Tag: Americans

States aren’t waiting for Washington to require poor residents to work
Welfare

States aren’t waiting for Washington to require poor residents to work

Otherwise, they can only receive benefits for up to three months every three years.
But states can request waivers of the work requirement for areas where unemployment is at least 10% or there is an insufficient number of jobs, as defined by the Department of Labor.
Instead, they say these food stamp recipients should start moving toward independence by getting jobs or enrolling in training programs.
By the end of May, recipients in 112 counties will be subject to the three-month time limit on benefits if they don’t work, up from 20 counties at the end of last year.
Lifting these waivers will impact most of the 87,000 Kentucky adults in the program who don’t have dependents, according to the left-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.
In West Virginia, state officials will start phasing out the number of counties with work requirement waivers later this year.
But in October 2022, West Virginia will no longer be able to apply for a waiver for any county, no matter the economic circumstances, according to a bill passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Jim Justice last month.
The bills aim to apply the work requirement to parents of school-age children, to increase the number of hours food stamp recipients must work and to explore developing employment plans for those living in public housing.
Many of the proposals will require either federal approval or a change in federal law.
Three states — Kentucky, Indiana and Arkansas — have already received federal approval to do so.

States aren’t waiting for Washington to require poor residents to work
Unemployment

States aren’t waiting for Washington to require poor residents to work

Otherwise, they can only receive benefits for up to three months every three years.
But states can request waivers of the work requirement for areas where unemployment is at least 10% or there is an insufficient number of jobs, as defined by the Department of Labor.
Instead, they say these food stamp recipients should start moving toward independence by getting jobs or enrolling in training programs.
By the end of May, recipients in 112 counties will be subject to the three-month time limit on benefits if they don’t work, up from 20 counties at the end of last year.
Lifting these waivers will impact most of the 87,000 Kentucky adults in the program who don’t have dependents, according to the left-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.
In West Virginia, state officials will start phasing out the number of counties with work requirement waivers later this year.
But in October 2022, West Virginia will no longer be able to apply for a waiver for any county, no matter the economic circumstances, according to a bill passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Jim Justice last month.
The bills aim to apply the work requirement to parents of school-age children, to increase the number of hours food stamp recipients must work and to explore developing employment plans for those living in public housing.
Many of the proposals will require either federal approval or a change in federal law.
Three states — Kentucky, Indiana and Arkansas — have already received federal approval to do so.

Americans are spending again after lying low for a few months
Unemployment

Americans are spending again after lying low for a few months

Jeffry Baseball fans aren’t the only ones experiencing spring fever.
The evidence?
But it will be a sign the recent lull in consumer spending is about to end.
After all, consumer spending soared 4% in the final three months of 2017 to mark the biggest increase in three years.
The savings rate has risen to 3.4% from just 2.5% at the end of last year.
The Trump tax cuts have also boosted take-home pay while income-tax refunds are giving consumers a new stash of cash.
That’s a lot of extra cash for households to spend.
The March retail numbers will get an additional boost from strong auto sales and a late Easter that resulted in a burst of holiday spending in the last weekend of the month.
“After a blockbuster end to 2017, retail sales have started 2018 with a whimper and that likely won’t change much in March,” said economist Andrew Grantham of CIBC World Economics.
A slew of senior Fed officials are making the rounds this week to lay out their views on the economy and the future path of the Fed.

A worrisome job-market trend may last longer than previously thought — and it spells trouble for millions of vulnerable Americans
Unemployment

A worrisome job-market trend may last longer than previously thought — and it spells trouble for millions of vulnerable Americans

A new study from the Federal Reserve’s San Francisco branch finds that companies’ increasing reliance on part-time and contract work in the aftermath of the Great Recession may be more permanent than previously thought.
A high instance of involuntary part-time work points to a labor market that is less robust than the headlines suggest.
A separate study finds more reliable schedules “actually increased both sales and labor productivity, signaling a high return on investment.”
But new research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco suggests the temporary-work trend is, well, not so temporary. “The shift toward service industries with uneven work schedules and the rising importance of the gig economy appear to be long-term trends that are unlikely to reverse in the near future,” Rob Valletta, a vice president in the San Francisco Fed’s research department, wrote in a new blog post.
The rising share of US employment occurring in the leisure and hospitality industry, as well as in education and health, “both of which have high rates of part-time employment, made especially large contributions to the overall change,” according to Valletta.
The trend also suggests US employment conditions are less robust than the headline 4.1% unemployment rate would suggest.
It found that more stable scheduling could actually boost sales and productivity. “Most retailers operate under the assumption that stabilizing employees’ schedules would hurt their financial performance because instability is an inevitable outcome of variable demand patterns in retail stores,” the report found.
The authors found that more reliable schedules “actually increased both sales and labor productivity, signaling a high return on investment.”

3 Things Americans Get Wrong About Retirement
Unemployment

3 Things Americans Get Wrong About Retirement

The age at which they’ll retire Most Americans think they’ll work well into their 60s.
You’ll also have fewer years to save, and Social Security benefits will be reduced if you must claim them early.
The best thing to do is to invest as much as possible as early as possible to build a nest egg to support you if you’re forced into early retirement.
How much they’ll receive in Social Security income Social Security is designed to replace only around 40% of pre-retirement income, while 53% of future retirees and 59% of recent retirees responding to Nationwide expect benefits to cover at least half of expenses.
Most people overestimate what Social Security will do for them because they think their benefits will be bigger than they are.
Most future retirees expect they’ll receive $1,578 in Social Security benefits, which is more than the average monthly benefits received by current retirees.
How much they’ll spend on healthcare Future retirees responding to Nationwide indicated they expected to spend 20% of Social Security benefits on healthcare.
Around a quarter of retirees said healthcare costs are preventing them from having the retirement they expected.
Since the average monthly benefit for a 62-year-old retiree is just $1,076, according to the Social Security Administration, healthcare could take half of your Social Security check.
And, if you have serious health problems, things could be even worse.

3 Things Americans Get Wrong About Retirement
Social Security Disability

3 Things Americans Get Wrong About Retirement

The age at which they’ll retire Most Americans think they’ll work well into their 60s.
You’ll also have fewer years to save, and Social Security benefits will be reduced if you must claim them early.
The best thing to do is to invest as much as possible as early as possible to build a nest egg to support you if you’re forced into early retirement.
How much they’ll receive in Social Security income Social Security is designed to replace only around 40% of pre-retirement income, while 53% of future retirees and 59% of recent retirees responding to Nationwide expect benefits to cover at least half of expenses.
Most people overestimate what Social Security will do for them because they think their benefits will be bigger than they are.
Most future retirees expect they’ll receive $1,578 in Social Security benefits, which is more than the average monthly benefits received by current retirees.
How much they’ll spend on healthcare Future retirees responding to Nationwide indicated they expected to spend 20% of Social Security benefits on healthcare.
Around a quarter of retirees said healthcare costs are preventing them from having the retirement they expected.
Since the average monthly benefit for a 62-year-old retiree is just $1,076, according to the Social Security Administration, healthcare could take half of your Social Security check.
And, if you have serious health problems, things could be even worse.

US jobless claims rise, remain near multi-decade lows
Unemployment

US jobless claims rise, remain near multi-decade lows

WASHINGTON-The number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits rose last week but remained near multi-decade lows, offering fresh evidence of the labor market’s strength.
Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., increased by 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 242,000 in the week ended March 31, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected 225,000 new claims last week.
They have held below 300,000 for 161 consecutive weeks, matching the longest streak in weekly records going back to 1967.
Data can be volatile from week to week.
The unemployment rate has held at 4.1% since October, the lowest level since late 2000.
Thursday’s report showed the number of claims workers made for longer than a week dropped by 64,000 to 1,808,000 in the week ended March 24, the lowest level since December 1973 when it was 1,805,000.
Even when smoothing out volatility, continuing claims posted fresh lows.
The four-week moving average for continuing claims fell to the lowest level since 1974, Thursday’s report showed.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecast the economy added 178,000 jobs and the unemployment rate nudged down to 4%.

Rent is rising more slowly, easing strain on Americans
Unemployment

Rent is rising more slowly, easing strain on Americans

When it comes to how much apartment you can afford, the size of your paycheck is hardly the only variable.
Where you choose to live can make as big — or bigger difference.
Time Apartment rent increases slowed further in the first quarter, a development that, combined with faster wage growth, is expected to ease financial stress for low- and middle-income households over the next couple of years.
More: Renting homes is overtaking the housing market.
Here’s why More: Here’s how many hours of work it takes to pay rent in 11 major U.S. cities These figures are for new leases for residents who moved into an apartment in a given year.
Rent increases for existing residents’ lease renewals are also moderating but not as dramatically.
Rent for lease renewals rose 4.2% annually in the first quarter, down from 4.4% in the fourth quarter and 5.2% in early 2016.
During that period, tight apartment supplies and surging demand from Millennials pushed occupancy and rent higher.
About 319,000 units were completed over the past 12 months and another 314,000 are expected the next year, Willett says, well above the normal pace of 250,000.
Renters won’t immediately feel the benefits.

Unemployment benefits claims drop to lowest level in 49 years
Unemployment

Unemployment benefits claims drop to lowest level in 49 years

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plummented to its lowest level in more than 49 years last week.
First-time jobless claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 210,000 in the week ending Feb. 24, a drop of 10,000, which is the lowest level since Dec. 6, 1969, when it was 202,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.
The four-week average, which is less volatile than the weekly figure, dipped to 220,500, a decrease of 5,000, the lowest level since Dec. 27, 1969, when it was 219,750.
The economy added 200,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent, the lowest level in 17 years.
The February jobs report is set for release on March 9.
Economic growth is expected to pick up pace this year behind a shot of stimulus from the new tax law, although the expansion may fall short of the White House’s prediction of 3 percent growth.
Growth in the final three months of last year slipped to 2.5 percent, slightly below the initial estimate of 2.6 precent.
Overall growth was 2.3 percent last year.

The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits drops to 45-year low
Unemployment

The number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits drops to 45-year low

The numbers: Initial U.S. jobless claims rose by 3,000 to 229,000 in mid-March, but they remain near the lowest levels since 1970.
And the number of people collecting benefits fell to a fresh 45-year low.
Economists polled by MarketWatch has forecast claims to total 225,000 in the seven days ended March 17.
The level of claims gives a rough idea of how many people are losing their jobs.
The number of people already collecting unemployment benefits, known as continuing claims, fell by 57,000 to 1.83 million.
Big picture: Hasn’t been this good in at least two decades.
The unemployment rate recently fell to a 17-year low of 4% and is likely to dip below that mark in the next few months.
The biggest complaint in the jobs market?
Companies say it’s hard to find the skilled workers the need.
What they are saying: “To put the current readings in perspective, initial claims averaged 245,000 last year, so the pace of layoffs appears to have ratcheted downward further from already historically low levels,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist of Amherst Pierpont Securities.