Finance Globe

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

September Jobless Rate Steady at 9.1%

The economy added more jobs than expected in September, the government reported on Friday. While not quite enough to reduce the unemployment rate, it may be enough to thwart another recession. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis said, "Our nation's labor market posted growth in the month of September.” Non-farm payroll employment added 137,000 private sector jobs. Health care added 44,000 jobs in September, for a total of 336,000 over the past year. Employment in professional and...
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Jobless Claims Remain Above 400,000 Last Week

The job market remains depressed and the number of people filing first-time claims for jobless benefits was higher than expected last week.The Labor Department said on Thursday that initial unemployment claims fell by 9,000 to 423,000 for the week ending September 17. The four week moving average - which smooths out weekly volatility and is better for showing the overall trend - rose by 5,000 to 421,000 last week. A reading consistently below 400,000 is needed...
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Home Builder Confidence Virtually Unchanged in September

Reflecting the ongoing difficulty in the market for new single family homes, home builder confidence was virtually unchanged for September, according to an industry report released on Monday.Builder confidence fell one point to 14 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index - a low level that the index hasn’t budged much from in the past six months, hovering between 13 and 16. An index reading of any number over 50 indicates that...
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IRS: $2.2 Billion Collected From Offshore Tax Evaders Who Came Clean

The IRS announced that it continues to make “strong progress” in their efforts to fight international tax evasion and has recieved up to 30,000 voluntary disclosures since 2009. “By any measure, we are in the middle of an unprecedented period for our global international tax enforcement efforts,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “We have pierced international bank secrecy laws, and we are making a serious dent in offshore tax evasion.” The IRS said that global tax...
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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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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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U.S. Poverty at 18-Year High

The median household income fell in 2010, resulting in an increase in the percentage of people living in poverty for the third year in a row, the government reported on Tuesday. The U.S. Census Bureau said that last year’s median household income of $49,445 was 2.3 percent lower than it was in 2009, and 6.4 percent lower than it was in 2007 - the year before the last recession started. In 2010, the official U.S. poverty...
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Half Billion Dollars in Taxpayer Money Ends in Bankruptcy for Solar Panel Manufacturer

A solar panel manufacturing plant that received a $535 million loan backed by the Department of Energy announced on Wednesday that they were filing bankruptcy and cutting 1,100 jobs.Solyndra, LLC based in Fremont, CA opened in 2005 and in the spring of 2009 was the first company to be funded with DOE money as part of Obama’s Recovery Act.DOE public affairs director Dan Leistikow responded to the company’s failure in a blog on Thursday, in a...
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September is National Preparedness Month

The U.S. has been hit hard by natural disasters this year. The Groundhog Day blizzard in the Northeast, tornadoes across several regions, drought and wildfires in the Southern Plains and Southwest, and flooding along the Mississippi River and in the Upper Midwest have resulted in an estimated $35 billion in economic damages and the loss of hundreds of lives, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).The NOAA figure doesn’t account for recent damages brought...
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FTC: Avoid Home Repair Rip-Offs

As Hurricane Irene slams into the East Coast and leaves damage and destruction in its wake, the government warns consumers to be alert for potential scams.Crooks often take advantage of natural disasters to prey upon people who need repairs done to their homes - during a time when the demand for qualified home repair contractors is likely to exceed the supply. Homeowners and landlords may find that every legitimate contractor they call is booked for months...
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