1) Unemployment stuck at 9 percent
Bleak figures released Sept. 1 from the Office of Management and Budget predict unemployment will remain at 9 percent as President Barack Obama dives into his re-election campaign.
2) Obama tackles jobs
According to the Associated Press, the White House says President Barack Obama hopes that when Congress returns this coming week from its summer break, lawmakers will share his sense of urgency in taking steps to create jobs and help the economy.
3) Wisconsin lawmakers survive recall challenges
In August, six GOP Wisconsin lawmakers fought to survive recall challenges stirred by backlash against GOP Gov. Scott Walker and his move to strip public employee unions of most collective bargaining rights. Democrats succeeded in taking two Wisconsin state Senate seats away from Republican incumbents but fell one short of what they needed to seize majority control of the chamber.
4) AFL-CIO wants stronger political clout
The AFL-CIO is looking to launch a new political action committee that can raise unlimited amounts of money year-round. The labor movement would be bolstered by sympathetic donors both inside and outside union membership, and would be able to strengthen political activities outside election cycles. The move would also help steer more of labor's money to state legislative battles.
5) Ohio unions say no to compromise
Though GOP lawmakers in Ohio have offered to weaken a new law that limits collective bargaining, union leaders said in late August that the time for compromise has passed. The law in debate bans public employees from striking and restricts collective bargaining rights for more than 350,000 public workers.
6) 'Football's back'
Howard Fendrich for the Associated Press writes: "After months of public nastiness and private negotiations, of court filings and rulings, of players and owners squabbling over more than $9 billion a year, NFL fans finally saw the handshake and heard the words they awaited: 'Football's back.'"
7) Employers consider dropping health benefits
The June 2011 McKinsey Quarterly detailed findings of an early 2011 survey, which boldly stated 30 percent of responding employers will "definitely" or "probably" stop offering employer-sponsored health insurance after 2014. That's when employees will be able to seek coverage options in state-run health insurance exchanges.
8) States try to control benefits costs
According to the National Business Group on Health, employers estimate their health care benefit costs will increase an average of 7.2 percent in 2012. [See Workers face higher health care costs]
9) Postal Service considers cutting 120,000 jobs
Facing a second year of losses totaling $8 billion or more, the Postal Service is considering slashing as many as 120,000 jobs, and it also wants to pull its workers out of the retirement and health benefits plans covering federal workers and set up its own benefit systems.
10) Volatility hits retirement plans
Debt-negotiation stress and fears about the global economy intensified in August, and, according to the Associated Press, rattled investors pulled more than $40 billion from mutual funds, the biggest amount removed from mutual funds in a week since the height of the financial meltdown in October 2008.