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USA finance and payments: news summary 24 April

Update:
Congress and state legislatures contemplate the sending of gas stimulus checks. Follow along for the latest financial news updates.

US Finance News: Latest Updates

How much were the first, second and third stimulus checks and when were they sent out?

US NEWS

How much were the first, second and third stimulus checks and when were they sent out?

Worth a total of $3,200, plus additional credits for dependents, three stimulus checks were sent out by the US federal government in 2020 and 2021, under two administrations.

How much was each check for? Who qualified? AS USA takes a look back

Unemployment NY 2022: what are the most demanded jobs in the city?

US NEWS

Unemployment NY 2022: what are the most demanded jobs in the city?

New York City was the epicenter of the covid-19 pandemic when it crashed ashore in the spring of 2020. Restrictions to stop the spread of the devastating virus saw unemployment spike with businesses shuttered and the flow of tourists drying up.

New York City is making a come back after the economy was devastated by the covid-19 pandemic, but which jobs are in demand in the Big Apple?

Elon Musk final offer putting Twitter under serious pressure to deal

TECH NEWS

Elon Musk final offer putting Twitter under serious pressure to deal

There is growing pressure on Twitter Inc from its shareholders to negotiate with Elon Musk even though the world’s richest person has called his $43 billion bid for the social media platform his best and final offer, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Is Elon Musk’s ‘final offer’ enough for Twitter sale?

Electric buses to create US jobs and make transportion cleaner

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and National Climate Advisor gina McCarthy take a test drive on one of Washington DC's new electric buses to explain how it is part of a national investment to make getting around cleaner and creating jobs in America.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress last year designated $5.6 billion toward the Low or No Emissions Bus Program, one of several measures to help the US reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while creating and improving jobs across the country.

China dominates the rare earth element market: What is US government doing to increase global supply?

China dominates the rare earth element market: What is US government doing to increase global supply?

Rare earth minerals are metallic elements found in the earth’s crust which can be processed into increasingly vauable commodities. These elements and metals are used to make the motors for hybrid and electric cars, generators for wind turbines, military-grade weapons, and other technologies.

Contrary to the name, the concentration of these elements within the earth’s surface is actually quite high. Economically, however, finding high concentrations in a specific area is “rare,” making establishing a mine and processing center costly.

With China dominating the market, the US is scaling up its focus on mining.

Full details

The wealth gap keeps growing despite corporate pledges to reduce inequality

A new report looks at whether corporate leaders kept their pledges to adopt “stakeholder capitalism” and enhance racial and economic equity to reverse the decades-long trends of widening inequality. The study examined 22 of the nation’s best-known companies which employ more than 7 million frontline workers in sectors spanning retail, delivery, fast food, hotels, and entertainment.

The results show that they failed to seize the historic opportunity that the covid-19 pandemic presented them with as their companies made record profits. Of the 22 companies, only Costco pays its frontline employees a minimum wage that comes close to a living wage, just seven others pay at least half of their workers a living wage.

Despite wages rising between 2 and 5 percent through October 2021, inflation has eaten into those gains that frontline workers made leaving a majority earning less than a living wage, enough to cover just their basic expenses, of just under $18 per hour.

The 7 million workers across the companies saw $27 billion in additional pay which, if equally distributed translates into just under $1 an hour for a full-time employee working 40 hours per week or $3,700 per year. Those gains pale in comparison to the $1.5 trillion richer the shareholders grew, 57 times more than what went to workers.

Can I claim the Child Tax Credit if I have not filed a tax return?

2022 TAX FILING SEASON

Can I claim the Child Tax Credit if I have not filed a tax return?

The official deadline for most taxpayers to file 2021 tax returns was 18 April 2022, but days prior to that date around 66 million filers had yet to send in their tax declaration. Not to fret though, the IRS is still accepting taxpayers’ annual income reports and the sooner you file the better.

The IRS urged all Americans, even those who are not required, to file this year, especially given the enhanced tax credits that were available for the 2021 fiscal year.

The agency advises those taxpayers who owe taxes to “file now to limit penalties and interest.” Taxpayers that don’t owe taxes will not be penalized for filing late and can still claim the Child Tax Credit for the 2021 tax year.

Full details

Demand for EVs surges as gas prices reach historic levels

One group breathing easier as fuel prices rise are owners of electric vehicles. Facing historically high prices at the pump, a record number of people in the US say that they are interested in purchasing a hybrid or fully electric vehicle. Watch the video from CBS below that discusses the new findings from the poll they conducted on this increased popularity.

Who is eligible for the new student loan forgiveness?

US NEWS

Who is eligible for the new student loan forgiveness?

While the White House has not budged from their opposition over President Biden using his executive authority to cancel up to $50,000 worth of debt per borrower, smaller batches of loan cancellation have been announced.

Read more.

How do I track my tax refund?

The IRS is experiencing very high call volumes as tax season comes to a close. To avoid a long wait, the tax authority encourages those looking for information on their refund to use the "where's My Refund" tool online. To use the tool you will need to provide your social security number, tax filing status (single, married, head of household, etc.,) and the refund amount.

I come from the corporate state of the world, Delaware.  More corporations are incorporated in Delaware than every other state in the Union combined.  And I got elected six times as senator notwithstanding that.

Here’s the point: Of the Fortune 500 companies, 40 of them last year, they made $40 billion and didn’t pay a single, solitary penny in taxes.  It’s not right.  It’s just not fair.  All you got to do is just pay a fair share.  And we can do all of this and so much more, but that’s not what — my point of being here tonight — or today, I should say.

Joseph Biden, US President

Real average earnings fell in March

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting that in March, real average earnings fell by 0.8 percent. This figure is calculated by looking at average hourly earnings which increased by 0.4 percent and the Consumer Price Index which increased by 1.2 percent. With the CPI is higher than any gains made in earnings, households see a decrease in their purchasing power as wages have not kept up with inflation. 

Intital unemployment claims have flat lined

The Department of Labor reported late last week that for the week ending on 16 April, initial unemployment claims hit "184,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised level." In recent weeks, the numbers have flat-lined and are not continuing the downward trend seen in 2021.

What is the situation at the state level?

States with the highest number of initial claims for the previous week were Missouri (+7,194), Michigan (+5,950), California (+3,215), Indiana (+3,193), and Texas (+2,617). The largest decreases were tracked in Ohio (-3,886), Wisconsin (-1,159), Oklahoma (-776), Utah (-270), and Hawaii (-219).

A sweet bright spot in the gloom of rising prices

Disruptions in the supply chain and resurgent demand backed with a surplus of savings from the pandemic and stimulus have fueled ever-rising inflation over the past year. Russian's invasion of Ukraine only excellerated the trend pushing energy and food prices sky-high.

While those who snack on salty biscuits may need to fork out more at the register, those with a sweet tooth for chocolate may be spared, at least if they're hooked on the high-quality stuff. Cocoa is one of a few commodities that is actually cheaper today and could buck the inflationary trend according to the Wall Street Journal.

Can federal student loans be forgiven after 10 or 25 years?

Can federal student loans be forgiven after 10 or 25 years?

New plans from the Biden camp have opened the door slightly towards further debt forgiveness, but critics say they don’t go far enough.

These plans included a revision of income-riven payments to make it easier for students to qualify for measure in which their loans could be automatically cancelled after 20 or 25 years. Read more.

Good morning and welcome to AS USA's financial news live blog. After Wall Street saw its worst day this year on Friday, we will be bringing you the latest news on how the Federal Reserve's policy to counter inflation is impacting markets.

Unable to file your taxes and in need of an extension? Looking for how to track your refund? Want to know what Congress is considering to support US households combat inflation? We have you covered.

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