Marilyn Geewax http://kgou.org en Job Worries Linger, But The Economy Is Looking Good http://kgou.org/post/job-worries-linger-economy-looking-good Five years after the Great Recession ended, where are we with this recovery?<p>On Wednesday, the Commerce Department and the Federal Reserve both answered by saying, in effect:<p>We're in a sweet spot — growing at a decent rate with good reason for optimism.<p>Or as the Fed blandly put it, "economic activity will expand at a moderate pace."<p>President Obama, speaking on the economy in Kansas City, Mo., was more effusive.<p>After a brutal recession, "we have fought back. We have got back off our feet, we have dusted ourselves off," Obama said. "Construction is up. Manufacturing is back. Wed, 30 Jul 2014 21:54:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 34458 at http://kgou.org Job Worries Linger, But The Economy Is Looking Good Chances Are Pretty Good That's A Bill Collector Calling http://kgou.org/post/chances-are-pretty-good-thats-bill-collector-calling In about one-third of U.S. households, the sound of a phone or doorbell ringing may trigger a desire to duck.<p>That's because roughly 77 million adults with a credit file have at least one debt in the collection process, according to <a href="http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/413191-Delinquent-Debt-in-America.pdf">a study</a> released by the Urban Institute, a research group. A credit file includes all of the raw data that a credit bureau can use to rank a borrower's creditworthiness.<p>Some of those debts can be quite small — perhaps just a $25 overdue water bill. Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:12:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 34355 at http://kgou.org Chances Are Pretty Good That's A Bill Collector Calling It May Be Summer, But For Economists, This Week Feels Like Christmas http://kgou.org/post/it-may-be-summer-economists-week-feels-christmas This week is summer's sweet spot — the peak time for pool parties, fresh-picked berries and cool drinks. But for economists, it may feel more like Christmas — so much to unwrap!<p>Each day will bring new decisions and reports that could have a big impact on the nation's economy. So economists, investors and workers will have plenty to ponder. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 17:37:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 34287 at http://kgou.org It May Be Summer, But For Economists, This Week Feels Like Christmas 4 Theories About Why Wal-Mart Changed Its U.S. Chief http://kgou.org/post/four-theories-about-why-wal-mart-changed-its-us-chief Bill Simon, head of Wal-Mart's U.S. division, <a href="http://news.walmart.com/news-archive/2014/07/24/walmart-names-greg-foran-president-and-ceo-of-walmart-us">is leaving</a> the retail giant, the company said Thursday.<p>Any major shake-up at Wal-Mart is closely watched because the company is so important — it tops the Fortune 500 list with annual sales approaching a half-trillion dollars. So lots of people are speculating about what Simon's departure really means. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:33:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 34072 at http://kgou.org 4 Theories About Why Wal-Mart Changed Its U.S. Chief Inflation Came In Low Again, But Are There Bubbles? http://kgou.org/post/inflation-came-low-again-are-there-bubbles Want to borrow money for a car or a home this fall?<p>Oddly enough, the interest rates available months from now for big-ticket items may be determined by the prices you pay today for everyday consumer goods. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 20:39:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 33906 at http://kgou.org Inflation Came In Low Again, But Are There Bubbles? Latest Wrinkle In The Jobs Debate: Blame The Boomers http://kgou.org/post/latest-wrinkle-jobs-debate-blame-boomers Since late 2007, the U.S. labor force has shrunk significantly, raising questions about where former workers have gone and why.<p>Now the White House Council of Economic Advisers says it has found answers and has compiled them into a <a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/labor_force_participation_report.pdf">detailed research report </a>released Thursday.<p>As it turns out, most of the missing workers have been hiding in plain sight: They are retiring baby boomers.<p>"In 2008, the U.S. economy collided with two historic forces. Thu, 17 Jul 2014 21:36:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 33614 at http://kgou.org Latest Wrinkle In The Jobs Debate: Blame The Boomers Citigroup Settlement Offers Former Homeowners 'Cold Comfort' http://kgou.org/post/citigroup-settlement-offers-former-homeowners-cold-comfort Should you be watching your mailbox for a check from Citigroup?<p>The banking giant says it will pay out $2.5 billion to provide "consumer relief" to help <a href="http://www.citigroup.com/citi/news/2014/140714a.htm">settle charges</a> brought against it by the U.S. Justice Department. The government said Monday that "defects" in Citi's mortgage securities had fueled the financial crisis that triggered the Great Recession.<p>And we all suffered from that catastrophe. Between 2007 and 2009, U.S. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:10:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 33413 at http://kgou.org Citigroup Settlement Offers Former Homeowners 'Cold Comfort' Economists Say Inflation Is Tame; Consumers Aren't Buying It http://kgou.org/post/economists-say-inflation-tame-consumers-arent-buying-it Economists regularly issue reports calling inflation tame or mild, or some other word that suggests consumers shouldn't be feeling much pain.<p>One example: "Inflation has been tame and this is providing households with some relief" from economic stress, according to an assessment done this week by PNC Financial Services.<p>But if you happen to be buying gasoline or groceries, you may not be feeling relieved — at all.<p>"It's kind of hard to even buy milk and bread," said Kimberly Acevedo, a bank teller who was shopping at a Best Market in Harlem. Fri, 11 Jul 2014 11:02:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 33141 at http://kgou.org Economists Say Inflation Is Tame; Consumers Aren't Buying It Hiring Looks Good Now, But Wage Growth Lags http://kgou.org/post/hiring-looking-good-now-wage-growth-lags The unemployment report released Thursday by the Labor Department offered great news for job seekers: <a href="http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm">Hiring boomed</a> in June.<p>That good news helped send stock prices to record levels, with the Dow Jones industrial average crossing the 17,000 mark for the first time to close at 17,068.26, up 92.02.<p>Unfortunately, the jobs report also contained sobering news for people who already have jobs: All of that hiring is not translating into wage hikes. Thu, 03 Jul 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 32638 at http://kgou.org Hiring Looks Good Now, But Wage Growth Lags How Many Companies Will Be Touched By Court's Contraception Ruling? http://kgou.org/post/how-many-companies-will-be-touched-courts-contraception-ruling When the Supreme Court ruled Monday that "closely held" corporations <a href="file:///C:/Users/aschneider/Documents/My%20Documents/326926331">don't have to pay for workers' contraception</a>, you may have assumed the decision applied only to family-owned businesses.<p>Wrong. Tue, 01 Jul 2014 10:16:21 +0000 Marilyn Geewax 32424 at http://kgou.org How Many Companies Will Be Touched By Court's Contraception Ruling?