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Inflation Relief Checks: summary news 2 December

Financial news: Latest updates

Financial news: Latest updates

Headlines: Friday, 2 December 2022

- US adds 263,000 jobs in November, surpasses expectations

- Senate approves deal to avert railroad strike, but rejects 7 days of sick leave measure

- Supreme Court to hear arguements on Biden Student Loan Forgiveness Program

- SCOTUS keeps hold on Biden student loan debt cancelation in place. When the program could start

- Experts predicting a significant market adjustment in house prices

- Inflation is changing consumer habits this holiday season

- Fed Chair Jerome Powell will "moderate the pace of our rate increases" to avoid a recession

- More than 19M California residents continue to receive Middle-Class Tax Refunds

- Who is eligible for tax relief in South Carolina and Virginia?

​​​​​​​- Social Security beneficiaries will soon see an 8.7% boost to their benefits payments

- Trucking companies struggle to attract and retain workers as wages fall

- Can you receive two Social Security checks in the same month?

Related news

Do undocumented immigrants get Medicaid and what happens with the COLA increase?


Do undocumented immigrants get Medicaid and what happens with the COLA increase?

There were over 22 million noncitizens in the Untied States in 2020. They accounted for around 7 percent of the total US population. A noncitizen can be either an immigrant who is legally in the US or an undocumented immigrant.

While both face challenges to accessing federal public benefit programs, undocumented immigrants are almost completely shut out of the system. Some states though have in place their own programs to provide basic support for those who haven’t attained the proper documentations to legally reside in the US. Here we’ll look at Medicaid.

What is the shortest amount of short term disability?


What is the shortest amount of short term disability?

Short-term disability insurance is a way to protect your income by paying a cash benefit for a medical condition that prevents you from working for a certain period of time, whether it’s an illness or an injury that is sustained off the job.

How much does a driver earn in the US by hour: what is the average salary?


How much does a driver earn in the US by hour: what is the average salary?

Ride-hailing services, either to ferry people from point A to B or deliver goods to people where they are, can be essential for those who don’t have the means to get around on their own. The amount you can make as a driver depends on which type you are and in which part of the US you work. Here we’ll take a look at what you can expect to earn based on the available data.

November jobs report, US adds 263,000 new payrolls, wages up

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released the November jobs report on Friday showing that the US economy continues to perform strongly. Non-farm payrolls increased by 263,000, higher than the 200,000 that had been expected.  Unemployment remained unchanged at 3.7%.

Wages also surpassed what analysts had forecast increasing 5.1% year-on-year, half a percent over what had been expected.

While many will be happy with these numbers showing that the US is not headed for a recession, Wall Street didn't take the news well. The numbers could weigh on the Federal Reserves intention to pivot on their aggressive rate hiking policy over the past several months.

Policymakers may continue to jack up interest rates and keep them higher for longer than the markets would like. If they stay too high, for too long though there is the risk that that could tip the US into a recession.

Average mortgage rates continue to fall as Fed indicates milder rate increases

Mortgage rates began to spike as the Federal Reserve tightened the screws on the economy with aggressive rate hikes to bring down four-decade high inflation. Higher borrowing costs coupled with ever higher house prices have driven many would-be homebuyers out of the market.

In turn that has cooled the overheated housing market and now mortgage rates are retreating after breaking the 7% mark. Tha latest data from Freddie Mac shows the 30-year Fixed Rate Mortgage at 6.49% as of 1 December, the third straight week of lowering FRM rates.

What is the IRS mileage reimbursement rate for 2022?


What is the IRS mileage reimbursement rate for 2022?

According to the IRS, “the optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs.” This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage.​​​​​​​


Our student debt relief program is necessary to help 40M eligible Americans struggling under the burden of student loan debt recover from the pandemic. That’s 40M borrowers who chased the American dream through higher education. I look forward to SCOTUS hearing our case.

Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Education
What are backstop mortgages and what benefits can they provide to the customer?


What are backstop mortgages and what benefits can they provide to the customer?

The federal government has raised the threshold for backed mortgages in 2023 in a response to the rapid rise in house prices in recent years. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced that the typical maximum value of a mortgage available for government backing will rise by 12% next year. 

This is good news for anyone hoping to take advantage of a backstop mortgage, with better interest rates for eligible customers...

Gas prices continue to drop across the US

While still slightly above where they were this time last year, the average price of gas has been dropping at a pleasant clip. The US average per gallon price at just under $3.45 is down 13 cents from this time last week and over 30 cents from a month ago.

This is good news for American household finances especially going into the holiday season. 

Americans tapping into savings raising concerns whether they can weather a storm

American consumers are the driving force behind the US economy accounting for over two thirds of activity. Their spending increased in October by 0.8%, after being adjusted for inflation that was the highest since January.

While personal income grew in October, on the back of strong wage gains and inflation relief payments, the saving rate dropped slightly from the prior month. At 2.3%, savings levels are at their lowest since July 2005. This is raising concerns from some economist that Americans won’t have enough squirreled away to weather the storm if a recession hits.

However, other economists point out that the savings level is returning to the pre-pandemic normal. As well that there is plenty of credit available for Americans to draw on. “Real consumer spending is running well above normal and in no way, shape or form looks like a recession."

Social Security recipients who will receive two checks in December


Social Security recipients who will receive two checks in December

Social Security is a broad term used to cover a few different forms of financial support made available by the federal government. Most people are refering to retirement benefits when they talk about Social Security, and older people do make up the vast majority of Social Security recipients. 

As Christmas approaches, some recipients could be in line to get two payments this month. We take a look at who, and how...

Thank you to those Congressional leaders and bipartisan members who voted to avert a rail shutdown. Together, we pulled our economy from the brink of a devastating shutdown that would've hurt millions of families and union workers. I look forward to signing the bill into law.

Joe Biden, POTUS

Railroad strike averted, Senate passes legislation but without paid sick leave measure

The US was just eight days away from a potential railroad strike that could have paralyzed the nation, but the Senate passed legislation forcing unions to accept a tentative deal reached earlier this year. With the 80-15 vote the bill will now go to President Biden's desk for his signature, expected on Friday.

However, the Senate rejected another measure that also passed the House on Wednesday which would have given railroad workers seven paid sick leave days. The bill failed to clear the 60 vote hurdle. A handful of unions had rejected the tentative agreement because of the exclusion on paid sick days.

What are the railroad industry’s reasons for going on strike?


What are the railroad industry’s reasons for going on strike?

President Biden has asked Congress to intervene and prevent a potential railroad strike before the 9 December deadline. For months business leaders and union heads have been in negotiations to improve pay and scheduling procedures for railroad workers.

The Biden administration had worked out a tentative deal between the various parties. However those talks stalled and both sides agreed to a cooling-off period, which was to end next week, with a handful of unions threatening to go on strike.

Republican officials are throwing up roadblocks in order to prevent middle-class families from getting the student debt relief they need. We are taking our case to the Supreme Court. Today, they announced that they'll hear it in February. We will keep fighting.

Joe Biden, POTUS

Supreme Court will hear Biden Student Loan Forgiveness case

The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it will hear arguments on the legality of President Biden's student debt cancelation program. If allowed to go forward, student borrowers could apply to have up to $20,000 of their student loan debt erased. 

After the rollout of the program in October 26 million people submitted applications, the Education Department had already approved 16 million when a federal court put the program on pause. The Supreme Court will hear agruments in February.

When will Biden Student Loan Forgiveness be applied now that SCOTUS will hear case?


When will Biden Student Loan Forgiveness be applied now that SCOTUS will hear case?

The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it will hear arguments on the legality of President Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program on an expedited basis. However, the high court left in place the hold on the Department of Education discharging any student loan debt put in place by a lower court.

So borrowers will have to wait to know the fate of the program after the justices will hear the case in Febraury.

Fed chair Jerome Powell talks about where inflation needs to be for real wage growth

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell indicated this week that policymakers are considering a pivot in their aggressive rate hike strategy to tackle high inflation. The latest data showed inflation colling to 6% but the central bank wants to see price increases down around 2% and remain stable.

The impetus is to assure that real wage growth can be sustained across the spectrum in a strong job market. Currently, except for those workers at the bottom end of the pay scale, although wages are rising they aren't keeping up with the increased cost of living shrink household incomes.

Better than expected inflation numbers as Fed prepares for next rate hike move

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released October's Personal Consumption Expenditures price index (PCE) on Thursday and it was lower than expected. The key measure of consumer prices, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge, showed that inflationary presssures have slowed.

The PCE rose 6% in October, down from the upwardly revised 6.3% the month before. Federal Reserve policymakers are set to meet in two weeks to decide on the next rate hike. Chairman Jerome Powell said that they were considering smaller rate hikes starting this month.

The central bank has been raising rates since March, with the last four consecutive three-quarter percentage point hikes to tame inflation.

Experts claim house prices are on the verge of collapse; what’s the reason?


Experts claim house prices are on the verge of collapse; what’s the reason?

The US housing market has recorded years of sustained growth but there is now concern that property prices are due an adjustment.

Home prices in the United States could fall abruptly in the coming months as experts predict that a significant market adjustment is on the cards. The number of home sales has fallen for nine months straight and, with stock beginning to pile up in many markets, prices will have to come down.

Welcome to AS USA!

Good morning and welcome to AS USA, where we'll be bringing you all the latest financial news from the Unted States. To catch up on some of the main stories this  week...

Congress has passed legislation to keep railroad workers from striking next week minus measure for paid sick leave. The US Supreme Court will hear arguments on legality of Biden's student loan forgiveness but leaves pause on progrma in place.

Inflation eased further in October, Federal Reserve has signalled that it will ratchet down rate hikes moving forward giving Wall Street a bump. California residents continue to receive inflation relief payments.

Follow along to keep up with financial news that could affect you.


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