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This is a discussion on Q3 Economic News within the Current Events forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. U.S. home sales near eight-and-a-half-year high, prices rise U.S. home resales rose in June to their highest level in nearly


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Old 07-22-2015, 08:29 AM   #1
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U.S. home sales near eight-and-a-half-year high, prices rise


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U.S. home resales rose in June to their highest level in nearly 8-1/2 years, a sign of pent-up demand that should buoy the housing market recovery and likely keep the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates later this year.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday existing home sales increased 3.2 percent to an annual rate of 5.49 million units, the highest level since February 2007.

Existing sales this year are on track to record their biggest gain in eight years, the NAR said. Economists had forecast home resales rising to a 5.40 million-unit pace last month. Sales were up 9.6 percent from a year ago.

June's solid home sales report came on the heels of last week's strong housing starts and building permits data. A tightening labor market is starting to push up wages, helping to boost demand for housing, especially among young adults.
Very good sign!

U.S. home sales near eight-and-a-half-year high, prices rise | Reuters
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:21 AM   #2
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U.S. jobless claims drop to 41-1/2-year low


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The number of Americans filing new applications for unemployment benefits last week fell to its lowest level in more than 41-1/2 years, suggesting the labor market maintained a solid pace of job growth in July.

The sturdy jobs picture together with a strengthening housing market brings the Federal Reserve a step closer to raising interest rates this year.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 255,000 for the week ended July 18, the lowest level since November 1973, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were unrevised.

However, last week's drop likely exaggerates the strength of the labor market as claims are volatile during summer when automakers usually shut assembly plants for annual retooling.
Amazing in the face of the collapsing Energy segment . .

U.S. jobless claims drop to 41-1/2-year low | Reuters
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:23 AM   #3
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We're approaching "full employment" level...at some point wages have to rise...that point seems far off.

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Old 07-24-2015, 10:13 AM   #4
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We're approaching "full employment" level...at some point wages have to rise...that point seems far off.

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"Of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations." A. Lincoln
Well as soon as the unemployment numbers hit that nice low, wages and benefits will have to increase to keep and maintain the workforce at any company.

My benefits package at the place I work is the equivilent of $8 an hour. Plus the small raise I got by leaving were I was.

The company I work for now pays 100% of the healthcare premiums (and give $1200 into my HSA), which when the French corporation bought this place maintained that policy because if they didn't they would lose all the engineers to Boeing and the whole purpose of this place would be lost.
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Old 07-25-2015, 08:46 AM   #5
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The stagnating wage issue has been with us for thirty or more years ( ex the steep increases in the late '90's ) , but gets more attention now with the abundance of "good News" around jobs created. No doubt that increased benefits explains some of it as it is more cost efficient to receive a dollar in benefits ( non-taxable ) than to get a dollar in wages ( taxable ).

I would suspect that that leverage is almost full and salaries will have to start increasing at some point. The question is where is that point!

Another factor is that the majority of the jobs created lately have been in the lower wage brackets. One would expect that to change sometime . . but when?
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:00 AM   #6
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Another factor is that the majority of the jobs created lately have been in the lower wage brackets. One would expect that to change sometime . . but when?
Well more part time labor will be available in Seattle as people are asking for less hours because the bump in minimum wage is causing people to lose their food stamp and benefits...

Good intentions leads to unintended consequences... which is what happens when politicians try and buy votes
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:29 AM   #7
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That has to be a tiny number of jobs . .

Over time, as wages rise, the thresholds for assistance to those in the poverty brackets would rise as well
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:11 PM   #8
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That has to be a tiny number of jobs . .

Over time, as wages rise, the thresholds for assistance to those in the poverty brackets would rise as well
So far, it's the news around here right now, that and the no tipping thing
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:57 PM   #9
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What's the tipping thing??? Workers who receive tips are subjected to a tipped minimum wage ($2.13/hr.) here. . . a practice designed to ensure they stay poor!
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:44 PM   #10
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What's the tipping thing??? Workers who receive tips are subjected to a tipped minimum wage ($2.13/hr.) here. . . a practice designed to ensure they stay poor!
Not in WA... minimum wage doesn't matter the profession...

The thing now that the minimum wage is rising, people, (I had a more colorful word) are leaving cards call "why I won't tip in Seattle" because restaurants are raising their prices... but it is a growing sentiment. But people should just not tip if they don't want to.

The issue many waiters and waitresses know use to make $25 an hour when tips were included... Oh well
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:58 PM   #11
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I got so used to the rational way restaurants work in the rest of the world that I had a tough time re-adapting to the American system . . Supposedly, tips should guarantee good service . . but frankly, I have never seen any difference in service in the US and that in Europe . . except, in Europe, I never had a wait person sit down beside me and say "Hi . . my name is Mitsy and I'll be your server"

I much prefer a professional wait staff that knows their job and is focused on that job rather than tips. . Strange that restaurants all over the world can make money paying their wait staff a decent wage (including benefits ) yet we seem not to have that managerial expertise here.

But we trail the rest of the world in so many ways it does not surprise me.
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Old 07-25-2015, 06:11 PM   #12
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In S.Korea it depended on where you were, near the bases and in Seoul they expected tips but the country side did not.
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:31 PM   #13
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Some of those guys have a pretty slick game going on . . the new minimum wage increases their costs 4 - 5 percent. . . they raise prices 15 - 20 percent and suggest that customers stop tipping . . they pocket 15 percent or so and once again, the bottom of the food chain gets screwed . . .

It's not as sweet a deal as CEO's have going for them, but it is pretty cagey on their part

Quote:
When it comes to the impact the $15 wage will have on restaurants, University of Washington researchers, University of California, Berkeley, researchers and an owner of seven local Subways agree that restaurants will have to raise their prices about 4 to 5 percent — meaning an additional nickel per dollar on Seattle restaurant checks.

Now that $15 is a fait accompli, even the WRA’s Anton said in a phone interview, “It’s nothing to be afraid of, it’s just something to be aware of. There will be changes, but we’ll make them, and we’ll figure it out.”
Truth Needle: Is $15 wage dooming Seattle restaurants? Owners say no | The Seattle Times
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:43 PM   #14
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A good device is the one being used at Chili's where an electronic checkout device is on each table and automatically allows a 20% tip. Customer can adjust it up or down. I would rather see 20% before the sales tax, but at least it points the cheapskates in the right direction. My over generous wife tips 20% at a buffet.
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:49 PM   #15
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I had a daughter worked waited tables in college and a grandson who does it now. . I don't feel badly about our overly generous tipping policy . .

I would have starved to death if I had to depend on tips for a living! !
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:09 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Old Rich View Post
Some of those guys have a pretty slick game going on . . the new minimum wage increases their costs 4 - 5 percent. . . they raise prices 15 - 20 percent and suggest that customers stop tipping . . they pocket 15 percent or so and once again, the bottom of the food chain gets screwed . . .

It's not as sweet a deal as CEO's have going for them, but it is pretty cagey on their part

Truth Needle: Is $15 wage dooming Seattle restaurants? Owners say no | The Seattle Times
Yeah, that was a given that the bigger chains would raise higher then what was needed to maintain their profit margins, but my attitude is that the last time I ate at a restaurant in Seattle was 2011 so no point in doing it now
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Old 07-31-2015, 07:00 AM   #17
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U.S. employment costs post smallest gain on record in second-quarter

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U.S. labor costs in the second quarter recorded their smallest increase in 33 years amid tepid gains in the private sector, but it likely was a temporary setback against the backdrop of diminishing labor market slack.

The unexpectedly smaller rise reported by the Labor Department on Friday will probably not dampen speculation that the Federal Reserve is set to raise interest rates later this year. The U.S. labor market is fast approaching full employment.

The Employment Cost Index, the broadest measure of labor costs, edged up 0.2 percent, the Labor Department said. That was the smallest gain since the series started in the second quarter of 1982 and followed a 0.7 percent rise in the first quarter.
Ain't happening yet . . .

U.S. employment costs post smallest gain on record in second-quarter | Reuters
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:52 AM   #18
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US hiring reaches six-month high in June; quits also rise

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U.S. employers filled more of their available jobs in June, evidence that steady if modest economic growth is putting more Americans to work.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that total hiring rose 2.3 percent to 5.18 million in June, the most in six months and second-highest total since the recession ended in June 2009.

Employers posted fewer job openings, but that figure has risen strongly in the past year. And more people quit their jobs, which is a good sign because many people quit when they have new jobs lined up, typically at higher pay. More hiring, quitting and healthy levels of job openings could pressure companies to lift wages.

Hiring and quits "remain at levels consistent with a pickup in wage growth over the medium-term," said Jeremy Schwartz, an analyst at Credit Suisse. "Indeed, this is a key reason to believe recent weakness in average hourly earnings ... may be temporary."

Job gains have been strong for the past two years but sluggish pay increases remain a weak spot in the economy.

Average hourly pay rose just 2.1 percent in July compared with a year earlier, the government said last week. That is far below the 3.5 percent to 4 percent gains that usually occur in a healthy economy.

The number of available jobs fell 2 percent in June to 5.25 million, down from a 15-year high of 5.36 million in May. Still, openings have soared 11 percent in the past year. The rise is a sign that companies are confident that demand for their goods and services will pick up and that they need more workers to meet that demand.
A slight pickup in average hourly pay . . still need more

US hiring reaches six-month high in June; quits also rise
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