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JOSH BOAK

Jobs data could signal shortage of qualified workers to hire

Are employers starting to run out of workers to hire? A hiring pullback reported in Friday’s U.S. jobs data for May raises that prospect.

Hiring slows, but unemployment at 10-year low

U.S. employers cut back sharply on hiring in March, yet Friday’s jobs report still had much to be encouraged about, including a drop in the unemployment rate to 4.5 percent, the lowest in a decade.

Millennials are falling behind their boomer parents

SOUTH MILWAUKEE, Wis. — Baby Boomers: Your millennial children are worse off than you.

U.S. factory production improves in October

WASHINGTON — U.S. factory output rose slightly in October, aided by greater production of automobiles, home electronics and appliances.

U.S. factory output rose slightly in October 2016, aided by greater production of automobiles, home electronics and appliances. The Federal Reserve says manufacturing production improved 0.2 percent last month, matching the gain in September. (FILE/AP Photo )

Pay for workers across much of economy rises

Workers at construction sites, hotels and restaurants have enjoyed solid pay raises in the past 12 months. So have employees of utilities and telecom firms.
Finally, after years of stagnant pay, more American workers are receiving meaningful raises — a trend driven home by the government’s October jobs report.

Policy Prescriptions: Trump and Clinton on economic growth

Few Americans feel satisfied with the state of the U.S. economy, making it a central focus in the presidential election between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump.

Still-low mortgage rates carry new refi wave

Mortgage interest rates have remained low for so long, lenders and borrowers alike have been expecting rates would only creep higher. Instead, they’ve tested record lows.

For minorities, pain remains decade after housing peaked

When the U.S. housing bubble peaked a decade ago, soon to burst with far-reaching consequences, the pain was particularly severe for black and Hispanic Americans.

10 years after housing peaked, U.S. is more of a renter nation

It’s a troublesome story playing out across America in the 10 years since the housing bubble peaked and then burst in a ruinous crash: As real estate has climbed back, homeowners are thriving while renters are struggling.

In this Tuesday, April 19, 2016, photo, Jim Phillips poses for a picture in front of the building in which he owns and rents out one of the units, in Washington. Phillips owns three properties, two of which he rents at a monthly positive cash flow of $300 to $400 relative to his ownership expenses. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Across the world, luxury homes get a reality check

The global luxury housing market lost some of its sheen last year as financial markets became unsettled and many wealthy buyers began to look for less expensive homes.

This photo provided by Hilton & Hyland, exclusive affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, shows The Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. The property, which features 29 rooms, lists for $200,000,000. The global luxury housing market lost some of its sheen in 2015 as financial markets became unsettled and many wealthy buyers began to look for less expensive homes. (Hilton & Hyland/Courtesy of Christie’s International Real Estate via AP)

Many optimistic despite slower U.S. job growth

Consider looking past January’s so-so job growth.

At first glance, Friday’s government report on U.S. hiring was a downer — 151,000 added jobs, well below the pace of the previous few months.

In this Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, photo, Angelo Falcone, left, is interviewed by Eric Larkee for a bartender job at a job fair held by The Genuine Hospitality Group, in Miami. The restaurant group is expanding in South Florida and is hiring for all positions at its restaurants. On Friday, Feb. 5, the U.S. government issues the January jobs report. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Lower pay for poor is widening U.S. income gap, study finds

The income gap in major U.S. cities goes beyond the trend of rising paychecks for those at the top: Pay has plummeted for those at the bottom.

U.S. home prices climb in October

Steady job growth, low mortgage rates and tight inventories helped fuel rising U.S. home prices in October.

Gain in prices could keep rate hike on track

The costs of food, gasoline, shelter and medical care rose last month, a sign that consumer inflation may be moving up toward the Federal Reserve’s target level and keeping the Fed on track to raise short-term interest rates from record lows next month.

FILE - In this July 16, 2015, photo, a customer refuels her car at a Costco in Pittsburgh. U.S. consumer prices rose modestly in October, 2015 as low gasoline costs and a strong dollar have suppressed inflation. The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent last month after falling in September and August. Gas costs increased 0.4 percent in October but have plunged 27.8 percent over the past 12 months. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Car buying fuels Sept. retail sales

Americans spent cautiously at retailers in September, with stepped-up spending for cars, clothes and restaurants tempered by sales declines for gasoline, building materials and online outlets.

Robert Schemer, his wife, Kelly, and their son Graham, 9, are seen next to their newly purchased pre-owned 2013 Ford Flex Limited, at the Star Ford Lincoln dealership in Glendale, Calif.

What the Federal Reserve wants to see before raising rates

So what will it take for the Federal Reserve to finally raise interest rates?

The U.S. economy is now in its seventh straight year of expansion. It’s growing at a steady if unexciting 2.2 percent annual rate. Unemployment has sunk from a 10 percent peak to a reassuring 5.1 percent. Auto and home sales have accelerated.

Win McNamee/Getty Images Fed Chair Janet Yellen declined Thursday to say just what would spur it to raise the federal funds rate from near zero.

Retail sales up in August

Americans stepped up their spending on cars, restaurant meals, groceries and clothing in August, suggesting that consumers will help sustain U.S. economic growth despite a broader global slowdown.

Associated Press file photo- Shoppers check out the sale held last year at an ALDO store in the Mall at Robinson, in Robinson Township, Pa.

July home sales fastest since 2007

Americans stepped up their home-buying for a third straight month in July, as sales accelerated to the strongest pace in eight years.
FILE - This Jan. 8, 2015 file photo shows a home for sale in Charlotte, N.C. National Association of Realtors releases existing home sales for July 2015 on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

Homebuilder sentiment improves

U.S. homebuilders grew slightly more optimistic about the housing market in August, putting their confidence at levels last seen a decade ago during the debt-fueled housing boom.

In this April 16, 2015, photo, construction workers continue their work on a new large apartment complex in Scottsdale, Ariz. The National Association of Home Builders releases its housing market index for August on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)