As the recovery from the Great Recession continues, job growth is solid and the labor force is growing at close to its fastest pace since 2000 because more unemployed workers are coming off the sidelines.
Still, the percentage of working-age Americans in the labor force remains stuck near its lowest level since the late 1970s. Although retiring baby boomers are the main reason, there’s another troubling factor that experts predict won’t be solved by stronger economic growth.
Too many men in their prime don’t have a job and aren’t even looking for one. Experts trying to figure out the reasons are probing the roles of criminal background checks, painkillers and even video games.
In all, about 7 million men ages 25 to 54 are neither employed nor “available for work,” putting them outside the labor force. Their growing numbers worry and puzzle economists.
President Obama all but endorsed Nancy Pelosi to continue to lead House Democrats on Sunday, defending her as she faces a challenge to her position from restive members of the Democratic caucus.
Although he is reticent to “meddle” in party votes while he is on the way out the door, Obama said at a news conference that he “cannot speak highly enough” of the first female House speaker, who has been a key ally on some of his most important work as president.
“She combines strong progressive values with just extraordinary political skill, and she does stuff that’s tough, not just stuff that’s easy,” Obama said when asked whether the California Democrat should be reelected to her position.
Reince Priebus, President-elect Trump's designated chief of staff, defended controversial remarks that top advisers to the new administration have made about Islam, saying Sunday that "clearly there are some aspects of that faith that are problematic."
Asked about comments made by retired Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump's national security adviser, that Islam was a political ideology masked behind a religion, Priebus told ABC's Martha Raddatz that "phrasing can always be done differently."
But he praised Flynn as "an unbelievably gifted, smart person" who has Trump's confidence.
President-elect Donald Trump will “create the proper separation” between his vast business holdings and his government work, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said Sunday, addressing concerns about the potential for unprecedented conflicts of interest involving the nation’s first billionaire-in-chief.
In an interview with "Fox News Sunday," Pence said lawyers and experts were working on how to successfully untangle Trump’s holdings from the presidency.
“I’m very confident working with the best legal minds in the country that the president-elect and his family will create the proper separation from his business going forward,” Pence told host Chris Wallace.
President-elect Donald Trump met Saturday with former Washington schools chancellor Michelle Rhee and Republican donor and activist Betsy DeVos, contenders for one of the Cabinet positions he has discussed the least, secretary of Education.
On the campaign trail, Trump said relatively little about education policy other than suggesting that he’d support school vouchers and home-schooling and possibly scale back or eliminate the U.S. Department of Education.
DeVos is the chairwoman of the American Federation for Children, a group that promotes charter schools and private-school vouchers. She is also the former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party.
Inside a beige meeting room at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, the buttoned-down millennials, in their dark suits and ties, settled in for the long conference day ahead.
Like countless others who travel to Washington, they had come to position their interests at the forefront of the political agenda. Their sponsor had a wonky and nondescript name, National Policy Institute. They cradled cups of morning coffee.
But on closer look, this group Saturday was different: They were almost entirely young men, many sporting the same haircut of short sides and back with a familiar flop on top.
The U.S.-China relationship is at a "hinge moment" following the election of Donald Trump as president, President Xi Jinping said Saturday.
Seated across from President Obama before their ninth face-to-face meeting since becoming China's president, Xi made no mention of Trump by name. But he commended Obama for close cooperation on key issues such as North Korea's nuclear development and climate change, before sounding an uncertain tone about the future ties.
"We meet at a hinge moment in the China-U.S. relationship," he said. "I hope the two sides will work together to focus on cooperation, manage our differences, and make sure there is a smooth transition in the relationship and that it will continue to grow going forward."
A top U.S. military official in consideration to be Donald Trump's director of national intelligence has been recommended to be removed from his command in the Obama administration.
The recommendation to relieve Adm. Michael S. Rogers from his post as head of the National Security Agency was made to the White House last month by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, according to U.S. officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Carter and Clapper have been critical of Rogers' performance at the NSA, particularly after the agency came under fire in October when a contractor was found with a trove of sensitive digital files related to its surveillance programs. The incident took place only three years after Edward Snowden distributed more than 1 million classified documents about the agency's secret surveillance programs.
President Obama, continuing what has become a tour of explanation through Europe and now South America, advised people around the world not to prejudge President-elect Donald Trump.
"I think it will be important for everybody around the world to not make immediate judgments, but give this new president-elect a chance," Obama said at a town hall-style event with young Latin American leaders here.
The president, in responding to a question about the state of democracy in the region, said that open and transparent governments like America's "can be frustrating."