New jobless claims down, remain at record level overall - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

New jobless claims down, remain at record level overall

SPOKANE, Wash. - There have been some positive signs when it comes to the economy lately.

It's good news that is desperately needed, but not nearly enough of a trend to bounce out of the crippling recession.

"We are seeing some signs of improvement, they're modest and i think that that's really the watch word that we need to focus on because we are still in a recession, the economy is still contracting," says Morgan Stanley chief U.S. economist Dick Berner.

While Wal-Mart didn't have the sales expected in March, the retailer was still up 1.4 percent from last year.

Sales at Target and Old Navy were down, but not nearly as much as predicted.

The bottom line: Retail is still soft, but it appears to be at least stabilizing, and in some cases even improving a bit.

"I think there are some positive take aways here over the past few months on the consumer front," says JP Morgan retail analyst Charles Grom.

There also appears to be a glimmer of hope in the battered housing market.

Refinancing jumped by 88% last month, thanks in large part to record low mortgage rates and a new federal assistance plan.

President Obama said today "We've seen Fannie Mae refinance $77 billion of mortgages in March, which is their highest volume in one month since 2003 and rates on 30-year mortgages have dropped to an all-time low of 4.78 percent."

There are staggering reminders that the economy is still reeling; Foreclosures are close to all-time highs and many Americans are losing their homes because they've lost their jobs.

While the jobless rate dropped slightly last week, 5.84 million Americans are currently receiving unemployment payments.

That new number is higher than expected, and higher than anytime since the late 1960's.

Meantime, workers may be getting some good economic news in their paychecks.

The Obama Administration's "Making Work Pay" tax credit is starting to kick in.

That which means a bigger bottom line, up to $400 a year for working individuals, and $800 a year for married joint filers.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • CdA parents concerned over Zipfizz sale; school district responds

    CdA parents concerned over Zipfizz sale; school district responds

    Monday, October 22 2018 10:46 PM EDT2018-10-23 02:46:38 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Ashley Bales says her daughter came home from school one day and told her about classmates at Woodland Middle School selling something she was concerned with, Zipfizz. "With my daughter having a preexisting health conditions it got me concerned for other kids in the same position to be being sold that without their parents having knowledge of it," Bales said.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Ashley Bales says her daughter came home from school one day and told her about classmates at Woodland Middle School selling something she was concerned with, Zipfizz. "With my daughter having a preexisting health conditions it got me concerned for other kids in the same position to be being sold that without their parents having knowledge of it," Bales said.

    >>
  • Suspect from fatal hit-and-run crash in Liberty Lake arrested

    Suspect from fatal hit-and-run crash in Liberty Lake arrested

    Monday, October 22 2018 10:05 PM EDT2018-10-23 02:05:30 GMT

    LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. - A suspect from a fatal hit-and-run crash in Liberty Lake last Thursday has been arrested. After the suspect vehicle was towed to the Liberty Lake Police Department, a search warrant was executed with the assistance of Washington State Patrol. Based on evidence collected, police developed probable cause to arrest 21-year-old Pavel Kanyushkin.

    >>

    LIBERTY LAKE, Wash. - A suspect from a fatal hit-and-run crash in Liberty Lake last Thursday has been arrested. After the suspect vehicle was towed to the Liberty Lake Police Department, a search warrant was executed with the assistance of Washington State Patrol. Based on evidence collected, police developed probable cause to arrest 21-year-old Pavel Kanyushkin.

    >>
  • Changes to Washington overtime rules could increase worker eligibility

    Changes to Washington overtime rules could increase worker eligibility

    Tuesday, October 23 2018 1:24 AM EDT2018-10-23 05:24:23 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Proposed changes to Washington state's overtime rules could make more professional workers eligible for time-and-a-half pay. The Spokesman-Review reports a draft concept by the state Department of Labor and Industries proposes overtime eligibility for workers earning up to $74,800 in 2019. The proposals are linked to a multiplier of the state's minimum wage, which will increase to $12 per hour next year and $13.50 per hour in 2020.   

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Proposed changes to Washington state's overtime rules could make more professional workers eligible for time-and-a-half pay. The Spokesman-Review reports a draft concept by the state Department of Labor and Industries proposes overtime eligibility for workers earning up to $74,800 in 2019. The proposals are linked to a multiplier of the state's minimum wage, which will increase to $12 per hour next year and $13.50 per hour in 2020.   

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/