About the Committee Report

The Committee Report is a periodic publication of NCSL's Standing Committee on Labor and Economic Development.

Committee Staff

2009-2010 Labor and Economic Development Committee Officers

Representative Juan Zapata, Florida
Senator Bill Heath, Georgia
Senator Gary LeBeau, Connecticut
Senator Dave Pankonin, Nebraska
Senator Sharon Stewart-Peregoy, Montana
Representative Anna Fairclough, Alaska
Representative Julie Fisher, Utah
Representative Lana Gordon, Kansas
Representative Earl Hillard, Jr., Alabama
Representative James Johnson, Delaware
Immediate Past Chair:
Representative Brent Yonts, Kentucky

Legislative Staff
Staff Chair:
Andrea Wilko, Utah
Staff Vice-Chairs:
Martha Carter, Nebraska
Gilbert Loredo, Texas
Rkia Rhrib, Kentucky
Gwennetta Tatum, Mississippi

Labor and Economic Development Committee Report


May 7, 2010
Vol. III, No. 4


Committee Update

NCSL 2010 Spring Forum
Handouts and presentations from the Labor and Economic Development Committee sessions at the 2010 NCSL Spring Forum are now available online. 

Business Meeting
The Labor and Economic Development Committee was one state short of having a quorum at the Committee Business Meeting during the 2010 NCSL Spring Forum April 8-10, 2010 in Washington, D.C. As a result, the committee was unable to vote on either the Free Trade and Federalism or Employment Security System Funding policies which are set to expire at the 2010 Legislative Summit in Louisville, KY. The committee members who were present at the Forum decided to use the time to conduct an informal working session and discuss both policies. There was unanimous agreement to move forward with the proposed Employment Security System Funding policy and take it up in its current draft form at the Legislative Summit. When the proposed Free Trade and Federalism policy was discussed, several members had suggestions for amendments to the policy. In response to these concerns, a bipartisan working group was formed to develop a draft that was more strongly worded, streamlined and concise while maintaining the important concepts and directives in the existing policy. Please contact Diana Hinton Noel (202-624-7779 ; diana.hinton@ncsl.org) or Robert Strange (202-624-8698 ; robert.strange@ncsl.org) with any questions regarding either of the policies or the NCSL policy process in general.

In the News

Unemployment Inches Up To 9.9% for April 2010 *
National unemployment crept up to 9.9% in April, after having remained steady at 9.7% for the previous three months. While unemployment rose, there was still good news for the economy. Total employment grew by 290,000 jobs in April. Jobs were added in professional and business services, health care, leisure and hospitality services, construction, manufacturing and mining. The manufacturing sector has seen continued improvement this year, adding 44,000 jobs in April and a total of 101,000 since December, 2009. Government employment also rose, although the growth was largely due to the hiring of temporary workers for the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of unemployed workers was 15.3 million and the number of long-term unemployed, those without a job for 27 weeks or more, rose to 6.7 million workers. *Unemployment figures for May will be released on Friday, June 4, 2010.

State Unemployment Rates for March, 2010 *
State unemployment rates remained fairly steady in March, 2010, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on April 16, 2010. In hopeful news for the economy, 24 states and Puerto Rico saw unemployment rise only slightly in March. Unemployment rates dropped in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The rates in nine states remained unchanged.Most of the unemployment rate changes were statistically insignificant. Only four states saw statistically significant increases. Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, and Virginia each had a .02% increase in unemployment, and only one state, Massachusetts, had a .02 decrease in unemployment. The changes in the remaining states were .01%.Michigan continued to lead the states, with the highest unemployment rate in the nation, at 14.1%. Nevada followed at 13.4 %, California and Rhode Island both at 12.6 %, Florida at 12.3 % and South Carolina at 12.2%.Jobs were added in 33 states and the District of Columbia, according to payroll data collected by BLS. The largest increase was in Maryland, which added 35,800 in nonfarm jobs. Virginia saw an increase of 24,500 jobs and Pennsylvania added 22,600 jobs. Indiana added 16,600 jobs in March, while New York saw an increase of 11,700 jobs. *State unemployment rates for April will be released by BLS on Friday, May 21, 2010.

NCSL Legislative Summit 
This summer it’s your turn to be in the winner’s circle at the meeting of champions, the 2010 NCSL Legislative Summit in Louisville, Kentucky, July 25-28. Committee Officers are currently working with NCSL staff to develop the Committee’s agenda for Louisville which will be published online soon. 

Recent Reports

New NCSL LegisBrief

Recovery Act Funding for Green Jobs Training
This report summarizes the approximately $500 million in the Recovery Act set aside for grants to state and local areas for research, labor exchange and job training projects that prepare workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy.  For additional information on Recovery Act funding for workforce development please view the following previously released LegisBriefs:

NCSL Report

Overview of State Residential Health or Housing Codes
Landlord-tenant law is one of the foundations of a healthy homes code since it establishes the minimum standards for the rental property and assigns specific duties to the landlord and the tenant. All but North Dakota have a landlord-tenant law.

Office of the United States Trade Representative

2010 Report on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Report)
The 2010 Report on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Report) is a new, specialized report focused on significant foreign trade barriers in the form of product standards, technical regulations and testing, certification, and other procedures involved in determining whether products conform to standards and technical regulations (conformity assessment procedures). These standards-related trade measures, known in World Trade Organization (WTO) parlance as “technical barriers to trade,” play an increasingly critical role in shaping the flow of global trade. Full Report

GAO Reports

Auto Industry: Lessons Learned from Cash for Clunkers Program
GAO 10-486, April 29, 2010

Retirement Income: Challenges for Ensuring Income throughout Retirement
GAO-10-632R, April 28, 2010

Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds: Long-standing State Financing Policies Have Increased Risk of Insolvency
GAO-10-692T, May 6, 2010

Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds: Long-standing State Financing Policies Have Increased Risk of Insolvency
GAO-10-440, April 14, 2010

Small Business Administration: Steps Have Been Taken to Improve Administration of the 8(a) Program, but Key Controls for Continued Eligibility Need Strengthening
GAO-10-353, March 30, 2010

Congressional Budget Office Reports

How Policies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Could Affect Employment
CBO Economic and Budget Issue Brief
May 5, 2010

H.R. 5017, Rural Housing Preservation and Stabilization Act of 2010
CBO Cost estimate for the bill as ordered reported by the House Committee on Financial Services on April 22, 2010.

Losing a Job During a Recession
CBO Economic and Budget Issue Brief
April 22, 2010

Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division

Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act
This fact sheet provides general information to help determine whether interns must be paid the minimum wage and overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act for the services that they provide to “for-profit” private sector employers.