economy

News coverage of the economy.

Endemic Financial Fraud (AKA. Green Slime)

May 21, 2012

Every president and presidential candidate has an economic advisor, but how influenced are these positions by politics?

Unemployment Down, Jobs Up In Missouri

May 16, 2012
Elana Gordon / KCUR

At 7.3 percent, unemployment in Missouri has dropped to its lowest level in 40 months.  That’s according to the latest monthly report from the state’s Department of Economic Development.

As the election year began, conventional wisdom was pretty well set about the outcome of the presidential race. If the economy improved, President Obama would win. If not, he'd be a one-termer.

So what does it mean that many big economic indicators are moving sideways?

"Obama seems to be in that gray area," says Paul Pierson, a political scientist at the University of California, Berkeley. "The numbers are neither so good nor so bad that they give you a definitive answer."

Businesses added just 119,000 jobs to their payrolls in April, a sharp drop from an estimated 201,000-gain in March, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report.

The private group's report is "a troubling sign" two days before the Bureau of Labor Statistics issues its figures on April employment growth and unemployment, The Associated Press says.

The U.S. economy hit the recession exit ramp nearly three years ago, but it's been lost on the back roads somewhere near Recoveryville ever since.

Growth rates have been modest at best compared with the 4-plus percent growth in the years well before the U.S. began slouching toward its worst post-World War II recession.

It's hard out there for a college grad.

The AP analyzed government data and came up with this stunning figure: "Half of young college graduates [are] either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge."

The whole story is worth a read, so we encourage you to click over, but here is the meat of the AP's analysis:

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Later this week, we get some key data to help judge the state of the nation's housing market. There are some early signs of recovery, but home prices are still falling in many areas, as NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

CHRIS ARNOLD, BYLINE: Tomorrow, we'll get the latest word on home prices from what's called the S&P Case-Shiller index. That keeps showing price declines in many areas. Though those price drops have been leveling off, so things definitely aren't as bad as they were.

Food stamps have long been a favorite whipping boy of politicians looking to beat up on government spending. But the massive food-assistance program does help keep people out of poverty, according to new research.

Food stamp benefits led to a decline of 4.4 percent in poverty from 2000 to 2009, according to a new report from the USDA's Economic Research Service.

Over the next year, Congress and the President will be called upon to reconsider all major elements of the U.S. ‘safety net,’ as well as the foundations of the U.S. tax system.

Diane Turner can't find work. She spent 30 years managing dental practices in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, but lost her last job in that field a couple of years ago.

She worked for a while greeting customers at an auto body shop, but lost that job a year ago. "It was very depressing," Turner says. "I always worked, and I was always able to get a job."

March Jobs Report Offers Mixed Messages

Apr 6, 2012

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The nation's unemployment rate edged down to 8.2 percent in March from 8.3 percent in February, but only 120,000 jobs were added to private and public payrolls the Bureau of Labor Statistics said this morning in a report that was less positive about the labor market's health than economists had expected.

Prior to the news, forecasters had predicted BLS would say about 200,000 jobs were added to payrolls last month.

The monthly employment report Friday could help answer a key question about the economy: Will the recently strong job growth slow once employers finish replacing the people they fired during the depths of the recession?

Debt Struggles As Old As America Itself

Apr 5, 2012

As of today, the national debt held by the public is more than $10 trillion. That's more than $30,000 for every man, woman and child living in the United States.

The number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance stayed around a four-year low last week, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

It says there were 357,000 such applications, down 6,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 363,000.

Claims have been running at the lowest rate since March and April 2008 for several weeks now.

Jobs at U.S. businesses increased by 209,000 in March, according to a report released Wednesday by the payroll processing firm ADP. That's in line with expectations for the monthly jobs report due out Friday.

Analysts expect Friday's official employment report from the Labor Department to show that employers added 215,000 in March and that the unemployment rate remained at 8.3 percent, according to Bloomberg News.

On the plus side, the ADP National Employment Report issued this morning estimates there were 209,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in March. And ADP's data often are something of a predictor for what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will have to say when it issues its monthly numbers. Those March figures are due on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Gregg @ dcscorpio.blogspot.com

He’s just returned from lengthy deliberations in the U.S. House of Representatives over next year's spending plan. But is Congress getting anywhere?

The final dance of this college basketball season is tonight. Fans everywhere are counting on their team to pull off the big win in New Orleans.

Modern Monetary Theory

Mar 27, 2012

On this Tuesday's Central Standard, Modern Monetary Theory. It’s nowhere near as dull as it sounds.

Economic Dignity, Health Screenings

Mar 13, 2012

Today on Central Standard, a look at the role of faith based organizing in restoring economic dignity to the neighborhoods that need it most.

Monkey Economics

Feb 17, 2012
Nick-K / flickr.com

We’re not all economical geniuses, and we’ve all probably made less than sterling financial choices along the way.  Is there a reason for these lapses in judgment?

Vegetarianism In KC / Pity The Billionaire

Jan 12, 2012

How difficult is it to be a vegetarian in Kansas City? Then later... Even Mr. T pities a fool, but why pity a billionaire?

Dan Verbeck/KCUR

Osawatomie, Kan. - President Obama gave an hour-long address in Osawatomie on Tuesday where he focused on the economy and creating a level playing-field for all Americans. KPR's Stephen Koranda was in the crowd and filed this report.

Kansas City – House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank was in Kansas City at the behest of his colleague on the committee, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, to recognize UMB Bank and Commerce as the second and third most healthy banks in the country. This is according to ratings published by Forbes Magazine. Frank said institutions like UMB and Commerce have nothing to fear from bank reforms.

Economics As Enemy Of War

Mar 5, 2010
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck.

Fort Leavenworth, Kan. – The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff brought a message to military students at Fort Leavenworth they would not likely have heard less than a generation ago: that improving the global economy is a stratagem to stave off wars.

Admiral Mike Mullen told the Command and General Staff College one of his largest concerns is how to get economic engines moving so parents in both the U. S. and around the world can raise their children to a higher standard of living.

Worse Than The Numbers Show

Feb 2, 2010

Kansas City, Mo. – Some of the nation's top economics bloggers have a breathtakingly pessimistic outlook. The findings come from the respected Kauffman Foundation on February 2, 2010.

Economic growth numbers from the last quarter of 2009 may look promising but they don't impress many of 200 economics devotees surveyed by The Kauffman group. Tim Kane is senior fellow with the foundation and engineered the first-of-its-kind study for the organization.

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