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Housing Market Double-Dip Recession: Chart of the Day

For those who want to sell their houses this spring, they will be disappointed by where home prices are going. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Index published today, home prices in 20 largest U.S. metro areas have fallen for 9 straight months at the end of March. The current downward trend started last July, shortly after […]

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Weekly Jobless Claims Lowest Since 2008 – Chart of The Day

Has the job picture really improved? If you look at recently employment reports, you probably have the impression that the nation’s employment situation may have turned around. Last Friday, the government reported that January unemployment rate fell to 9.0% from the 9.4% in December 2010. Then this morning, figures from the Labor Department showed that […]

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U.S. Poverty Rate Reaches 15-Year High

Another piece of disturbing news came from the Census Bureau yesterday. In its annual report, Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States 2009, to the Congress, the Census Bureau said that the worst recession since the Great Depression has pushed millions of Americans into poverty. According to the report, the poverty rate […]

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October 2009 Unemployment Rate 10.20% – Chart of the Day

The economy has grown again, but the labor market showed no sign of improving. Actually, if you look at the the unemployment report released this morning, you will probably feel things are getting worse, not better. In the latest job report, the government said that the nation’s monthly unemployment rate reached 10.20%, the highest level […]

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Dow Closed Above 10,000 for First Time in a Year – Chart of the Day

It was October 3, 2008 when the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above the 10,000 level at 10,325.38. In the following five trading sessions, the widely watched index lost 1874.19, closing at 8,451.19 on October 10, 2008. Actually, October 3, 2008 was right in the middle of a steep plunge of the Dow. The index […]

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September 2009 Unemployment Rate at 9.8% – Chart of the Day

Despite signs that the economy has started to recover, U.S. employers continued to cut workers. In the latest employment report released this morning, the Labor Department said nonfarm payroll shrank by another 263,000 in September, pushing the monthly unemployment rate to 9.8%, the highest level since June 1983. In September, the employment in construction fell […]

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Federal Minimum Wage at $7.25/Hour – Chart of the Day

In case you forgot, today, July 24, 2009, the Federal minimum wage goes up to $7.25/hour from last year’s $6.55/hour. Following is a plot of historical Federal minimum wages from 1939 to 2009 (the blue line). In 1939, the minimum wage was only 30 cents. The next adjustment didn’t come until 1945 when the minimum […]

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April 2009 Unemployment Rate 8.9% – Chart of the Day

The labor market is still weak, but there’s little hope that the situation may start to improve as the pace of job cut slowed in April. The Labor Department reported today that U.S. employers trimmed 539,000 nonfarm jobs in April 2009, the smallest monthly decline since October 2008, after ADP data showed similar decline early […]

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