NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The unemployment rate hit a 25-year high in April, but there were signs of hope as the monthly job loss total fell to the lowest level in six months.
The Labor Department reported that employers cut 539,000 jobs from payrolls in the month. That's an improvement from the revised reading of 699,000 that were lost in March, and the best reading since October, when the economy shed 380,000 jobs.
Still, that brings job losses since the start of 2008 to 5.7 million.
The unemployment rate, based on a separate survey rose to 8.9% from 8.5% in March, the worst reading since September 1983. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast the rate would rise to 8.9%.
Economists had forecast a loss of 600,000 in April, but there had been signs in recent days that the job losses might not be as bad as they expected. A reading on private sector employment by payroll services firm ADP showed a big drop in job losses in April, and there has been a steady decline in recent weeks in people filing for first-time unemployment benefits.
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Prices paid by consumers rose as a faster pace in February, as higher gas prices in the month fed into the highest inflation reading since July.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The Obama administration's top auto advisors were in the Detroit area Monday to meet with officials from General Motors and Chrysler, test drive a new electric car and try to chart a course for the industry's rescue.
March 31 is the stated deadline for the government to decide whether General Motors and Chrysler LLC, which have already received $17.4 billion in loans between them and have asked for up to $21.6 billion more in the coming weeks to help them avoid running out of money, deserve another bailout.
Steven Rattner and Ron Bloom, two former investment bankers brought in to advise the Treasury Department on the best course for saving the automakers, and Diana Farrell and Brian Deese, two members of the National Economic Council, made the visit to Detroit Monday.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The U.S. government waded deeper into the bailout of one of the nation's largest banks Friday when it announced a deal that will give it control over as much as 36% of Citigroup's common stock.
Citigroup shares tumbled 46% in premarket trading.
The deal will convert preferred shares that Treasury already holds in Citigroup for common shares, a shift that is designed to improve the embattled bank's capital base, which in turn will hopefully allow it to increase its lending.
The U.S. government has already given Citigroup $45 billion, for which it received preferred shares and warrants in the company.
The new deal Friday did not give the bank any additional taxpayer dollars. But the government is taking on a greater risk by assuming more volatile common shares. The market price is well below the $3.25 per-share conversion price the government is paying.
Taxpayers will also lose roughly $2 billion in dividends, because the preferred shares they are giving up paid 8% dividends. Citi suspended its common share dividend as part of the agreement.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – Employers slashed another 598,000 jobs off of U.S. payrolls in January, taking the unemployment rate up to 7.6%, according to the latest government reading on the nation's battered labor market.
The latest job loss is the worst since December 1974, and brings job losses to 1.8 million in just the last three months, or half of the 3.6 million jobs that have been lost since the beginning of 2008.
January's job loss was also worse than the forecast of a loss of 540,000 jobs from economists surveyed by Briefing.com
The rise in the unemployment rate also was worse than the 7.5% rate economists expected. The unemployment rate is now at its highest level since September, 1992.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - President Bush announced a rescue plan for General Motors and Chrysler LLC Friday morning that will make $13.4 billion in federal loans available almost immediately.
A senior administration official briefing reporters said he expects that GM and Chrysler LLC will be signing the loan papers to access the cash later Friday morning.
The money will come from the $700 billion fund set aside to bailout Wall Street firms and banks in October.
With these loans, Treasury will have committed virtually all of the $350 billion of that fund that it can hand out without additional authorization from Congress. Once Congress releases the other $350 billion, the two automakers will be able to borrow an additional $4 billion.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The future of the U.S. auto industry was in doubt Friday morning after a proposal for $14 billion in federal loans died in a late night Senate vote.
The Senate voted 52-35 to bring the measure for a vote - short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation. The failure followed the collapse of negotiations between Senate Democrats and Republicans seeking a compromise that both parties, as well as the companies and the United Auto Workers union, could accept.
The dramatic late-night developments could doom General Motors to a bankruptcy and closure in the coming weeks, with Chrysler LLC potentially following close behind.
(CNNMoney.com) - The CEOs of the leading automakers were back before Congress Thursday, arguing for a larger bailout than they asked for just two weeks ago, and hoping to undo the damage they did to their case at the earlier hearings.
The three automakers are now asking for up to $34 billion in federal loans, up from their earlier request for $25 billion in assistance. Two of them, General Motors and Chrysler LLC, are warning that without immediate help, they could run out of the money they need to operate before the end of the year.
This time GM CEO Rick Wagoner, Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally and Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli drove fuel-efficient hybrids to Washington, rather than flying in on corporate jets as they did two weeks ago.
Ford and GM have since announced they will sell their jets. And all three CEOs have agreed to cut their pay to $1 a year if they get the federal help they are seeking.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – Can anyone rescue the U.S. automakers?
General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler LLC each unveiled plans Tuesday that detailed how they would return to profitability if they get federal loans.
Still, even with President-elect Obama and the outgoing Bush administration saying they support providing assistance to the automakers, it's not clear that they will get the help they need.
The CEOs of the three firms are due to appear in front of Congress Thursday and Friday to make their case for what's now a $34 billion loan package. They had originally been requesting $25 billion.