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Unemployment rate: inflation relief check by state, SS payments, student loan forgiveness | 4 November

New employment statistics show that in the past month, the jobless rate in NYC decreased to 5.6%.

unemployment data: live updates

Headlines: Friday, 4 November 2022

- Unemployment rose to 3.7% in October as BLS releases data 

- Student loan borrowers who paid down debt during the moratorium to get refund checks

- Fed announces fourth straight 0.75% interest rate hike today, mortgages expected to get more expensive

- Inflation in Europe hits record high of 10.7%

- The economy and healthcare costs are a top concern for midterm voters

- US registers 2.6% GDP growth in Q3

- NYC salary transparency law to take effect 1 November

- Mortgage rates fall below 7% after reaching 20-year high

- Some still may be eligible to receive the $3,600/$3,000 child tax credit 

- Final deadline to claim stimulus checks approaching 

- The student debt forgivenessapplication deadline, when is it?

Latino workers saw largest increase in unemployment in October

The BLS has released the October Employment Report, which showed a 0.4 percent increase in the unemployment rate of Latino workers; increasing from 3.8 to 4.2 percent. 

However, this does not mean that this group has the highest overall rate. The rate from Black workers stands at 5.9, down from 6.4 percent in August. 

Across the board, the rate moved up as well from 3.5 to 3.7 percent. 

While the rate increased, the economy still added over 200,000 jobs --exceeding expectations and forecasts. 

Justice Coney Barrett blocks second attempt to stop stundent loan debt forgiveness

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett for second time has denied an emergency application to block President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. This time the request for an emergency stay came from two Indiana men, Frank Garrison and Noel Johnson, who said that the automatic forgiveness of their debt would cause them irreparable harm by leaving them with a hefty state tax bill.

Previously, the Justice had rejected another request to block the program filed by the Brown County Taxpayers Association in Wisconsin. They argued that it would cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Barrett has neither commented on the filing nor referred the matter to her other colleagues in both cases.

The program, however, is still on hold thanks to an administrative stay issued by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals while it considers a motion from six Republican-led states to block the program.

$9,600 checks: When do they arrive and who is eligible?


$9,600 checks: When do they arrive and who is eligible?

Financial aid continues in the United States: Some residents will receive a payment of up to $9,600 dollars. When they arrive and who is eligible.

US exceeds job growth expectations, despite slight uptick, unemployment remains historically low

The October payroll report is in and the US Department of Labor recorded 261,000 new jobs, exceeding expectations. However, the employment figure is a slight decrease on the number from September.

Also the unemployment rate inched up by two percentage points to 3.7% but is still historically low. This could be a signal that the interest rate hikes being implemented by the Federal Reserve are beginning to soften labor market conditions.

The upside, the latest numbers could allow the central bank to ease up on the rate increases starting in December. The three-quarters of a percentage hike this week was the fourth straight this year in addition to a .25% in March and .5% in April.

Today's jobs report shows we've added 261,000 jobs and maintained a historically low unemployment rate of 3.7% – our economy is strong. And, folks, despite Republican leadership rooting for recession, our economy continues to grow and add jobs as gas prices come down.

Joe Biden, POTUS
The key date of the SSA notice with the COLA increase: $1,752 average in 2023


The key date of the SSA notice with the COLA increase: $1,752 average in 2023

Households across the nation reeling from rising prices that receive Social Security benefits will get a big boost to their finances come the new year. The Social Security Administration announced its 2023 COLA and it was a whopper. At 8.7 percent, it is the fourth largest in the history of the annual cost-of-living adjustments and the biggest since 1981.

The average recipient of retired worker benefits will see a monthly payment of $1,827 an increase of $146. That will translate into an extra $1,752 over the course of 2023. The Social Security Administration will begin sending out notices in the mail to beneficiaries of exactly what their monthly payments will be next year.

The key dates to receive the California inflation relief checks: who will collect it in October?


The key dates to receive the California inflation relief checks: who will collect it in October?

It's been over two weeks since payments of California’s inflation relief checks started to be sent out to residents. Payments are going out as either direct deposit or debit cards, both formats have their own payment schedules.

How is the unemployment rate measured in the US?

There are multiple ways of measuring unemployment. It is fairly obvious that the data can be acquired by dividing the number of unemployed persons by the number of persons in the labor force (employed or unemployed) and multiplying that figure by 100. However, the variance comes into who is classed as unemployed or employed.

By the U-3 measure, used in the data acquired today, people are counted as unemployed if they do not have a full-time, part-time, or temporary job, is actively looking for a job. This means people who are without a job but not looking for work are ignored in the statistics.

Since the covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, this group of people ignored in unemployment statistics has been growing. This would explain statistical oddities such as 5.7 million people unemployed but more than 10 million job vacancies. When the Federal Reserve talks about a “tight labor market” this is what they mean; there are jobs that people can decline as workers have a barganing tool with the amount of vacancies.

The labor market is basically OK, but it does seem to be slowing. The Fed is going to try to thread the needle where they slow down the labor market enough to put downward pressure on wages and inflation, without causing a recession.

Guy Berger, principal economist at LinkedIn

I’m pleased that we have moved as fast as we have. I don’t think we’ve overtightened.

Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve chair
What is the unemployment rate and how is it calculated?


What is the unemployment rate and how is it calculated?

The Department of Labor has revealed the number of people joining payrolls in the US has risen by 261,000, exceeding expectations around the 200,000 number. However, the unemployment rate increased by two percentage points to 3.7% which could be the first inklings of the effects from interest rate rises initiated by the Federal Reserve since the turn of the year. The employment figure is a slight decrease on the number from September.

Unemployment rate increases after interest rate changes

(Reuters) - U.S. employers likely hired the fewest workers in nearly two years in October and increased wages at a moderate pace, suggesting some loosening in labor market conditions, which would allow the Federal Reserve to shift towards smaller interest rates increases starting in December.

The Labor Department's closely watched employment report on Friday is also expected to show unemployment ticking up to 3.6% from 3.5% in September. The Fed on Wednesday delivered another 75-basis-point interest rate hike and said its fight against inflation would require borrowing costs to rise further.

The key dates by state for the extension of food stamps: who collects SNAP in November?


The key dates by state for the extension of food stamps: who collects SNAP in November?

Back in January, 37 states had signed up to make their residents eligible for extra SNAP benefits, as part of the Emergency Allotment (EA) program. However, for November this number has been reduced to 21 states.

The EA benefits do not apply to all recipients, but will instead be used to boost the entitlement of households who would not otherwise be eligible to receive the full amount. If you were not previously receiving the maximum entitlement for your house size then the EA benefits will increase your total monthly benefits.

Low-cost internet initiative to boost connectivity

In May, President Biden announced that 20 internet providers, including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, have committed to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The program is designed to ensure access to high-speed internet service for no more than $30 per month, for eligible households. Roughly 80 percent of Americans live in communities where these providers operate.

The program also provides eligible households $30 per month off their internet bills, so families can receive high-speed internet at no cost when paired together. To check your eligibility, head over to the Affordable Connectivity Program website, or call (877) 384-2575.

What is the average student loan debt for public and private US college graduates?


What is the average student loan debt for public and private US college graduates?

The amount of student debt in the US has been a problem for young Americans for years. Back in 2006 it was $461 billion, by no means small, but it was a trillion dollars lower than it is now. At the end of 2021 student debt was tallied to be worth over $1.75 trillion. This staggering number has prompted action from the federal government.

In terms of per capita number the debt makes for scary reading. In 2021 the mode average student loan debt per borrower was $39,351, which means an average monthly payment of $393, according to recent statistics from The median debt is $17,000 and 56 percent of people owe less than $20,000.

In total 43.2 million people currently have a student loan and that number is only increasing each year. Worryingly, around 2.6 million graduates owe more than $100,000 in student loan debt alone.

Last month, I launched the application for our Administration’s student debt relief. Close to 26 million Americans have already given us the information to be considered for this life-changing relief. And, as of this week, @usedgov will have approved 16 million applications.

Joe Biden, POTUS

Inflation knows no borders

Inflation has been battering household finances across the US, but Americans are not alone. Rising prices have been causing havoc for governments around the world and set central bankers scrambling to put a lid on it. Policy makers have been instituting aggressive rate hikes to tighten monetary policy in their jurisdictions not seen in decades.

The Bank of England just announced a 0.75% interest rate hike on Thursday increasing the rate to 3% from 2.25%. That’s the biggest rise in rates since 1989 and has warned of a "very challenging" outlook for the economy, with the economy registering 10.1% inflation in September. The economy is already in a recession which could last two years.

The European Central Bank jacked rates by the same amount at the end of October to 1.5%, its highest level since 2009. The ECB hasn’t raised rate so aggressively since the beginning of the eurozone in 1999. Inflation accelerated to 10.7% across the economic bloc in October.

The US got an earlier start than its trading partners in attempting to tackle rampant inflation, kicking off with a series of rate hikes in March this year. While starting slowly with a 25 basis points rise, the first in two years, the Fed just announced its fourth straight 75 basis points hike on Wednesday.

Inflation in the US has been slowly coming down since peaking at 9.1% in June, it still sits at 8.2 %. So far the US has been able to avoid recession with the economy expanding in the third quarter after two straight declines.

How big is the FED rate interest hike and how will it affect loans and mortgages?


How big is the FED rate interest hike and how will it affect loans and mortgages?

The most affected so far by the rate hikes has been the housing sector with activity slowing in many markets across the nation.

Last week the rate on the most common mortgage, a conventional thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage, jumped above 7% for the first time in 20 years. Rates have risen steeply, rocketing up from below 3% in July 2021, as the Fed has moved to quell inflation. Additionally, homebuyers have been confronting ever increasing prices on houses, jumping from a national average of $473,000 to $542,000 in the span of a year, a nearly 15% increase, according to the St Louis Federal Reserve.

Hiking interest rates won't stop inflation

Inflation has been rising despite people spending less in the last six months. Rising interest rates will put further stress on Americans, using a blunt instrument in an attempt to hit inflation. While inflation grows, so have corporate profit margins. Whether this is justifiable or not is up to you.

Former secretary of labor Robert Reich agrees that profiteering is behind the inflation rate, not spending. This is further evidenced by higher inflation in the UK and Eurozone compared to the US, despite neither group having spending programmes such as stimulus checks.

Federal Reserve increased rates even further

Chairmen Jerome Powell held a press conference after announcing another 0.75 percentage point increase in the central bank's interest rate in an attempt to slow inflation. However, with many supply chain issues, particularly an unwillingness of oil and gas companies to increase capital expenditure to boost production, many fear that higher rates may not solve the price problem. 

Currently, the Fed's two mandates to create the conditions that would allow for maximum employment and keep inflation at below two percent, have begun to conflict. With unemployment hovering at historic lows and prices off the charts, the Fed has said that softening the labor market (i.e., increasing unemployment) may be needed to bring inflation back under control. 

Many labor organizers have critiqued these plans as overly punitive to workers who could lose their jobs, while corporations across good markets rake in record profits. These tensions have begun to highlight the weakness of monetary policy when it comes to the interventions in the economy, a conversation that is sure to continue as the impacts of higher rates take effect. 

Friday's inflation news update

Good morning and welcome to AS USA, where we will be bringing you the latest financial news and information from the United States. We have updates on the inflation relief checks being distributed in parts of the country and news on the latest GDP figures.