The economic times are apparently going relatively easy on old folks while sticking it to the whippersnappers. Those at retirement age and beyond were better off in 2009 than they were in 1984, while their younger counterparts faced more difficult struggles.
The Labor Department provided a sign that the job market may be creeping out of its dreadful depths. For the fourth consecutive week, the rolling four-week average of people applying for unemployment benefits declined. The 403,000 applicants in the span ending last week were down from 409,250 in the frame ending the week before.
Several states and major banks are said to be close to sealing a deal that would protect banks from civil suits over sketchy mortgage practices in exchange for $25 billion that would help underwater homeowners refinance their loans. The deal could help the weak housing market.
To be able to terrorize the roads as a drunk driver, you need to be able to afford both a vehicle and booze, and those things aren’t so easy to come by when jobs are so scarce. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a survey finds that impaired driving is down 30 percent since the boom times of 2006.
Japan’s March tsunami and earthquake sent automobile production and sales into a tailspin that the industry has only recently started to recover from. Analysts project U.S. car sales increased 9 percent this month from September 2010, lifting car sales from their lowest per capita levels since World War II.
Thanks to the volatile job market, many people are only a missed paycheck or two away from a financial emergency. Stockpiling a massive reserve fund isn’t an option for everyone, so it makes sense to develop a contingency plan for a monetary worst-case scenario.
Customers of Payless ShoeSource have apparently taken the name of the business to heart, giving the company so little money that it has decided to shut down 475 poorly performing stores over the next three years. Of the shops — including sister franchise Stride Rite — being set up to be stomped, 300 are scheduled to be closed by the end of the fiscal year.
Fliers in smaller markets could have fewer options next year if Southwest Airlines follows through on plans to brace itself from rising fuel costs by dropping routes.
If you received a pink slip, a cardboard box and a security escort last month, you had plenty of company. Businesses laid off 66,414 employees in July, dampening the buzz from the 114,000 jobs that were created.
Last week, 30-year fixed mortgages dropped to 4.45 percent and 15-year mortgages hit a new low of 3.52 percent, meaning seemingly anyone who can afford a house payment had as much incentive as possible from the financing side to go out and close on a house. But the housing market is showing no real signs of recovery, and things don’t look so great on the horizon, either.
Ever since word broke that the recession had ended about two years ago, doomsayers have projected a second, “double-dip” downturn could be on the way. While it takes months to verify that recessions have started or ended, there are signs that we may already have started that second dip.
Goldman Sachs netted only $1.09 billion for the quarter, which isn’t enough to please investors, spurring the company to shed 1,000 jobs. The trading-focused bank suffered a 63 percent drop in trading fees collected from the first quarter.
When the economy went down the tubes, times got particularly tough for black households, whose median net worth dove 83 percent from $13,450 in 2004 to $2,170 in 2009, according to the Economic Policy Institute. In comparison, the median net worth in white households dropped 24 percent, from $134,280 to $97,860, in that span.
No matter what the gross domestic product says, the recession isn’t over for you unless you’re gainfully employed and not mired in pay freezes or threatened with downsizing. But as the economy slowly recovers, you can use what you’ve learned during the economic downturn to strengthen yourself for whatever is coming next.
Massive hiring by several vehicle manufacturers is a telling sign that the auto industry has straightened out of its skid. General Motors and Honda are looking for a combined 3,500 new workers, and Volkswagen added 2,000 employees at a new plant.
Movie theaters are finding it more difficult to find buyers for those often irritating pre-show commercials, thanks to hard times suffered by one traditional client source and the lack of a need to advertise by another.
According to researchers, suicide rates rise when investments tank and the job market becomes less forgiving, especially among those in the post-college, pre-retirement age range.
Grocery Shrink Ray use tends to be more prevalent during a down economy, as manufacturers look to cut down on costs while making it appear through packaging as though they’re giving you the same amount. The practice takes more of a toll on consumers when they have less money to throw around.