A jobs fair in Washington, DC. On Thursday, the federal government announced that the number of first-time filers for unemployment insurance rose to 500,000. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)
New York (CNNMoney.com) – In a troubling sign for the economy, the number of first-time filers for unemployment insurance rose to 500,000 last week, according to a government report released Thursday.
It was the third weekly increase in a row. There were 12,000 more claims filed last week over a revised 488,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said.
A consensus estimate of economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected 475,000 new claims for the week that ended Aug. 14.
Initial claims had been mired in the mid- to upper-400,000s since November.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce slammed President Obama's economic policies Wednesday, saying administration officials "took their eyes off the ball" and "neglected" to focus on job creation.
A letter posted to the business group's site and a summit with 500 business leaders were the latest moves in an ongoing battle between big business and the Obama administration.
The two are at odds over the best way to keep the recovery from slipping into a double-dip recession. The Chamber believes tax cuts are key to job creation. The Obama administration, however, has focused on stimulus and spending to create jobs.
The Chamber said in its letter that the administration "vilified industries while embarking on an ill-advised course of government expansion, major tax increases, massive deficits and job-destroying regulations."
New York (CNNMoney.com) – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce slammed President Obama's economic policies Wednesday, saying administration officials "took their eyes off the ball" and "neglected" to focus on job creation.
A letter posted to the business group's site and a summit planned for later in the day were the latest moves in an ongoing battle between big business and the Obama administration.
The two are at odds over the best way to keep the recovery from slipping into a double-dip recession. The group believes tax cuts are key to job creation. The Obama administration, however, has focused on stimulus and spending to create jobs.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - New home construction fell sharply in May - the first month after a homebuyer tax credit expired - from a month earlier, according to a government report released Wednesday.
Housing starts fell 10% from April to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 593,000 last month, the Commerce Department said. Economists were expecting housing starts to fall to only 655,000.
On a year-over-year basis, housing starts rose 7.8% from May 2009.
Building permits declined 5.9% to a seasonally-adjusted rate of 574,000 from April. Economists had anticipated a more modest decline to 631,000.
(CNNMoney.com) - The number of people filing for ongoing unemployment insurance plummeted by 255,000 to the lowest level since December 2008, according to government figires released Thursday.
According to a Labor Department report, 4,462,000 people filed continuing claims in the week ended May 29, the latest week available, down more than a quarter-million from the previous week.
Continuing claims reflect people who file each week after their initial claim until the end of their standard benefits, which usually last 26 weeks.
The figures do not include those who have moved to state or federal extensions, nor people who have exhausted their benefits.
New York (CNNMoney.com) – It's one of the first tangible results of the health reform law: This week the government will start mailing $250 checks to seniors to close the Medicare "donut hole," which leaves seniors with a gap in their prescription drug coverage.
The first checks will be sent June 10, three weeks earlier than scheduled, to about 80,000 people. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that about 4 million seniors will get $250 checks in 2010.
At a press conference last month, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said closing the donut hole is "one of the biggest ways the new law is going to help seniors."
Seniors get stuck in the donut hole if their prescription drugs cost too much to be paid for through basic Medicare coverage, but aren't expensive enough to qualify for catastrophic coverage.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The federal government unveiled details this week about how people up to age 26 can get covered by their parents' health insurance policies, as part of the health care reform law.
Consumers now have details about how one of the law's most-buzzed about provisions will actually work - and how much it will cost them.
Expanding health coverage to twentysomethings is welcome relief for an age group that accounts for the majority of uninsured Americans.
Roughly 30% of young adults up to age 26 have no health insurance at all. That's three times the rate of uninsured children, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
HHS estimates that about 1.2 million young adults will elect to stay on a parent's health plan in 2011 as a result of the reform.
Here's what you need to know about the new regulations.
New York (CNNMoney.com) - The past two years of recession have been "difficult," but "the storm is receding," President Obama said in a speech to private-sector business leaders Tuesday.
At the annual meeting of the Business Council, comprised of 150 executives from private businesses, Obama said the recession was "not just an economic problem - it's a human tragedy."
The president touched on several major topics throughout the 35-minute speech, including the labor market, education, health care reform and financial reform.
"Last year the economy was in freefall," Obama said. "Now it's growing again. In fact, we've seen the fastest turnaround in growth in nearly three decades."
Obama said his administration "has a relentless focus" on recovery, and that "spurring job creation and economic expansion continues to be our No. 1 priority."
He emphasized the importance of business leaders seeking common ground. Obama also said he was "pleased" Republican legislators dropped a filibuster on debate of Wall Street reform, which he considers "a reasonable, non-ideological approach to target root problems in our financial sector."
New York (CNNMoney.com) - About 21 million Americans will be uninsured in 2016, when health care reform laws are fully implemented, with 4 million of them subject to a penalty for failing to buy insurance.
Those projections were released Thursday in a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The CBO said that collections from the penalty will total $4 billion a year over the 2017-2019 period.
High-income families making at least $96,000 will pay two-thirds of those fines, while families making between $24,000 and $96,000 will contribute nearly one-third of the funds collected.
Under the health care overhaul, which legislators passed in March, most U.S. residents will be required to purchase health care or pay a fine. By 2016, the penalty will be either a flat $695, or 2.5% of household income - which ever is higher. The fines are capped based on income.