dubious decision’’ means police can continue to arrest cross-dressers and transgender citizens in the South American country for ambiguous reasons. They plan to appeal the judgment. The rare court challenge of the controversial 1893 law was filed by the rights group after several of its…

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