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Author Archives: Mark Lieberman

Mark Lieberman is the former Senior Economist at Fox Business Network. He is now Managing Director and Senior Economist at Economics Analytics Research. He can be heard each Friday on The Morning Briefing on POTUS on Sirius-XM Radio 124.

Job Openings Edge Up in May, Hiring Strong

The number of job openings edged up in May, increasing for the for the first time since February as hirings continued to improve, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Tuesday in its monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). According to the JOLTS, report, the number of persons unemployed for each job opening in May remained at April's level of 3.07 but was down from 3.09 in February.

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Commentary: Unintended Consequences

Legislators heard--or perhaps misheard--customers when they grumbled about ATM fees and clamped down even though there is a logical argument for them. Now, a new fee opportunity for major banks comes in the form of pay cards--debit cards loaded with your take-home pay each time you get paid. Workers must pay a fee to access their own wages and may be charged a fee for not using the card. The pay cards slither under, over, or around the definitions resulting from Dodd Frank for fees banks are permitted to charge for credit and debit cards or even for store cards.

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Payrolls Up 195k, Unemployment Rate Flat in June

Adding new pressures for the Federal Reserve, the nation's economy added 195,000 jobs in June, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged at 7.6.percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. While the unemployment rate was unchanged, the broader employment-population ratio improved to 58.7 percent. The Fed has been looking to improvements in the labor market for a sign it should begin to reduce its program of stimulative monetary policy.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Continue Downward Trend

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell for the fourth time in the last five weeks, dropping 5,000 to 343,000 for week ending June 29, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. Economists expected 345,000 claims. Claims filings for the week ending June 22 were revised up to 348,000 from the originally reported 346,000.

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Commentary: Drumbeats of a Coming Slowdown

The reaction to Thursday's report on personal income and spending for May was generally positive. Personal income rose 0.5 percent from April--five times what was expected--and personal consumption expenditures (or PCE) were up 0.3 percent, matching economist forecasts.

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Pending Home Sales Index Jumps in May

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) rose 6.7 percent in May to 112.3, its highest level since December 2006, the National Association of Realtors reported Thursday. Economists expected the index to improve 1.0 percent to 107.1 from April's 106.0. In December 2006, the index was 112.8. The PHSI is also up 12.1 percent over May 2012, the 25th straight month of year-over-year increases.

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Calendar Boosts May Incomes; Spending Increases

With a boost from the calendar, personal income rose 0.5 percent in May faster than economists had forecast while personal consumption went up 0.3 percent, as expected, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday. Data for April was revised to show income grew $18.3 billion instead of the originally reported $5.6 billion decline. Data on spending for April was unchanged. Data for April was revised to show income grew $18.

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First-Time and Continuing Jobless Claims Drop

First-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped 9,000 to 346,000 for week ended June 22, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected 345,000 claims. Claims filings for the week ended June 15 were revised up to 355,000 from the originally reported 354,000.

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Q1 GDP Growth Trimmed

The nation’s economy grew at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the first quarter, far slower than previous report for the three months ended March 31, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Wednesday. Previous reports on the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), based on incomplete data, had estimated growth at 2.4 percent, and economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the most recent report would confirm that growth rate.

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New Home Sales Up, Price Slips in May

The price of a new single-family home dropped 3.2 percent in May, but sales increased 2.1 percent to 476,000, the highest level in almost five years, the Census Bureau and HUD reported Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected April sales to increase to 460,000 from April's originally reported 454,000. April sales were revised to 466,000.

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