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Relief checks summary news: 11 March

President Joe Biden eats a cherry as he tours King Orchards with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in Central Lake, Michigan.

US Finance: Latest Updates

Headlines: Saturday, 11 March 2023

- 311,000 jobs added to the US economy; unemployment increased to 3.6 percent 

- Chairman Powell says the Fed will increase rates later this month, but how high could they reach by the end of the year?

- Last week, initial unemployment claims rose by 21,000 to 211,000

- 3.8 million workers quit their job in January, down from 4 million in December

- Biden proposesnew Medicare tax plan

- Student-loan borrowers should have a “Plan-B” for debt forgiveness

2023 Tax Season 

- Who can claim the additional standard deduction?

- The way to access IRS transcripts to ensure a faster tax refund

- Did you receive a state stimulus check? No need to report the payment as income to the IRS. 

Read more from AS USA:


White House responds to the February Employment Report

And when I took office, the recovery — the economy was — there was no recovery and the economy was reeling.  And 18 million people were unemployed, on unemployment insurance, compared to less than 2 million today.  Unemployment was 6.3 percent and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted it wouldn’t get below 4 percent until 2026.

Because of our economic plan, unemployment has been below 4 percent for 14 straight months since January 2022. 

Last month, the unemployment rate remained near the lowest level in 50 years — 50 years. 

And that’s really good news.  People who were staying out of the job market — this is particularly good news — are now getting back into the job market.  They’re coming off the sidelines.  They’re getting back into the job market. 

Joseph Biden , US President
Relief checks in March 2023: which states will send payments, dates and amounts?

Last year, inflation in the United States reached historic levels. Given the high prices, several entities approved the sending of stimulus checks or tax refunds as relief. Although inflation has fallen in recent months, the support continues

We share with you which states will send payments in March and what the amounts are.

$1,800 social security checks: exact mailing dates in March 2023

Starting in 1940, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been sending monthly checks to retired workers. Additionally, every month the SSA distributes funds to individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as other disability and survivor benefits.

Last year, the SSA announced an 8.7% cost of living adjustment (COLA), resulting in higher Social Security payments for 2023. The SSA has already disbursed payments for January and February and is currently sending out benefits for March.

Read our full coverage for detail on when you can expect your payment. 

February jobs report shows US beat expectations adding 311,000 new jobs

ICYMI: Better than predicted jobs report was released on Friday

The US economy added a whopping 311,000 new jobs in February, far exceeding the 200,000 economists had predicted. Unemployment ticked up slightly from 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent last month.

Areas that had “notable job gains” according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics were the leisure and hospitality, retail trade, government, and health care. The mass layoffs in the tech industry were noted by decreased employment in information sector. Transportation and warehousing also saw drops in employment last month.

Read more


Student debt an ever increasing burden

Student loan debt has been ballooning over the past few decades with a collective total of almost $1.76 trillion currently. A survey in 2021, showed that 60 percent of millennials that don’t own a home, being held back from doing so because of their student loan debt.

How old do children have to be to qualify for the IRS Tax Refund?

If you are in the process of putting together your 2022 tax returns, you should take a moment to consider any tax credits and deductions that you may be eligible for.

One of the most widely-used tax credits in the United States is the Child Tax Credit. This initiative provides a tax credit worth up to $2,000 per qualifying child to either reduce your tax bill or boost your refund. 

We take a look at the eligibility requirements for the program...

Read more


Mortgage rates increase for fifth straight week

Mortgage rates continued their rise with the 30-year fixed-rate averaging 6.73% % in the week ending 9 March. That is up nearly a tenth from the 6.65% average the week before according to data from Freddie Mac and almost three percentage points above the level a year ago.

The rate is expected rise even more as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated that more interest rate hikes would be necessary to bring down sticky inflation. An action that became even more likely after Febraury’s job report came in much higher than expected.


Where did the US economy lose the jobs in February 2023?

Although the United States economy added 311,000 jobs in February, the unemployment rate increased from 3.4 to 3.6 percent.

The sectors that saw the largest decrease in jobs were Information (-25,000) and Transportation and warehousing (-21,500). In the latter category, around 9,000 trucking jobs were lost, which could create further issues in the logistics center. The conditions for truckers have detoeritated rapidly since the 1980s, and in recent years the situation has gotten even worse. 


Is it worth moving to a more affordable city with mortgage rates rising?

The United States experienced a Great Migration during the covid-19 pandemic with over 27% of movers leaving the metro area that they were living in. The mass exodus was aided by ultra-low mortgage rates at or below 3%, which also fueled a surge in home prices.

However, Freddie Mac asks now that the 30-year fixed rate is approaching 7% once again: “Is migration to more affordable areas still worth it?”

The answer depends. For renters looking to buy the incentive may actually be increasing with higher mortgage rates. However, for homeowners whose current home has a below-market mortgage rate, the incentive may have reversed.


In-person IRS assistance today

If you need help with your tax submission this year, consider taking advantage of the IRS' face-to-face help day today. Selected locations will be opening tomorrow to cater for those who may not be able to get into an office during the working week. 

All the details you need are on the IRS website below...

Social Security double payment in March: Who qualifies and what is the amount?

The Social Security Administration sent out payments to over 71 million Americans as of January 2023. Due to the monumental nature of issuing so many payments, the agency spreads out when they are sent depending on date of birth, type of benefit and when a recipient first signed up for Social Security.

This creates a situation where every so often certain beneficiaries receive more than one payment in a calendar month. March will be one of those months, along with June, September and December in 2023. Another group of beneficiaries always gets double payments as they receive both Social Security and Supplemental Support Income.

Read more


Recap: More strong jobs numbers from February

The US jobs market continued at a fast pace in February, dispelling fears that the economy could be thrust into recession by the interest rate hikes seen across the past year. The Federal hoping to secure a 'soft landing' for the economy as inflationary pressures begin to ease and strong job numbers will help that effort. 


Welcome to AS USA

Hello and welcome to our financial blog, where we'll bring you all the latest news on measures to tackle inflation, financial support to cope with rising prices and the effects of interest rate hikes.