Tag: Seattle

The best US cities for millennials who have student debt

The best US cities for millennials who have student debt

But according to a new analysis from financial consultancy RewardExpert, these cities might not be the best places for young people with student loans, since living costs are relatively high.
Housing and transportation costs (as compared to the median income for the area) are also lower than 95% of all cities and metro areas in the analysis.
Mankato’s unemployment rate of 2.4% is among the lowest in the nation, and the region’s young residents have considerably low debt loads and high credit scores.
Those under 23 years old have just $8,875 in average total debt with $1,340 on cards ($13,812 and $1,401 nationally).
And while the median rent here is $1,163, renters have a relatively high median income of $48,981.
Combined housing and transportation costs amount to only 58.6% of annual income, which is much lower than the national average of 75.4%.
Commutes in this metro region average just 13 miles, and unemployment stands at a low 2.85%.
About a third of jobs are in industries that typically require a college education.
Plus, median student debt here is $1,072 lower than the national average, and younger residents have lower than average total debt burdens and lower credit card balances than those living elsewhere in the US.
Millennials living here also have 33% less credit card debt than the Midwest’s average.

These 7 US housing markets are hot right now

These 7 US housing markets are hot right now

Seattle is the hottest market right now.
Seven markets are sizzling with new home construction today.
Resale home prices gained 15% YOY.
Job growth of 2.4% YOY has helped push home prices 65% above prior peak levels.
Builders’ margins continue to erode—a cause for caution.
In past housing cycles, Riverside-San Bernardino had a tendency towards oversupply, but we don’t see this happening as single-family permit volume still sits 75% below prior peak.
Fueled by tech job gains and strong household growth, Salt Lake now employs 17% more people than pre-recession.
Strong demand has pushed home prices up 10% YOY, and we project another strong year in 2018.
With unemployment at only 2.6% and jobs 23% above prior peak, millennials and move-down buyers continue to flock to Nashville for jobs and quality of life.
We rate the markets based on the following factors: Current sales and pricing trends, using both quantitative and qualitative data Supply: Months of resale supply as well as new home construction growth Demand: Rate of price appreciation and job growth According to our proprietary Housing Cycle Risk Index™ and Burns Intrinsic Home Value Index™, Seattle and Dallas have the most long-term risk among top markets right now.

Why U.S. Wages May Fail to Repeat the Surge That Spooked Markets

Why U.S. Wages May Fail to Repeat the Surge That Spooked Markets

Labor Department figures due Friday, less than two weeks before policy makers meet, are projected to show hourly pay growth eased to 2.8 percent in the 12 months through February from 2.9 percent.
Don’t expect a sudden and significant acceleration.” Median estimates of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg also show employers probably added 200,000 workers to payrolls in February — the same as January — and the unemployment rate fell to a fresh 17-year low of 4 percent, from 4.1 percent.
Part of the jump in hourly earnings in January was due to a shorter average workweek of 34.3 hours, and wages will cool as that’s projected to return in February to a more typical 34.4 hours.
While some economists expect a similar increase in wages in February, it’s partly due to calendar quirks such as a five-week gap between pay periods instead of the usual four, or because the 15th of the month, a payday for many people, fell within the government’s survey week.
None of the analysts surveyed by Bloomberg project an acceleration in wages last month.
Even so, economists and investors expect the Fed will raise interest rates this month and at least two additional times this year.
The voluntary quits rate has been bouncing around 2.1 percent to 2.2 percent since mid-2016.
Only 39 percent of Americans tried to negotiate pay in their last job, and younger workers more actively than older ones, according to Robert Half International Inc. data based on a survey of 2,700 workers in 27 cities late last year.
Shank agreed to a $47,250 salary when she sought a recruiter’s help to join her first employer in the Seattle area, slightly below what she previously earned.
At Spectralux, she’ll get almost $7,000 more and three weeks’ paid time off.

Amazon turns Seattle into US’s biggest company town: report

Amazon turns Seattle into US’s biggest company town: report

Amazon turns Seattle into US’s biggest company town: report.
Seattle-based ecommerce giant Amazon (AMZN) controls 8.1 million square feet, or nearly 19% of the city’s prime office space – more than any company controls in any other U.S. city, according to a report on Wednesday.
A thorough Seattle Times analysis of Amazon’s footprint found CEO Jeff Bezos’ company has as much real estate as the city’s next 43 largest corporate inhabitants, with plans to expand to more than 12 million square feet of office space by 2022.
In addition, Amazon has more than twice as much real estate in Seattle in terms of major city office space as its nearest competitor, Citi, which has more than 3.6 million square feet in New York City.
More on this… Amazon has roughly 40,000 employees in Seattle and will have enough office space to house in excess of 55,000 employees in the city by 2020, according to the newspaper, which added that the company’s presence has contributed to higher local wages, increased retail spending and lower unemployment.
Company representatives did not immediately respond for a request for additional comment.
Amazon shares are up more than 25% since January.
Aside from its booming ecommerce and cloud-computing business, Amazon received federal and shareholder approval this week for its planned $13.7 billion deal to acquire Whole Foods.
The company’s largest-ever acquisition, which is expected to close in late 2017, will significantly enhance its presence in the grocery industry.

Lawsuit Says Seattle’s ‘Tax-the-Rich’ Measure Violates State Constitution — Update

Lawsuit Says Seattle’s ‘Tax-the-Rich’ Measure Violates State Constitution — Update

Lawsuit Says Seattle’s ‘Tax-the-Rich’ Measure Violates State Constitution — Update.
A new tax-the-rich measure in Seattle was hit with its first legal challenge Wednesday.
The new Seattle measure, passed by the city council in July, would impose a 2.25% tax on any income over $250,000 or above $500,000 for couples filing jointly.
It is expected to impact about 9,000, or 2%, of the city’s taxpayers.
A lawsuit filed by the Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank, on behalf of 19 Seattle citizens, alleges the measure violates the state constitution as well as restrictions on cities to impose such taxes.
The last time voters passed a graduated statewide income tax in Washington it was struck down by the state Supreme Court in 1933 as unconstitutional.
The state constitution requires property be taxed at a uniform rate, which the court said applied to income in turning down the tax.
The tax would bring in about $140 million every year for the city.
Backers of the tax say they want the rich to pay their fair share.
The state’s poorest 20% of residents, or those making less than $21,000 a year, pay 16.8% of their income.

Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike May Have Gone Too Far

Seattle’s Minimum Wage Hike May Have Gone Too Far

Among big cities.
Crucially, the negative impact of lost jobs and hours more than offset the benefits of higher wages — on average, low-wage workers earned $125 per month less because of the higher wage, a small but significant decline.
In recent years, cities and states across the country have passed laws and ordinances that will push their minimum wages as high as $15 over the next several years.
Most — though by no means all — past research has found that modest increases to the minimum wage have little impact on employment, and that if employers do eliminate jobs or cut back hours, those losses are dwarfed by the income gains enjoyed by the majority of workers who keep their jobs.
For large companies (those with at least 500 employees) that don’t offer health insurance, the minimum wage hit $15 an hour earlier this year.
For workers who kept their jobs, the higher wage was a clear benefit; for low-wage workers as a whole, the impact was minimal.
This time, the findings look very different: Compared to a counterfactual in which Seattle didn’t raise its minimum wage, the number of hours worked by low-wage workers (those earning less than $19 an hour) fell by 9.4 percent over the first nine months of 2016, and the number of low-wage jobs fell by 6.8 percent.
But the University of Washington study suggests a possible flaw in that approach: That research, too, found essentially no job losses in the restaurant sector as a result of the city’s minimum wage hike.
Washington state, however, does collect data on hours, meaning the University of Washington researchers were able to study the minimum wage’s effects much more directly.
So if the policy is hurting workers there — and Autor stressed that the Washington report is just one study — that could signal trouble as the recent wage hikes take effect in lower-cost parts of the country.