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USA finance and payments news summary | 22 May 2022

As gas prices continue to tick up, the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates to cool down the economy. Follow along for live updates.

US Finance News: Live Updates

Headlines: 22 May 2022

- Crude oil prices hit $112, up forty-nine percent from this time last year.

- Target and Walmart profits drop and stocks plunge after posting financial reports

- Gas prices tick up as the war in Ukraine leads to further supply chain disruptions.

- Markets continue to wobble last week as gas prices continued to increase the cryptocurrency market continued its decline.

- Quit rates increased in eight states in April, as The Great Resignation continues in hot labor market.

Helpful info & links

- What is the California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program?

- Which states spend the most money on Medicaid?

- New York Unemployment Benefits: what is the maximum?


Can master planning solve US housing shortage?

US suburbs led to great prosperty but the product wasn't designed to be multi-generational. "We have created a development pattern that is a throw-away development pattern. One generation of success and prosperity and then we walk away from it and allow it to go through a cycle of decline," said Charles Marohn, Founder of Stong Towns.

Investors, developers and architects are working to fix that model and retrofit areas through master-planned communities and mixed-use districts. The hope is to fill the housing shortage gap and provide more affordable dewellings and sustainable developments.

Summer Camps 2022: How much do they cost and what are some options for my kids?


Summer Camps 2022: How much do they cost and what are some options for my kids?

Parents have a wide range of options when it comes to finding summer activities for their kids that won’t just keep them busy but also provide them with valuable experiences, new skills and new friendships. Summer camps can cost from a few tens of dollars into the thousands depending on who the provider is and what type of camp that fits your child.

Demand is high this year though, and parents can expect to pay more according to Tom Rosenberg, president and CEO of the American Camp Association (ACA), speaking to CNN. He told that parents can seek scholarships, financial aid and in some cases summer camp can be tax deductible. 

Here’s a look…

Biden highlights Hyundai's $5 billion invest to build EVs in the US

Electric vehicles are gaining traction, especially as gas prices stay sky-high nationwide. On Friday, Hyundai confirmed plans on Friday to build an assembly plant for that purpose near Savannah, Georgia. President Biden took advantage of his stop in Seoul to comment on the venture alongside Chung Eui-sun, chairman of the South Korean automotive giant.

"Electric vehicles are good for our climate goals, but they're also good for jobs and they're good for business," Biden said.

Hyundai intends to invest $5.54 billion and hire around 8,100 workers. Ground will be broken for the facility in 2023 with plans to roll 300,000 vehicles per year off the line by 2025. Additionally, the plant will build batteries to power the electric vehicles in an effort to establish a stable supply chain.

Cryptocurrency meltdown wipes out Ukrainian family's life savings

Seeking to protect his family's life savings at the onset of the Russian invasion of his country, a Ukrainian man put nearly all of their money into Terra "stablecoin". He told the Guardian that it wasn't to speculate, but believed the advertisements that it was a safe alternative, "backed by fiat currency" to easily carry his family's wealth should they need to abandon Kyiv.

Terra, which had been pegged to the US dollar until early May, has lost almost all of its value and taken around $10,000 of the Ukrainian family's savings, leaving them with less than $500. He has yet to tell his wife.

How is the California State Disability Insurance benefit calculated?


How is the California State Disability Insurance benefit calculated?

California is one of five states that has a state mandated temporary disability insurance which replaces a portion of wages lost due to a “disability” that was incurred outside of the workplace. The “disability” can include an illness or injury, whether it be physical or mental, along with pregnancy and childbirth or even elective surgery, among other medical conditions.

State Disability Insurance (SDI) is a short-term program that pays benefits for up to a year, unlike Social Security disability which is for conditions that last at least a year or could result in death. The exact amount that recipients could get depends on their earnings and how much they’ve paid into the program.

Full details

First delivery of "Operation Fly Formula" en route to USA

The first shipment as part of the "Operation Fly Formula" announced by the White House will be landing in Indiana on Sunday. It will contain 132 pallets from Germany with three types of hypoallergenic formulas for children with cow’s milk protein allergies which are in short supply in the US.

The shipment will include 1.5 million 8-ounce bottles of Alfamino Infant, Alfamino Junior and Gerber Good Start Extensive HA. From Indiana the formula will be shipped around the US to fill gaps in supply. As of 8 May there was a nationwide 43 percent out-of-stock rate, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Texas have all breached the 50 percent according to analysis from Datasembly.

New York state minimum wage: how does inflation the rate and amount paid?

New York state minimum wage: how does inflation the rate and amount paid?

As of 31 December 2021, the minimum wage in New York City, Long Island, or Westchester County is $15 an hour. However, like many tipped workers around the country, those in New York City, can be paid a lower wage. For New York’s remaining residents, the lowest wage that can  be paid is $13.50 an hour.

Food (8.8 percent) and energy commodities (29.8 percent) have seen prices increase rapidly over the last year. The inflationary pressure comes as supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic and, more recently, the Russian Invasion of Ukraine have caused many firms to increase their prices. New York and New Jersey, these trends have led to an average increase of 6.3 percent throughout the market.

Read more.

US rising fuel prices: Why are gas and diesel prices so expensive?

Latest News

US rising fuel prices: Why are gas and diesel prices so expensive?

Gas prices have exceeded four dollars a gallon in many states around the country for the first time in history. Prices have not reached the levels they are currently holding at since the 2008 when the financial crisis was reeking havoc on economies all over the world.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to a massive supply crunch that has effected that has impacted prices all over the world. Read more.

Initial unemployment claims hit 218,000 last week

For the week ending on 14 May, initial unemployment claims hit 218,000 an increase of 21,000 from the previous week's revised level.

However, the overall insured unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percent to 0.9 percent for the week ending on 7 May. Overall the number of total claims made for the same week fell  to 1,317,000 "a decrease of 25,000 from the previous week's revised level."

Greatest Increase and Decreases in Unemployment Claims

The greatest increase in inital unemployment claims were seen in n California (+3,046), Ohio (+772), Texas (+452), Arkansas (+393), and Iowa (+337) for the week ending on 7 May. The states that saw the greatest decrease in intial claims were seen in New York (-9,899), Kentucky (-1,479), Indiana (-1,341), Florida (-746), and Massachusetts (-615).

What is the California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program?


What is the California State Disability Insurance (SDI) program?


California, for the purpose of the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program, defines “disability” differently than that of the Social Security program. Workers who are prevented from carrying out the regular and customary requirements of their job due to a medical condition may be eligible to claim benefits.

This can include a non-work-related illness or injury, whether it be physical or mental, along with pregnancy and childbirth or even elective surgery, among other medical conditions. The program provides financial support to all eligible California workers who are unable to work or losing wages because of the condition. Read me.

Are worries about US recession and inflationary disaster overhyped?

Looking at the current economic outlook, one could be forgiven for feeling gloomy about what the future holds. On the bright side unemployment is at near record lows and companies are still investing in new technology and more secure supply chains.

Christopher Smart opines that there may be a temporary shock but that economic balance will in time be restored.

Disruptions to the global economy caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine could have serious impacts for the US

The stock market has struggled to remain at the levels seen throughout 2021 after Russia's decision to invade Ukraine has led to a crisis in the energy market. This week, Wall Street suffered its worse day in more than two years and more and more financial institutions see that a recession could be in the nation's future. 

President Biden has said that his administration is "fighting a war on two fronts" and one of those fronts is inflation and high prices. Just when it seemed that things could not get worse, the baby formula shortage has made many low income households more vulnerable as prices surge as the product becomes harder to find.

Around the world, food prices are soaring as many grow worried that global grain and food oil shortages may be felt this fall. So far top grain producers, India, China, Russia, and Ukraine are all reporting shortages in production which could lead to increased hunger around the world. In China and India shortages are due to weather and climate change related issues that led to lower wheat yeilds than in previous years.


Americans across the country are back to work at a historic level. Right now, workers in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin are less likely to be unemployed than in any other time on record. The unemployment rate did not increase in any of our 50 states.

Joseph Biden , US President

It’s great to be here to announce the more than $10 billion in new investment in American manufacturing.  This new commitment of $5 billion for advanced automotive technology and $5.5 billion investment to open a new factory near Savannah, Georgia, is going to create more than 8,000 new American jobs.

The plan is to break ground as soon as January of 2023.  And the new facility should be rolling out the latest electric vehicles and batteries to power them by 2025.

Joseph Biden, US President
Inflation: Target and Walmart profits drop and stocks plunge after posting financial reports


Inflation: Target and Walmart profits drop and stocks plunge after posting financial reports

Some of the biggest retailers in the United States have recorded severely disappointing figures for the first quarter of 2022, causing a slump in their stock market valuations.

Retail giant Target reported a shocking 52% fall in profits for the first quarter of this year, blaming supply chain disruption and the fall in consumers’ buying power for the decline. On Wednesday alone shares in Target fell by 25%, the company’s worst day on the stock market since 1987.

Similarly Walmart’s stock recorded its worst day in 35 years earlier this week after posting a poor earnings report. The company’s financial outlook also worsened due to the increase cost of labour and shipping. Read more.

Welcome and good morning to AS USA's live blog on financial news for Sunday 22 May.

New reports show how important the Child Tax Credit was for low income families who are struggling to provide enough food as inflation cuts into the purchasing power of many households.

Millions have still to receive their tax refund from the IRS. We will be bringing you important information on how to check the status of your refund.

As gas prices begin to increase again various proposals are circulating on Capitol Hill. Some involve the sending of direct payments to residents living in areas where gas is over $4 a gallon. Slowly, this is starting to represent a greater share of the population than ever before. Republicans oppose this move over fears that it will contribute to the current inflationary trends in the market. 


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