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Unemployment News – May Take Years to Recover

Many had hoped that December 2009 would restart job recovery. But if the economic data of the past year is any indication, it would seem that full recovery is a long way off. True, the banks might be more stable today than several months ago but the recession’s impact on individual life and families will take years to restore, if ever. The endless string of job losses in the last two years has left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, especially to the people that experienced it firsthand.

Currently, the unemployment rate is hovering at 10 percent. It might improve slightly although economic experts warn that it has a high likelihood of staying uncomfortably high in the near future. More worrying though is that some analysts even suggest that the job market cannot recover from the 7.2 millions job cuts it suffered from since 2008 before the next round of economic problems.

Unemployment to Stay High, and Keep Going Up

Lakshman Achuthan from the Economic Cycle Research Institute said that “the problem is recovery doesn’t mean recovered.” This is because while growth is expected, it will be slow. It can take up to 10 years before the 7 million jobs lost in less than 2 years are recovered. In addition, it should be noted that even if employers add to their payroll, the economy needs to generate 100,000 jobs in a single month just to keep up with the population growth.

The economy should also be prepared a large pool of out-of-work individuals. Majority of these 6-million strong workforce have been laid-off during the recession. While they have been discouraged recently, there is a good chance they will enter the labor force again once the situation improves. Their reentry will increase the unemployment rate. The job recovery will not be explosive. At best, the unemployment problem will be resolved in several years.

Erase Debt from Your Life in the New Year

Debt is a common problem in America. Every middleclass family has one form of debt or another and a significant part of their monthly income goes into repayment. Having debt may be inevitable, maybe even beneficial at times. However, there are cases when debt becomes unmanageable. If you are knee-deep in debt, it’s time to take action.

Every little bit goes a long way. Take note that every penny you save is a penny that will help you get out of the debt trap. Below are some tips that will point you to the right direction:

Keep Track of Your Spending – this is a very sensible thing to do. But it is sometimes still amazing how many people fail in this task. Money can be gone so easily that you won’t even notice it unless you keep track on what goes out. Try to keep a cash notebook or use an online application tool like Mint.com to be aware of your spending pattern.

Make a Budget – every self-respecting financial expert will tell you to develop a budget to have any hope of controlling spending. After observing your pattern for several weeks, it is possible to develop a realistic and effective budget. Go for the balanced money formula which states that you keep 50 percent for your needs, 20 percent to saving, and the rest to lifestyle spending.

Earn Money from Your Money – if you have some leftover money from the bank, it is a good idea to invest it in high-yielding financial mediums. It enables you to create money from your savings. Some popular options today include rewards checking account, online savings account, and certain types of special deposit account.

Look for Possible Discounts – people have a tendency to keep paying what is charged to them. This is not always recommended. It is actually possible to ask for discounts, reduced rates, or freebies from the companies you deal with. For example, some banks are amiable to giving you a lower fee provided that you can give a good reason (other bank offers). Meanwhile, look at your insurance options as well. There is a lot of savings that can be derived from that.

Financial Resolutions You Should Start in 2010

New Year…it is the time for fresh starts and a clean slate. At the back of everyone’s mind, they are wishing for this New Year to be better. That’s why New Year’s resolutions are so popular. Whether you have a list of 10 or 100 resolutions though, it cannot be denied that it is difficult to keep them. Old habits die hard. But with a bit of help, you can be nudged along in the right direction.

As this is a financial blog, we will deal with mostly financial resolutions people make for the New Year. Compiled below is a list of blogs that talks about good financial resolutions, tools that will help you keep it, predictions about 2010 and how you can get ready for it.

Miranda from All Business asks readers, “What are Your Financial New Year Resolutions?” and she proceeded to name three of hers. It includes refinancing her house because the interest rates on her 15-year mortgage are below 5 percent. Other resolutions are opening a health savings account as well as a retirement account for her husband.

Jay MacDonald from Credit Cards wrote his predictions in the post titled “Personal Finance Predictions for 2010.” Basically, he first outlined what happened during the past year. For example, he commented that it has been dominated by three “R”s namely recession, reform, and relief. In the New Year, consumer behavior will radically change and a new kind of frugality will be ushered in.

Technology plays a big part in everyone’s life today. And being able to choose the right application can even help you financial. The Marketing Vox website featured an article titled “Apps for Financial New Year’s Resolutions.” Among the recommended tools include apps for saving and job hunting. Hopefully, by using these tools, users will be able to accomplish their aims.

Companies are Also Cutting Back on Christmas Spending

It comes as no surprise that American consumers will be spending less this Christmas. However, it is still slightly worrying that even companies are significantly cutting back on holiday spending. Many workplaces around the country are skipping the annual Christmas party and are less generous with bonuses. Aside from spelling bad news to employees, it is also affecting contractors who make these parties happen.

James Kasper of Saz’s catering is feeling the pinch and he noted that “We’ve all had to work a little harder to bring some of that holiday spending into the catering business.” Meanwhile, many contractors in Milwaukee said that their business is down 30 percent this year because many companies are deciding not to have a party even if they were profitable throughout the year.

Some contractors noted that a lot of businesses can still afford to spend for the holidays but are deciding not to do it. Joe Bartolotta from the Bartolotta Restaurant Group said that companies are trying “to do the right thing socially”. They don’t want to have a beautiful party when a number of employees have been laid off. But beyond these companies, there is no doubt that a lot of establishments are really struggling.

To encourage these companies, catering businesses are offering attractive discounts and special deals. For example, packages that may have cost $60 before are being sold for $30 now or less. Companies that still want to have a Christmas party despite all the hurdles are finding some innovative ways to go about it. Hotels and other special places are not being rented out. Instead, they are holding private get-togethers. The Christmas spirit may be alive in the workplace yet.