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Economy

WASHINGTON (AP) — A fourth straight monthly increase in sales of existing homes provided the latest evidence Thursday that the U.S. housing market is rebounding from a weak start to the year.

Housing has been a drag on an otherwise strengthening economy, in part because a harsh winter delayed many sales. But Americans are stepping up purchases as more homes have been put up for sale. And low mortgage rates and moderating price gains have made homes more affordable. read more »

 

Josh Boak and 
Bernard Condon, AP Business Writers

NEW YORK (AP) — Europe appears on the brink of another recession. Islamic militants have seized Iraqi territory. Russian troops have massed on the Ukraine border, and the resulting sanctions are disrupting trade. An Ebola outbreak in Africa and Israel’s war in Gaza are contributing to the gloom.

It’s been a grim summer in much of the world. Yet investors in the United States have largely shrugged it off — so far at least. read more »

 

By Josh Boak, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON — U.S. employers in June advertised the most monthly job openings in more than 13 years.

Employers posted 4.67 million jobs in June, up 2.1 percent from May’s total of 4.58 million, the Labor Department reported Tuesday. The number of advertised openings was the highest since February 2001, a positive sign that points to a strengthening economy. read more »

 

In the month since the state’s Economic and Revenue Forecast Council issued its June forecast, the economy in Washington added 10,800 net new jobs, 5,500 more than the 5,300 expected in the forecast.

Private, service-providing industries accounted for most of the job growth in June, adding a net 7,200 jobs. The manufacturing sector managed an increase of 1,800 jobs mainly as a result of an unex- pected 1,300 job increase in aerospace employment.  read more »

 

This past year marked a milestone in Kitsap’s efforts to participate in our region’s ever-expanding aerospace manufacturing sector, both commercial and military aircraft. read more »

 

CHICAGO (AP) — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago over the weekend where more than 1,000 workers gathered to discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years. read more »

 

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The risk of losing your job is getting smaller and smaller.

As the U.S. economy has improved and employers have regained confidence, companies have been steadily shedding fewer workers. Which is why applications for unemployment benefits have dwindled to their lowest level since February 2006 — nearly two years before the Great Recession began — the government said Thursday. read more »

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Would-be home sellers across the country are grappling with a once-in-a-lifetime problem: They have mortgage rates so absurdly low it would hurt them financially to sell.

Doing so would mean giving up an irresistible rate in exchange for a new mortgage carrying a rate up to a percentage point higher. Their monthly payments would be larger even for a house of the same price. That’s discouraging some people from selling, thereby limiting the supply of available homes and contributing to slower home sales. read more »

 

A state-sponsored survey of Washington employers shows both hiring and job vacancies increased between fall 2012 and fall 2013 — and employers say it’s taking a lot longer to fill the openings.

The Employment Security Department’s 2013 Fall Job-Vacancy and Hiring Survey Report estimated job vacancies in Washington increased by 23 percent, from about 70,400 in fall 2012 to 86,600 in fall 2013. Estimated hiring rose nearly 10 percent from nearly 190,200 in 2012 to nearly 209,100 in 2013. read more »

 
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