February 22, 2012 |
NEW YORK - It came and went in a flash, a number on a board for seconds at a time, but its symbolic power could not be dismissed. The Dow Jones industrial average, powered higher all year by optimism that the economic recovery is finally for real, crossed 13,000 on Tuesday for the first time since May 2008. The last time the Dow occupied such rarefied territory, unemployment was a healthy 5.4 percent, and Lehman Brothers was a solvent investment bank. Financial crises happened in other countries, or the history books.
February 9, 2012 |
The unexpected drop of the unemployment rate to a three-year low has overshadowed a less-positive labor-market development: Fewer Americans are looking for work. Last week's Labor Department announcement that the jobless rate fell to 8.3 percent in January sent stocks and bond yields higher. The same report showed the share of working-age people in the labor force had declined to the lowest level in 29 years. The so-called participation rate was cited by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Tuesday to support his assessment that the rate of unemployment obscures vulnerabilities in the job market.
January 11, 2012 |
Business owners, take note: "Ban the Box" goes into effect Friday. Pull up a chair if you just uttered a deeply confused, "Huh? Wha?" "Ban the Box" - also known by its less-catchy official name, the Philadelphia Fair Criminal Screening Standards Ordinance - was signed into law by Mayor Nutter in April. The ordinance prohibits any business in the city that employs more than 10 people from asking job-seekers either on their application or during their first interview if they have any criminal convictions.
January 8, 2012 |
For coach Tim Vanderslice and Monsignor Bonner's freshman basketball players, the first afternoon of the rest of their lives proceeded on a dimly lit practice court in front of a scoreboard that at one point read, appropriately: "Guest 55 Friars 0. " Defeat - one much larger than any determined by a round, leather ball - had come about an hour earlier Friday, when students learned during an assembly that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had targeted Bonner...
January 7, 2012 |
The stock market offered a reminder Friday that even if the U.S. job market is improving, there's plenty to worry about elsewhere in the world. The unemployment rate fell 0.1 point in December to 8.5 percent. Yet stock indexes teetered all day as traders fretted about Europe's ongoing financial drama. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 55.78 points, or 0.5 percent, to 12,359.92. Alcoa Inc. was the Dow's biggest loser, slipping 2.1 percent. Alcoa, which reports earnings Monday, said late Thursday that it would close an aluminum smelter in Tennessee and other operations to cut costs.
January 6, 2012 |
It took the whole day, but stocks came all the way back. Bruised once again by uncertainty about European debt, the U.S. stock market fell sharply Thursday at the open, then steadily gained ground for six hours. By the close, the Dow Jones industrial average had shaved its loss to less than three points. It was the first decline of the year for the Dow. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained just under four points and managed to extend its January winning streak to three days.
January 6, 2012 |
The nation's economy created 200,000 jobs in December, an improvement, but not enough to erase the effects of the devastating recession that began four years ago. Still, the unemployment rate was 8.5 percent, the U.S. Labor Department reported Friday morning - the lowest in nearly three years. And it was an improvement over the November rate, which was revised to 8.7 percent from 8.6 percent. This marks the fourth consecutive month that the jobless rate has decreased. The hiring gains cap a six-month stretch in which the economy generated 100,000 jobs or more in each month.
January 6, 2012 |
For coach Tim Vanderslice and Monsignor Bonner's freshman basketball players, the first afternoon of the rest of their lives proceeded on a dimly lit practice court in front of a scoreboard that at one point read, appropriately, "Guest 55 Friars 0. " Defeat - one much larger than any determined by a round, leather ball - had come about an hour earlier Friday, when students learned during an assembly that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had...
December 23, 2011 |
WASHINGTON - In in the latest sign that the economy is surging at year's end, unemployment claims have dropped to the lowest level since April 2008, long before anyone realized that the nation was in a recession. Claims fell by 4,000 last week to 364,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the third straight weekly drop. The four-week average of claims, a less volatile gauge, fell for the 11th time in 13 weeks and stands at the lowest since June 2008. While the economy remains vulnerable to threats, particularly a recession in Europe, the steady improvement in the job market is unquestionable.