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Tag Archives: Jobs

Initial Unemployment Claims Sink Further

The Department of Labor reported an estimated 323,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending August 31, a drop of 9,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 332,000.

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Beige Book Again Records Modest-to-Moderate Growth


Continuing to shrug off sequester cutbacks, but feeling the effects of adverse weather, the nation's economy "continued to expand at a modest to moderate pace" from early July though late August, the Federal Reserve reported in its Beige Book assessment. Residential real estate activity "increased moderately" and "demand for nonresidential real estate increased," though "lending activity weakened a bit." Lending standards have largely remained unchanged, while credit quality has improved.

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Consumer Sentiment Drops in August

The Index of Consumer Sentiment, released twice monthly by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, read 82.1 at the end of August, down from 85.1 in July but an improvement over August 2012's 74.3. A preliminary report released mid-month showed the index falling to 80.0. "The August survey indicates that the recent confidence gains have stalled as consumers await decisions on the federal budget and monetary policy," said Richard Curtin, chief economist for Surveys of Consumers.

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Revised Q2 GDP Shows Unexpected Strength

Second quarter growth was calculated at a seasonally adjusted annual 2.5 percent rate, a sharp increase from the 1.7 percent initially reported for gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of the nation's economy, a month ago.

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Loan Officer Compensation Rises in 2013

Among bank employees, residential mortgage loan officers have experienced the greatest compensation increase over the past four years--35.6 percent, including base pay and incentive pay, according to the latest Comprehensive Financial Institutions Compensation Survey from Crowe Horwath LLP, a national public accounting consulting firm based in Chicago. Part of the rise in compensation for mortgage loan officers is the result of the refinance boom that resulted from record-low interest rates, according to Crowe Horwath.

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Consumer Confidence Ticks Up as Short-Term Outlook Improves

The Conference Board released on Tuesday its Consumer Confidence Index for August, showing a slight upward tick following July's decline. According to the latest update, the index now stands at 81.5, up half a point from July. Lynn Franco, director of economist indicators for the Conference Board, said the increase was "a result of improving short-term expectations." On the other hand, consumer opinions regarding the present economic climate were less charitable.

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Report: Wells Fargo to Cut 2,300 Production Jobs

According to a report from Bloomberg, "people with knowledge of the matter" said Wells Fargo is removing 2,300 jobs--about 20 percent of its 11,406 loan officers as of March 31. In its story, Bloomberg cited an internal memo written by Franklin Codel, head of mortgage production at Wells Fargo, in which he noted that refinances have fallen to nearly half of total loan share--down from 70 percent in the year's first half. As a result, Codel said, the bank has "had to recalibrate [its] business to meet customers' needs."

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Conference Board Economic Index Improves in July

A broad range of economic indicators paints a picture of an improving economy, according to the latest Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) released Thursday. The LEI increased 0.6 percent in July, reaching 96 for the month. An index score of 100 reflects the economic conditions in 2004. "The improvement in the LEI, and pick up in the six-month growth rate, suggest better economic and job growth in the second half of 2013," said Ken Goldstein, a Conference Board economist.

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First-Time Jobless Claims Remain at Pre-Recession Low


First-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending August 17 rose 13,000 to 336,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected the number of claims to rise to 330,000 from the 320,000 originally reported for the week ending August 10. The number of filings for that week was bumped up to 323,000.

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