Lowest Unemployment Rate in Months, Continuing Gradual Recovery

first_imgHome / Daily Dose / Lowest Unemployment Rate in Months, Continuing Gradual Recovery Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Share Save The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Unemployment 2020-08-13 Christina Hughes Babb Though nowhere near pre-pandemic numbers, jobless claims are dropping. California leads states in largest decline in decreases.The total number of new weekly unemployment insurance claims fell below the 1 million mark for the first time since March, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor.Initial jobless claims for the week ending August 8 totaled 963,000, down from an upwardly revised 1.19 million one week earlier. Continuing claims for the week ending August 1 totaled 15.48 million, down from 16.1 million in the prior week.The largest increase in initial claims for the week ending August 1 was in Rhode Island with a relatively mild uptick of 87 new claims. The states that saw the largest decreases during that week were California (-22,610), Virginia (-19,048), Texas (-14,095), Florida (-13,176), and New Jersey (-11,489).The new report saw the end of a 20-week streak where more than 1 million new claims were being filed on a weekly basis. Before the pandemic, weekly jobless claims were routinely below the 250,000-mark. More than 56 million people filed new unemployment claims since March 20.The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 10.6% for the week ending Aug. 1. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow greeted the news with a prediction that the unemployment rate could return to single-digit levels as early as this month, adding that third quarter growth could reach 20% or more.“The key point that I would make is the economy is rebounding, it looks like a V-shaped recovery and the recent news now is even better than it was a month ago,” Kudlow said in a virtual appearance during a conference sponsored by the Council of the Americas.However, Mark Hamrick, Senior Economic Analyst at Bankrate.com, told USA Today that it was still too soon to announce “mission accomplished” in regard to believing the economy was in a full-throttle recovery mode.“What we’re really doing is recovering some of the jobs lost,” Harmick said.A more cautiously optimistic vision came from Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae.“This morning’s unemployment insurance claims report showed the labor market is continuing its gradual improvement,” Duncan said, who warned that although “the pace of decline in claims had paused briefly, it appears to be accelerating again, an encouraging sign for the labor market recovery. However, the initial claims figure still remains above the peak value seen during the previous recession, and we note the headline number does not include an additional 489,000 claims filed under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.”Duncan added that while the level of continued claims was in decline, this figure “still remains at historically unprecedented levels and continues to indicate that while improving, the total extent of joblessness and income curtailment remains significantly elevated.” Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago About Author: Phil Hall Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articles Tagged with: Unemploymentcenter_img Lowest Unemployment Rate in Months, Continuing Gradual Recovery Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago August 13, 2020 1,093 Views Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago  Print This Post Phil Hall is a former United Nations-based reporter for Fairchild Broadcast News, the author of nine books, the host of the award-winning SoundCloud podcast “The Online Movie Show,” co-host of the award-winning WAPJ-FM talk show “Nutmeg Chatter” and a writer with credits in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Hartford Courant, Wired, The Hill’s Congress Blog and Profit Confidential. His real estate finance writing has been published in the ABA Banking Journal, Secondary Marketing Executive, Servicing Management, MortgageOrb, Progress in Lending, National Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional America, Canadian Mortgage Professional, Mortgage Professional News, Mortgage Broker News and HousingWire. Sign up for DS News Daily Previous: How COVID-19 Is Driving Migration Trends Next: HUD’s Carson Provides Opportunity Zone Updates The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribelast_img read more

‘Having it all’ at Harvard

first_imgLately, three little words have the power to turn a conversation among women on a dime. Harvard, home to ambitious female faculty and staff of many ages, isn’t immune to the national debate over “having it all.”When the Atlantic published “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” Anne-Marie Slaughter’s 11,000-word manifesto on the myth of perfect work-life balance, earlier this year, it quickly became the most-read article in the magazine’s history. Likewise, when Harvard’s Committee on the Concerns of Women announced it would host a discussion of Slaughter’s essay last month, seats filled in record time.The committee, whose lunchtime meetings have been a fixture on campus for more than three decades, was a natural host for the event. But the level of interest in a work-life discussion surprised even longtime board members, who watched in real time as the event’s 150 seats were filled through online registration in minutes. (They quickly added 50 more seats, which were claimed 20 minutes later.)“We’ve never had this kind of response before,” said Nancy Costikyan, director of the Office of Work/Life and one of the event’s organizers. “It legitimates the public conversation around these issues.”Interest in the October meeting, “Imperfect Balance,” was so high that the committee is hosting a follow-up event on Nov. 14 at the Monroe C. Gutman Library. The two discussions, both led by Francesca Dominici, professor of biostatistics and associate dean for information technology at Harvard School of Public Health, are just the start of a year’s worth of committee events focused on the theme of self-care for women.Negeen Darani (center), who is executive director of the Harvard Humanitarian Academy, carries on a discussion at her table. When the Committee on the Concerns of Women announced it would host a discussion of Slaughter’s essay last month, seats filled in record time.“Just about every issue we are talking about — women’s advancement in the workplace, child care, flexibility — all come back to the question: How do women advocate for themselves, care for themselves, and remember their own needs in addition to every other obligation they’re trying to fulfill?” said Costikyan, the University’s liaison to the committee.Costikyan hopes the events will help shed light on the resources that Harvard offers to help ease the modern tug-of-war between work and family obligations, especially for women, who on average assume a larger burden of child care (and elder care, a less-discussed topic).For example, employees can already arrange for subsidized back-up child care through the University’s Parents in a Pinch and Just In Time Care programs (which also cover elder care and caregiving for employees themselves). The University distributes $3.5 million a year in child care scholarships for faculty and staff, and also offers a free consulting service for new parents. The WATCH Portal, an online service launched last year, helps connect parents with Harvard students and the children of Harvard employees looking for babysitting jobs, and has recently expanded to allow postings for tutoring and odd jobs.Soundbytes: Anne-Marie Slaughter on Women, Work, and Public PolicyIn this PolicyCast episode from the Harvard Kennedy School, Anne-Marie Slaughter talks about her experience since publishing the The Atlantic article, how her thoughts on the subject have evolved, and what the implications are for public policy.But while Harvard’s work-life benefits are robust, there is still work to be done regarding workplace flexibility, Costikyan said. Harvard Human Resources is currently piloting a new set of flexible work guidelines with the goal of understanding best practices when it comes to nontraditional schedules, job-sharing between employees, and telecommuting.“I think people are hungry for it,” Costikyan said, though she acknowledged that modern workplace culture is not well designed to accommodate workers’ needs for flexibility. “You need to break down the components of resistance. Some people are afraid of flexible work arrangements. They’ve not seen them work well. They’ve been burned by poor designs. But in recent years we have learned a lot about how to make flexibility benefit wider units and departments, not just individual employees.”At the October talk, held in Radcliffe Gymnasium, Dominici detailed her own experiences juggling roles as employee, boss, professor wife, mother, and, for a brief spell, caregiver to her 94-year-old Italian grandmother.She recalled how she unknowingly did “serious damage” by coming back to teach two weeks after giving birth. While she had merely wanted an excuse to leave the house for a couple hours a week, she said, she unwittingly gave off the impression of being an intimidating superwoman to her younger female students.Women are still underrepresented in academia and in other high-powered fields, she said, not because they’re not earning Ph.D.s or other necessary credentials, but because pressures to balance work and family cause many women to drop out.“This is not a pipeline issue anymore,” Dominici said. “It’s not a woman’s issue — it’s a family issue and an economic issue.”That sentiment was reflected in the small-group discussions following Dominici’s talk, where women from across Harvard’s Schools and departments brainstormed ideas for new work-life policies. Despite being well-versed in the work-life debate, Blue Magruder attended the committee event to meet others from across the University with a similar interest in the topic.“This is something we’ve all been battling,” said Magruder, director of communications and marketing at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. “I think it’s great that people are aware of these issues and are asking how policies should change.”Though her own son is out of the house and about to graduate from college, Magruder recounted the tough choices she and her husband made to juggle their equally demanding careers. When her son was in fifth grade, Magruder’s husband left his consulting job — which entailed flying half a million miles a year — to become a stay-at-home father.“I refused to leave my nonprofit career,” Magruder said. “We had a family meeting, and my son said, ‘When Mummy comes to my games, all she does is talk to the other moms. When Dad comes, he makes constructive comments.’ So we just decided to see what we could do to make it work.”Ultimately, her family’s arrangement worked well, she said, and she’s glad to see a new generation of Harvard women exploring flexible situations with their partners as they raise children.“I think the younger women now are braver about saying you can’t have it all at once,” Magruder said. “When there’s a will, there can be new solutions.”last_img read more

All change for UK government pension policymakers post-election [updated]

first_imgHe replaced Richard Harrington, who was appointed pensions minister last summer. Harrington has been assigned to the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.Gauke is viewed as bringing welcome pensions expertise to the role.Sir Steve Webb, director of policy at mutual insurer Royal London and a former pensions minister, said: “There are few ministers who could have been appointed to this role who know as much about pensions as David Gauke.  Prime minister Theresa May has appointed a new secretary of state for work and pensions as part of a cabinet reshuffle following last week’s general election.David Gauke (pictured), the former chief secretary to treasury, has been appointed cabinet minister in charge of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).He replaced Damian Green, who has been promoted to first secretary of state and cabinet officer minister, effectively functioning as deputy prime minister.Guy Opperman has been confirmed as pensions minister, with the additional brief of “financial inclusion”.  David Gauke, Department for Work and Pensions“In his five years at the Treasury during the Coalition he played a key role in developing the detail of the pension freedoms and was a keen supporter of automatic enrolment.”Kevin LeGrand, president of the Pensions Management Institute, also said that Gauke brings knowledge and experience to the role, with pensions tax relief one of his particular areas of expertise.He said it was particularly important for the secretary of state to have pensions knowledge after the role of pensions minister – who reports to the secretary of state – was downgraded to parliamentary undersecretary last year.The reshuffle of government pension roles was bemoaned by several in the industry.Malcolm McLean, senior consultant at Barnett Waddinham, said: “Ever since the post of pensions minister was established, we have seen constant change – up to the appointment of Steve Webb, who remained minister for a full five year term.“Pensions is an important area for so many people and continues to suffer from constant change and increased complexity.”LeGrand said that if there had to be change in officeholders then there must be policy continuity. The to-do list for the incoming pensions minister is significant. The future of the triple lock, which guarantees an annual increase to the state pension of at least 2.5%, was a major point of debate between political parties during the election.In addition, the DWP earlier this year began a wide-ranging discussion with the industry about changes to defined benefit pension regulations, while a bill bringing in tighter rules for defined contribution master trusts was put on hold during the election.last_img read more

John Mensah’s wife files for divorce

first_imgThe wife of the Ghanaian defender wants to break up their marriage over alleged infidelity and neglect of parental responsibilitiesBlack Stars general skipper John Mensah is scheduled to appear before an Accra High Court over a divorce case initiated by his wife Henrietta.According to Footy-ghana, Henrietta’s decision was informed by alleged infidelity on Mensah’s part. The couple has been married for over a decade with four children.The report said Justice Doris Bempong is the presiding judge over the case which was called on Monday. The defender was not present in court, but his wife was hence the case was adjourned to a later date.The central defender also stands accused by Henrietta of having neglected his parental responsibilities leaving the upkeep of their kids to her alone at their Trassacco residence.Mensah, who was until recently the main skipper of the Black Stars, is currently clubless after Stade Rennes decided to part ways with him just six months after signing him as a free agent.last_img read more

England Golf looking forward to staging Home Internationals at Ganton

first_img30 Apr 2013 England Golf looking forward to staging Home Internationals at Ganton Healthy rivalry is the cornerstone of the Home Internationals and this will be the case once again when England host the annual three-day event at Ganton Golf Club in north Yorkshire this summer. “It’s a massive event and all about national pride and rivalry,” said England international Neil Raymond when England Golf held a Media Day at Ganton (image copyright Tom Ward) as a prelude to the matches with Ireland, Scotland and Wales on 14th – 16th August. “Players from the four home countries play alongside each other in individual events week-in, week-out, during the year. But we play against each other in the Home Internationals and then it’s all about bragging rights,” added Raymond. “It’s a great honour to play for your country and, domestically, it doesn’t get much bigger than the Home Internationals. Scotland did us a favour two years ago by beating Ireland, which saw us win the title but they got their own back last year when we beat Ireland which gave them the title. We are determined to get it back this year.” Although the teams will not be selected until nearer the date, England coach Graham Walker said: “Selection for the England team is not down to any particular format. You just select the best team to win the event. The England squad gets together several times during the year so it’s more about informed judgement. “You have to take match play results into account but at the end of the day it’s all about opinions.” Double Brabazon Trophy winner Raymond was joined at Ganton by fellow England caps Garrick Porteous, Jamie Rutherford and Nick Marsh while Fraser McKenna and Graeme Robertson, members of the Scottish Performance Squad, journeyed south to support the day and to get a taste of the prestigious course. All six players then joined members of the press, sponsors and dignitaries on the course for an 18-hole Stableford competition in perfect weather. With the two best scores on each hole to count, it was the foursomes of Mei Tierney and Paul McGlynn, both from PowaKaddy, Myles Waud of Professional Sports Group, and Jim Law from Chester Golf Centre who came out on top with 78 points, two more than Nick Marsh’s team of Danny Lockwood (Yorkshire Golfer), Alan Hedley (Northern Golfer) and Yorkshire County Secretary Keith Dowswell. Marsh also left his mark on the play with a hole-in-one with a six iron at the 168-yard tenth hole. England Golf is hoping for a bumper crowd for the Home Internationals. Lynne Fraser, Marketing and PR Manager for England Golf, said: “We are hoping for a good turnout for the event. It is being played during the school holidays and Ganton is only a few miles from Scarborough so it could be a good day out for fans.”last_img read more