US economy

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Only One Country Beat US for Most Competitive Economy

Switzerland is No. 1 in World Economic Forum ranking

(Newser) - One of Donald Trump's platforms during the presidential campaign was to "restore America's competitive edge," but the US might not be doing so shabby after all. Quartz , which features the World Economic Forum's new Global Competitiveness Report , notes that the United States has actually ascended... More »

New Jobs Report Erases Job Losses in Recession

Unemployment rate drops to 4.3%, tying May's 16-year low

(Newser) - It's another solid jobs report: The US economy added 209,000 new jobs in July as the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3%, per the AP . That ties a 16-year low reached in May. The job gains exceeded expectations of about 180,000, but the Wall Street Journal ... More »

Interest Rates Hit a Milestone for First Time Since 2008

Fed signals belief in strong economy

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve signaled confidence in a strong economy Wednesday with its second interest rate hike of 2017, bringing its benchmark rate up a quarter-point to push it over 1% for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis. The move, which brings the range to between 1% and 1.... More »

American Household Debt Hits New Record High

It beats the previous record ... set immediately before the 2008 recession

(Newser) - It's beginning to look a lot like 2008. The New York Times reports Americans had $12.7 trillion in household debt during the first quarter of 2017—a record high beating out the previous peak, which came immediately before the financial crisis. The new record was announced Wednesday by... More »

Sticker Shock May Explain Slumping Auto Sales

Bloomberg points to a $50K minivan, though others say industry is still fine

(Newser) - The latest auto sales figures have triggered a flurry of negative headlines of the-boom-is-over variety. Sales fell 4.7% in April, which is the fourth straight month of declines and the first time we've had such a streak since 2009, reports the AP . Barring an unexpected surge, the US... More »

US Household Wealth Hits Record Level

Surge in stock market fuels rise

(Newser) - The stock market's rise to record levels fueled a big increase in US household wealth in the final three months of last year, the AP reports. The wealth gains could lead to more spending that would lift the economy, but the increases aren't widely shared. Americans' stock and... More »

With Fed Set to Hike Rates, Look for This One Word

'Roughly'

(Newser) - The Federal Reserve's first policy meeting since Donald Trump won the election wraps up Wednesday, and analysts say the Fed is almost certain to raise interest rates for just the second time in a decade—though they also said Trump was almost certain to lose the election. Beyond the... More »

Half of 30-Year-Olds Don't Make What Their Parents Did

New study casts 'American dream' in troubled light

(Newser) - The American dream isn't dead, but it's got one foot in the grave, according to new research . The Washington Post reports that 92% of people born in 1940 earned more money at 30 years old than their parents did when they were the same age. Researchers say doing... More »

Rate Debate Reaches Fever Pitch Ahead of Fed Meeting

Chair Janet Yellen has said there's a strong case for a rate hike—but pushback continues

(Newser) - "Let's get on with it already." That's the opinion of one investment strategist ahead of the Federal Reserve's two-day rate meeting starting Tuesday, calling for Chair Janet Yellen to push for a rate increase that many are still wary of implementing. Per Reuters , a good... More »

Middle-Class Income Sees Fastest Growth Ever: Report

Poverty rate fell too, though some say it's not enough to warrant a celebration just yet

(Newser) - For seven long years, the US has been struggling to break out of a sluggish economy after the Great Recession, Bloomberg notes. Some "remarkable progress" on that front came Tuesday, per the White House blog : A US Census Bureau report says median household income (adjusted for inflation) for 2015... More »

I Don't Have $400 for an Emergency, Likely Neither Do You

47% of Americans are in the same boat: writer

(Newser) - Neal Gabler has written and published books and hundreds of articles, won awards and fellowships, appeared on a movie-review TV show for three years, and even sold the rights to one of his books to Martin Scorsese. Yet he is among the 47% of Americans who, according to a 2013... More »

Forget 50 States: America Is 7 Regions

Parag Khanna wants us to think differently

(Newser) - America's political division into 50 states is only hurting its ability to compete in the global economy, writes Parag Khanna at the New York Times . That's because the US, like other nations, is clustering into city-centered economic regions that need social and economic support. "The 50-state model... More »

Shrinking Gender Gap Could Give Economy Huge Boost

Increasing equality could add $2.1T to GDP

(Newser) - Shrinking the gender gap in American workplaces could give the US economy a boost almost as big as the GDP of California, according to the latest McKinsey Global Institute study. The institute found that while the economy could grow by $4.3 trillion if the gender gap was completely eliminated,... More »

Trump Predicts Dire Future for US Economy

GOP candidate sees 'very massive recession' ahead

(Newser) - In a wide-ranging interview this week, Donald Trump said the US economy is headed for disaster—unless, it seems, he takes the reins. He also compared himself to the Lone Ranger and predicted the American people will "be falling asleep" if he becomes president. Among the highlights of his... More »

Middle Class Plummets to Less Than 50% of US

Most of that demographic's gains were wiped out by Great Recession

(Newser) - In 1971, the middle class made up 61% of the US population. That figure has now plummeted to just below half, and analysts are worried about the breakdown of what the Los Angeles Times calls "a pillar of the US economy." A Pew Research Center report released Wednesday... More »

Jobs Report: Things Look to Be 'Back on Track'

280K new jobs added, unemployment rate ticks up to 5.5%

(Newser) - It's a good number: 280,000 jobs were added in May, besting economists' consensus prediction of 225,000. Today's jobs report also revealed the unemployment rate ticked up from 5.4% to 5.5%, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new jobs numbers for March and April show... More »

April Jobs Report Mixes Good News With Bad

Unemployment rate 5.4%, 223K jobs added, but there's a but

(Newser) - The unemployment rate fell from 5.5% to 5.4% in April and the economy added 223,000 jobs—pretty close to the 228,000 economists had expected—but elements of the jobs report weren't exactly encouraging. The number of new jobs added in March was revised way down,... More »

This Month's Jobs Report a Surprise—the Bad Kind

Economy adds just 126K jobs, and more not-great news

(Newser) - The US economy added just 126,000 jobs in March—not even close to the 248,000 economists had expected, the Wall Street Journal reports. The unemployment rate remained unchanged , at 5.5%. At the Journal, Paul Vigna calls the jobs number a "surprise," noting that's the... More »

Here's How Much We Spend to Get Married

The Knot survey finds the average wedding cost $31,213 in 2014

(Newser) - In what some are calling one sign of an improving economy, if at the expense of newlyweds, a new survey by The Knot finds that the average cost of a US wedding jumped to $31,213 last year, marking a five-year high when adjusted for inflation. In its eighth report,... More »

Unemployment Rate Lowest Since May 2008

At 5.5%, but there's a 'but'

(Newser) - A better jobs report than expected today, at least when it comes to new jobs: 295,000 of them were added last month, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.5%, the AP reports. Economists had expected 240,000 new jobs, with the unemployment rate expected to drop from 5.... More »

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