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December 6, 2013

Unemployment at five-year low

  • 7.0 percent unemployment in November, per the latest jobs numbers. That’s the lowest unemployment rate since November 2008. Some of the positive aspects in the report owed in part to the re-opening of the government after the shutdown in October, but others — a healthy hiring rate, higher wages and more hours for workers — imply that the economy is, at the very least, not getting worse. source
19:23 // 4 months ago
May 30, 2013

Devastating recession losses remain for most American households

  • 55% of the U.S. public’s accumulated net worth still has not returned to the levels seen at its 2007 peak, according to the latest analysis from the Federal Reserve. Most of the the United States’ recovered wealth in recent years was due to the financial sector’s recovery, disproportionately benefiting wealthier families over middle and low-income households. Put quite flatly, the commission says that any analysis which claims the financial damage of the recession has been repaired “is not justified.” source
21:56 // 10 months ago
December 4, 2012
Liberals rejoice, financial sector weeps: With her election to the Senate, Warren became one of the most powerful people in the country; now, she’s headed to one of the most powerful committees in the Senate. Financial regulation is Warren’s specialty; she helped oversee the distribution of TARP funds in 2009 and essentially created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We can’t imagine the bank lobby wanted her on this committee, but then again, there’s probably not much they could have done to prevent it. (Photo: AP) source

Liberals rejoice, financial sector weeps: With her election to the Senate, Warren became one of the most powerful people in the country; now, she’s headed to one of the most powerful committees in the Senate. Financial regulation is Warren’s specialty; she helped oversee the distribution of TARP funds in 2009 and essentially created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We can’t imagine the bank lobby wanted her on this committee, but then again, there’s probably not much they could have done to prevent it. (Photo: AP) source

12:58 // 1 year ago
August 27, 2012
Look, the guy was dealt a difficult hand, no question about it. But he’s had three years, his policies have failed. Rather than blame others … maybe offer some fresh solutions to the problems that we face. But that’s not going to happen between now and election day.
 Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush • Expressing disappointment that President Obama continues to point the finger at his brother, former President George W. Bush Sunday. Bush, who made the comments during an interview on “Meet The Press” on Sunday, also discussed his decision not to enter the 2012 presidential race, a move that both shocked and confused many within the GOP, citing a lack of motivation as the top reason he chose not to run for the nation’s highest office. source (viafollow)
17:51 // 1 year ago
July 11, 2012

It’s a trend: San Bernardino the third California city to seek bankruptcy

  • $46 million budget shortfall puts city in a tough spot source

» And they have company, too: San Bernardino, population 202,000, is not a small city. Nor is Stockton, population 291,000, which announced its intention to declare bankruptcy last month. Both fell on hard times after a boom-and-bust period. The much-smaller Mammoth Lakes also filed for bankruptcy protection recently, but unlike the recession-related reasons for the other two cities, their reason was lawsuit-related. (That city owes $43 million in a breach-of-contract lawsuit to a developer, which is far more than their yearly operating budget.) Anyone want to take bets on which California city falls prey to bankruptcy protection next, if any? (Edit: Spelling)

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12:10 // 1 year ago
July 6, 2012

June’s unemployment rate, in one word: Unchanged

  • 8.2% unemployment rate in June (it’s unchanged)
  • 80k number of jobs created in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report
  • 77k number of jobs created in May, based on revised numbers; June was a marginal improvement
  • 100k number of jobs economists expected to be created in June; the sound of failure source

» Does little improvement = decline? That’s Ezra Klein’s argument on the report. “In this economy, little or no change isn’t good enough,” he says. “We added 80,000 jobs in June. That’s not enough to keep up with population growth. So, in the context of our growing workforce, the labor market lost ground last month.”

» Editor’s note: And because this comes up EVERY SINGLE MONTH, the unemployment rate above is the U3 unemployment rate, the standard that the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses. If you use the U6 unemployment rate (which includes people unemployed but not currently looking for work, or working part-time for economic reasons), it jumps to 14.9 percent, which is up from last month.

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10:16 // 1 year ago
June 27, 2012

Meet Stockton, Calif.: The country’s biggest bankrupt city

  • $90 million the amount Stockton has had to drastically cut from its budget in the past three years, in an effort to remain solvent
  • $26 million the city’s shortfall as of July 1st; the city will be the largest in the country to seek bankruptcy protection; the cuts didn’t work source

» “All that’s left is sadness.”: Stockton’s failure to keep its budget in line is a bit of a lingering effect from the mid-2000s housing boom and later recession. With economic growth built on credit and expensive projects (including a sports arena) built during the stronger times, the city’s fall during the recession — it has the second-highest rate of foreclosures in the country — hit particularly hard. The city has stopped making bond payments, and on Tuesday, the city council voted to file for bankruptcy protection.

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10:12 // 1 year ago
May 4, 2012
If the same percentage of adults were in the workforce today as when Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11.1 percent. If the percentage was where it was when George W. Bush took office, the unemployment rate would be 13.2 percent.
Ezra Klein • Remarking on declining labor force participation in the US. It’s often noted that official unemployment numbers understate the real percentage of people out of work, as they only tally people actively searching for a job. One consequence of this is that when labor force participation decreases—that is, when unemployed folks just give up and stop looking for work—employment actually “increases.” That’s why only 115,000 jobs were added last month, yet unemployment decreased from 8.2% to 8.1%. Since Barack Obama took office, labor force participation has declined 2%. It’s now at 63.6% which, Klein notes, is “a level not seen since the early days of the Reagan administration.” Here’s a chart. source (viafollow)
17:56 // 1 year ago
April 19, 2012

Romney’s unfortunate choice of speech venue

  • planArguing against President Obama’s economic policies, Mitt Romney gave a speech today in a shuttered Ohio drywall plant forced to close during the economic downturn.
  • backfireThe plant in question actually closed its doors during the Bush administration. Meanwhile, unemployment in Ohio has fallen since Obama took office.  source
18:29 // 2 years ago
March 21, 2012
I keep hearing the president say he’s responsible for keeping the country out of a Great Depression. No, no, no, that was President George W. Bush and Hank Paulson.
Mitt Romney • At a town hall meeting today. We’re no political strategists, but we’re wondering how helpful it is for a presidential candidate to make a statement now, in 2012, that’s both pro-George W. Bush and pro-bailout. TARP, for instance, is currently sitting with a net -13 approval rating. Not exactly a winning issue. source (viafollow)
19:05 // 2 years ago