Three important truths about the U.S. economy
It’s not surprising that the political right continues to gripe about the U.S economy and, in particular, inflation. In a nation that’s overcome a devastating pandemic, charted a course to a dramatic and sustained economic recovery, rebuilt its international reputation as an opponent of tyranny, and returned competence and honesty to the federal government, critics […]
A historic housing construction boom may finally moderate rent hikes
An unprecedented surge in the nationwide construction of new housing — mostly apartments — may finally be making a dent in fast-rising rents that have been making life harder for tenants. More than 1.65 million housing units were under construction last year, the highest annual number since federal record-keeping started in 1969. This year, the […]
Jobs report surprises as employers add 336,000 jobs in September
Employers continued their hiring streak in September, surprising economists by boosting jobs for workers in restaurants, health care, and government. The Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly jobs report, released Friday, showed a gain of 336,000 jobs. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.8%. The BLS also revised up the jobs added in July and August […]
The state of hunger in North Carolina
When it comes to the current economic well-being of average Americans, it’s clear that the nation has made great progress in recent years. Unemployment and poverty are down, wages are up and recently, even inflation has started to cool. Despite this encouraging progress, however, the number of people struggling to stay afloat and avoid hunger […]
Consumers seeing relief in some food prices as inflation continues to slow
Consumers are getting some relief from higher prices as core inflation, which excludes food and energy, continues to show signs of cooling — an encouraging sign for the U.S. economy, according to economists. The Department of Labor’s report on Thursday showed the consumer price index rose 0.2% in July, in line with expectations, and 3.2% […]
Despite pandemic pay boost, low-wage workers still can’t afford basic needs
Employers grappling with a nationwide labor shortage gave low-wage workers the largest pay increases in most states between 2019 and last year. But even so, many of those workers — more than 40% of all U.S. households, by one estimate — are struggling to cover the inflated costs of basic expenses. In the past several […]
Wage growth remains high, jobs are steady and inflation is falling so why are people worried?
Economists have been predicting a recession for months, but the labor market has remained resilient, wage growth is higher than before the pandemic, and inflation continues to drop, now at 4% compared to 9.1% in June of last year. Despite this good news, consumers don’t feel confident about the future, according to the consumer confidence […]
Senate budget would take education funding to destructive new depths
“Fund students, not systems” has become the rallying cry of the country’s most extreme school choice zealots. It’s a silly motto for many reasons. Notably, private schools and public schools are both “systems,” and systems are necessary to efficiently provide students with high quality education serving the public good. Despite the motto’s obvious ridiculousness, it […]
Bernie Sanders unveils push for $17-an-hour federal minimum wage, citing state increases
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday announced Democrats’ plans to mark up legislation to increase the federal minimum wage to $17 an hour, pointing to an increase in the cost of living. Outside the U.S. Capitol, Sanders, a Vermont independent and chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said the panel […]
Here’s where gas prices are headed (for now) and why
Higher temperatures. Higher gas prices. Drivers across the country have seen that seasonal given play out in recent weeks. The national average for a gallon of regular gas is $3.64 on April 26, up 21 cents over the previous month, according to AAA. The good news is that gas is 49 cents below where it […]
Powell signals higher interest rates. Here’s why Friday’s jobs report will affect Fed’s decision.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said this week that interest rate increases could be higher and come faster if Friday’s unemployment data shows the nation’s labor market isn’t cooling off. Stock indexes fell after his comments.