August 27, 2014 |
JOSE DAVID ORTEGA of Camden liked to work with his hands. In July, Ortega and two other men, all three of them day laborers, were razing a defunct Blockbuster in Cherry Hill. A wall collapsed on Ortega, killing him, said his mom, Odily Castro. When she buried her son a week later, she said, the expense was shouldered entirely by the family. That's because Ortega, 40, a father of two, was an undocumented immigrant brought to the U.S. in the '80s by his mother, who was granted political asylum after fleeing the Contras in Nicaragua.
August 2, 2014
The recent fourth anniversary of the landmark Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law provides an occasion to remember why such aggressive legislation was needed. Fueled by years of lobbying and campaign donations from the finance sector, Washington politicians from both parties dismantled regulations intended to prevent a financial meltdown. The result, of course, was the worst such meltdown since the Great Depression. Millions lost their homes, and those who didn't saw property values decline as neighborhoods were abandoned.
July 5, 2014 |
The economy created a whopping 288,000 jobs in June, and in celebration, the Dow Jones industrial average surpassed 17,000 for the first time. Friday's report from the U.S. Labor Department "puts a smile on the face of all economists who . . . are forecasting strong economic growth in the second half of the year," said Doug Handler, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight. The unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent in June, from 6.3 percent in May and 7.5 percent a year ago. As good as the news is - with broad-based hiring in all sectors - it hasn't entirely translated locally.
June 14, 2014 |
Americans are grappling with dueling realities: Their portfolios have mostly recovered from the painful financial crisis, and might even show some tasty profits. But the U.S. economy seems fragile, and the labor participation rate is lousy. Most assume that when the stock market does well, the economy is booming. But that is not the case these days. "When companies are doing well, stock prices do well, so the economy must steam full ahead," says Esme Faerber, professor of business at Rosemont College.
June 10, 2014 |
If all you knew about Richard Vague was that, before he became a Philadelphia investor, philanthropist, and sponsor of Washington think-tank projects, the affable marketing mogul ran a couple of the nation's biggest credit-card banks, you might expect his book about lending to be a bankers' apologia. But The Next Economic Disaster - just 56 pages in its second draft, it will be fatter, with appendices, when published next month by the University of Pennsylvania Press - presents a fresh, forceful thesis: The threat to economies isn't too much borrowing by out-of-control governments.
April 9, 2014 |
A failure of the over-burdened and antiquated Northeast Corridor rail network could cost the nation's economy $100 million a day, according to a regional report issued Monday. The report was mandated by Congress to analyze the current role of the Northeast Corridor in supporting economic activity and future prospects for growth. The report was issued by the NEC Commission, composed of representatives of the eight states and Washington, D.C., that make up the corridor; Amtrak; freight and commuter railroads, and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
April 6, 2014 |
The economy has generated enough private-sector jobs to replace all those lost during the recession, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Labor Department. That was the headline news in an otherwise solid, but unremarkable, report. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7 percent, and payroll jobs were up by 192,000 in March. In March, private-sector, nongovernmental jobs edged just above 116 million. Such jobs numbered just below 116 million when the recession began in December 2007.
March 9, 2014 |
Economists liked the U.S. Labor Department's Friday report on the nation's job situation, cheered by news that payrolls expanded by 175,000 in February and unfazed by a slight rise in the unemployment rate to 6.7 percent from 6.6 percent. In a Center City classroom, Deborah Weston of West Philadelphia was also optimistic. Laid off in July after 27 years at the same insurance company, Weston signed up for Step IT Up America, which promises jobs and paid training to African American women who want to get into information technology.
March 8, 2014 |
It has been a mantra of American business for years - lower the tax rate on multinational corporations to boost their competitive edge and spur the economy in the United States. But a University of Pennsylvania law professor argues in a new study that cutting taxes for multinationals might not achieve the desired result. Professor Chris William Sanchirico says the reason has relatively little to do with whether wealthy Americans and U.S. companies spend additional profit reaped from U.S. tax cuts.
March 7, 2014 |
The economy slipped amid the Philadelphia region's icy weather for most of January and February, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday as part of its national snapshot of business activity, which otherwise showed improvement for much of the country. In this region, many retailers realized losses through heavy discounting of winter inventory. On the bright side, Philadelphia auto dealers anticipate a release of pent-up demand when spring arrives, the Fed said. The bank's latest so-called Beige Book report follows a generally more positive report for December.