Ever since scientists began to sequence the entire genomes of individuals --beginning with those of Nobelist James Watson and scientific entrepreneur J. Craig Venter in 2007 — skeptics have wondered just how useful this elegant and expensive trick would become.
The official unemployment rate, the headline number that comes out every month, was 9.1 percent in May. It measures how many people are out of work and looking for a job.
Then there's the U-6, which is technically the broadest measure of unemployment. It includes people who are underemployed — meaning they want more work — and people who have stopped looking; perhaps they've decided to go back to school or they've just given up their quest for work. That rate is 15.8 percent.
A federal crackdown on the use of undocumented immigrant labor is expanding. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told a thousand companies on Wednesday that their hiring records will be inspected.
But increasingly, states are the new battleground in the immigration debate, taking much more stringent steps to curtail illegal immigration. The latest law comes from Alabama, which goes further than other states and is sure to face a legal challenge.