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Tag Archives: Jobs

1st Time Jobless Claims Up Less Than Expected

Following a sharp drop in first time claims for unemployment insurance a week earlier, initial filings rose 15,000 for the week ended September 14 to 309,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists had expected the number of claims to jump 49,000 to 341,000, from the 292,000 originally reported for the week ended September 7.

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No Change in FOMC Policy; Slower Growth

While noting improvement in economic activity and labor market conditions, the Federal Open Market Committee voted Wednesday to continue its policy of near-zero interest rates and its $85-billion-per-month bond-buying program. At the same time, the Fed’s own economic projections suggested the economy might not grow this year as fast as it expected just three months ago.

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September Builder Confidence Falters

The Housing Market Index (HMI), a measure of builder confidence, stalled at 58 in September, unchanged from August’s downwardly revised reading, the National Association of Home Builders reported Tuesday. The August confidence reading had originally been 59. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the index to remain at that level. But a dip in one of the three index components--the outlook for new home sales six months out--pulled the reading down slightly.

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Retail Sales Disappoint With 0.2% August Gain

Americans spent more on cars, furniture, health and beauty aids and at restaurants but were otherwise frugal in August as retail sales went up a disappointing 0.2 percent from July, the Census Bureau reported Friday. Economists had expected sales to increase 0.5 percent.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Fall to 7 1/2-Year Low

First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending September 7 plunged 31,000 to 292,000, the lowest level since March 2006, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected the number of claims to edge up to 330,000 from the 323,000 originally reported for the week ending August 31. The number of filings for that week was unchanged.

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List of Improving Markets Hits New Record

The National Association of Home Builders' Improving Markets Index--a list of areas showing sustained improvement in employment, home prices, and housing permits--reached a record high of 291 in September, according to release. ""While there is still plenty of room for growth, this is an excellent indication of how the housing recovery has begun to take hold across more geographical areas,"" ""said Rick Judson, chairman of the NAHB and a home builder from Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Commentary: Truth… and Consequences

While August's employment situation report was less than robust (with a staggering reduction in July's revised payrolls), it wasn't the first set of data to suggest trouble on the horizon for the housing recovery. The Case-Shiller home price index for June--the most recent--showed continuing, albeit slower, house price gains, pushing affordable homeownership still further from low paid workers. That is, until the numbers change again.

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Unemployment Rate Dips to 7.3% in August

The nation's economy added 169,000 jobs in August as the unemployment rate fell to 7.3 percent, the lowest level since December 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. Economists had forecast payrolls would grow by 180,000 and the unemployment rate would remain at July's 7.4 percent. Payroll growth for July, originally reported at 162,000 was revised down 58,000 to 104,000. June payroll growth was also revised downward from 188,000 to 172,000.

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Beige Book Again Sees Modest-to-Moderate Growth

Continuing to shrug off sequester cutbacks, but feeling the effects of adverse weather, the nation's economy ""continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace"" from early July through late August, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday in its Beige Book assessment. Echoing--or perhaps anticipating--governors' concerns at the upcoming policy meeting, the Beige Book said ""hiring held steady or increased modestly"" while ""upward price pressures remained subdued, and prices increased slightly.""

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