Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.

Unemployment Rate Drops

Most U.S. cities have seen a drop in the unemployment rate over the past year, a government agency reported on Thursday. The unemployment rate dropped in 317 of the 372 metropolitan areas surveyed by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics in the twelve-month period beginning in March 2010. It was higher in 44 metros, and remain unchanged in 11 areas. The national average unemployment has dropped 1 percentage point in that same time period -...
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BLS: Summer Jobs for Students

BLS: Summer Jobs for Students
Though getting a summer job has been a student tradition for generations, the tough jobs market has particularly affected young people looking for employment. Youth job participation in July - normally the peak employment month for people ages 16 to 24 - was the worst since the government began keeping track in 1948. Among the civilian noninstitutional population, less than half (48.8%) of young people were employed last month, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics...
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Obama Approval Unaffected by Jobs Bill

Obama Approval Unaffected by Jobs Bill
Most Americans are skeptical about whether President Obama’s $447 billion American Jobs Act will actually help the nation’s employment situation, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted last weekend. The unemployment rate has stagnated at around 9% since the beginning of the year. The president’s approval rating has dropped to 45 percent, and Americans disapprove of his handling of the economy by 62 percent to 33 percent - a nine point increase from six months ago,...
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Postal Service Must Face a "New Reality"

Postal Service Must Face a "New Reality"
As consumers depend more on electronic communication, mail volume has plummeted by more than 43 billion pieces in the past five years - and continues to fall. The U.S. Postal Service said on Thursday that they plan to make serious changes to their infrastructure in order to cut costs and stay financially sustainable. Though it’s considered a federal enterprise, USPS receives no federal tax dollars and depends entirely on the sale of postage, products, and services...
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Health Savings Accounts

As the cost of health care continues to rise, consumers flocked to tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts in record numbers last year. J.P. Morgan Treasury Services said the average Chase HSA balance of $1,547 in 2011 is 4% higher than it was in 2010, and that the average balance of nearly $1000 for new Chase HSA accounts rose to its highest level in 7 years. The bank said that the average taxpayer in the 28% tax bracket...
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29% of U.S. Households Don't Have a Savings Account

29% of U.S. Households Don't Have a Savings Account
More than one in four American households do not have a savings account and one in ten don’t have a checking account, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found in a 2011 survey released on Thursday. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. households have both a checking and savings account. The findings are the result of the second National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, sponsored last year by the FDIC and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The...
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Census Bureau: Mississippi Poorest State in the Nation

Census Bureau: Mississippi Poorest State in the Nation
Earlier this month, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that last year the nation’s median income slipped 1.5 percent to $50,502, the percent without health insurance coverage fell by 0.6 percentage points to 15.7 percent, and the poverty rate roughly held steady at 15 percent. On Wednesday, the Bureau released its findings on states, cities, and smaller communities for 2011. "The American Community Survey provides reliable, local statistics about our nation's people, housing and economy that are...
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Unemployment Rate Drops 0.3 Percent in September and Raises Suspicions

Unemployment Rate Drops 0.3 Percent in September and Raises Suspicions
The government’s unemployment figures reported for September reflect that the nation’s jobless rate fell a whopping 0.3 percent and brought the unemployment rate to its lowest level since January 2009. The unemployment rate fell from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent last month, the Labor Department reported on Friday. The big decline was unexpected - economists had predicted the September jobless rate would increase 0.1 percentage point to 8.2 percent. Since the beginning of 2012,...
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IRS: Use Refund Tracker Tools Once per Day

IRS: Use Refund Tracker Tools Once per Day
The IRS tax refund tracker tool has become so popular for people expecting a tax refund that the IRS has put out a notice asking taxpayers to limit their inquiries to no more than once per day. As more returns come in, the IRS said it is experiencing high traffic on “Where’s My Refund?” at irs.gov. The large large traffic volume is expected to limit the availability of the tool on both the website and the...
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Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Admit Responsibility for Financial Troubles

Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Admit Responsibility for Financial Troubles
Almost two-thirds of Americans admit that their financial troubles are of their own doing, according to a December poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Of poll respondents, 63% said their financial woes self-inflicted for reasons such as overspending or being financially unorganized, and 37% said their problems were caused by events beyond their control such as job loss or medical bills. "The poll results are encouraging, as the first step to correcting a problem...
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