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First-Time Jobless Claims Drop By 27,000

WASHINGTON (UPI) — First-time jobless claims dropped by 27,000 in the week ended Saturday, with 365,000 initial claims filed, the U.S. Labor Department said The four-week rolling average, which provides a steadier assessment than the weekly figures that can be volatile, rose marginally, up by 750 to 383,500. The biggest increases in initial jobless claims […]

Labor Productivity Slid In First Quarter

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Labor productivity in non-farm businesses fell at a 0.5 percent annual rate during the first quarter of 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday. From the first quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of this year, productivity increased 0.5 percent as hours worked rose 2.2 percent and output rose […]

Layoff Announcements Rose In April

CHICAGO (UPI) — U.S. employers announced a reduction of 40,559 jobs in April, a moderate increase from the 37,880 layoffs announced in March, a private research group said. Total job cuts announced for the month were up 7.1 percent from the previous month, outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas said Thursday. For the year to […]

Gallup’s Confidence Poll Steady In April

PRINCETON, N.J. (UPI) — A national poll on confidence in the U.S. economy was unchanged March to April, researchers at Gallup said Tuesday. The April survey put the Economic Confidence Index at minus 20, which sounds low, but is at the highest level since the firm began its daily tracking of consumer confidence at the […]

Walmart Sanctioned For Unpaid Overtime

WASHINGTON (UPI) — Walmart shorted 4,500 employees on overtime pay by wrongly classifying them as exempt from wage and hour laws, the U.S. Labor Department said Tuesday. The government ordered the company to pay $4.8 million in back pay and damages and a $464,000 fine, The Washington Post reported. The ruling affects vision center managers, […]

For A Week, Shoppers Take A Break

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. retail sales dipped modestly in the week ending Saturday with an increase in consumers taking a break from shopping, a trade group said. The International Council of Shopping Centers said sales fell 0.3 percent compared to the previous week, but rose 4.2 percent compared to the same week of 2011. The […]

Weekly Mortgage Volume Rises Marginally

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The Mortgage Bankers Association said U.S. mortgage activity rose marginally in the week ending Friday with interest rates mixed. Mortgage activity rose 0.1 percent in the week. The trade group’s Refinancing Index also rose 0.7 percent from the previous week, the MBA said. Interest rates for 30-year, fixed-rate conforming mortgages rose from […]

Factory Orders Slid In March

WASHINGTON (UPI) — U.S. factory orders dropped 1.5 percent from February to March, but held up with transportation orders excluded, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Wednesday. Factory orders fell by $7.1 billion to $460.6 billion, dropping slightly less than the 1.6 percent drop economists had predicted. Excluding transportation, new orders rose slightly, as orders for […]

Nation’s Homeownership Rates Down

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The U.S. Census Bureau said homeownership has fallen to 65.4 percent, the lowest rate since 1997. The percentage of homeowners in the first quarter fell 1 percentage point from the same period of 2011. Concurrently, vacancy rates for rental properties fell from 9.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011 to 8.8 […]

Car Consumers Return To Stick Shift

DETROIT (UPI) — Demand for manual transmissions among U.S. drivers is on the rise, an industry research group said. Ironically, just as automakers figured U.S. drivers were not interested in manual transmissions, the demand for stick shifts has returned, researchers at Edmunds.com said. The so-called take rate for manual transmissions was 6.5 percent in the […]

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