Lisa's Feed
Apr 8, 2012

FEATURE: Despite recovery, US public employees face more layoffs

April 8 (Reuters) – Since 2009, the city of Chesapeake,
tucked up against the Great Dismal Swamp in southern Virginia,
has cut its workforce twice. This summer, nearly three years
after the recession ended, the city of 222,209 has plans for a
third round of layoffs.

“We’re not seeing the recovery we want to see,” said Budget
Director Steven Jenkins, who is hoping many of the 20 people
will move into other jobs.

Mar 30, 2012

February jobless rates drop in U.S. states, swing states perk up

By Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – Unemployment rates dropped in almost all U.S. states in February, with many of those considered up for grabs in the 2012 presidential election registering the biggest improvement, data released on Friday showed.

The Labor Department said that in 29 states the rates dropped from the month before and in 13 states there was no movement.

Mar 30, 2012

Feb. jobless rates drop in US states, swing states perk up

March 30 (Reuters) – Unemployment rates dropped in almost
all U.S. states in February, with many of those considered up
for grabs in the 2012 presidential election registering the
biggest improvement, data released on Friday showed.

The Labor Department said that in 29 states the rates
dropped from the month before and in 13 states there was no
movement.

Mar 29, 2012

Public pension finances rebound slightly: Census

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The finances of public pensions rebounded in the final quarter of 2011 from the quarter before, but the cash and security holdings were still below end-of-2010 levels, according to U.S. Census data released on Thursday.

Gains in stocks and international securities lifted holdings 3.2 percent from the third quarter to $2.61 trillion, slightly less than the $2.64 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2010.

Mar 26, 2012

More Americans move to cities in past decade: census

By Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – More Americans are living in cities now than a decade ago, according to U.S. Census data released on Monday.

The most urban state is California – one that dominates the popular imagination as a land of empty deserts, open beaches and thick redwood forests – the Census numbers showed.

Mar 19, 2012

States’ revenue surge ebbs at end of 2011-report

March 19 (Reuters) – Revenues in most U.S. states increased
in the fourth quarter of 2011, but their recent surge is
tapering off, as they grew just 2.7 percent from the final
quarter of 2010, according to a report released on Monday.

“This is a noticeable slowdown from the 11.1 (percent) and
6.1 percent year-over-year growth reported in the second and
third quarters of 2011, respectively,” the Rockefeller
Institute, a think tank that closely watches states’ revenues,
said in the report.

Mar 13, 2012

Jobless rates in some swing states at 3-yr lows

By Lisa Lambert

(Reuters) – Ahead of a U.S. presidential election widely considered a referendum on President Barack Obama’s job creation efforts, all but two states reported improving jobless rates in January from a year ago, with some swing states hitting the lowest rates in three years.

The Labor Department also said on Tuesday that 45 out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia had drops in their jobless rates in January from December.

Feb 22, 2012

Aimed at banks, Volcker Rule hits unlikely targets

By Lisa Lambert and David Gaffen

(Reuters) – Some public agencies that rely on the municipal bond market for financing fear that a landmark financial reform rule will cripple their ability to sell bonds and make it more expensive to raise money for crucial services.

The Volcker Rule was designed to curb the risks that banks take with depositor dollars, a practice known as proprietary trading. But the rule risks ensnaring public agencies ranging from housing agencies to hospital authorities because the way muni bonds are sold and traded results in banks risking their own capital — the very practice banned under the Volcker Rule.

Feb 13, 2012

Obama seeks to cut municipal bond tax breaks

WASHINGTON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – U.S.
President Barack Obama on Monday proposed
limiting tax breaks given to high-income earners on the interest
paid by municipal bonds, a change that could rock the $3.7
trillion market if approved.

In his fiscal 2013 budget, Obama reiterated his desire to
cut tax breaks for families with incomes over $250,000, saying
they should only be allowed to reduce their tax liabilities to
28 percent from the current 35 percent.

Feb 9, 2012

Beyond crisis: Michigan gov says to ‘invest wisely’

Feb 9 (Reuters) – The governor of Michigan, slammed by
the recent recession, on Thursday proposed setting
aside $130 million in reserves in case another economic crisis
hits.

The state is expecting a budget surplus of more than $600
million in the fiscal year starting in October.