Hiring spurt in October eases jobs crisis a bit

The jobs crisis eased a bit in October as companies stepped up hiring, suggesting further gains ahead. Hiring remains far too weak to drive down unemployment, now stuck at 9.6 percent. And the newly elected Congress will come under pressure to take steps to accelerate job growth. Still, the burst of hiring – 159,000 net […]

Fed poised to unveil new program to aid economy

The Federal Reserve is poised to adopt a new plan to jolt the economy. It’s a high-stakes gamble that could shape Chairman Ben Bernanke’s legacy. The Fed is all but certain to detail its plan for buying more government bonds when it wraps up its two-day meeting Wednesday. Those purchases should further lower interest rates […]

Manufacturing activity surges in October

Manufacturing activity expanded last month at the fastest pace since May, driven by demand in the United States and abroad for cars, computers and other goods. The report signals that U.S. factory output, which slowed over the summer, remains a strong player in an otherwise weak economy. A separate report on Monday showed that manufacturing […]

Why the economy’s growth isn’t easing unemployment

An economy growing 2 percent a year might be tolerable in normal times. Today, it’s a near-disaster. A growth rate of 5 percent or higher is needed to put a major dent in the nation’s 9.6 percent unemployment rate. Two reasons why that’s unlikely well into next year and maybe beyond: – Construction – both […]

September consumer spending weak while incomes dip

Americans slowed their spending in September to the weakest pace in three months and their incomes fell for the first time in 14 months. Personal spending rose at an annual rate of 0.2 percent in September, the Commerce Department said Monday. That’s below the 0.5 percent gains recorded in July and August. Incomes fell 0.1 […]

The bad news in fewer tax liens

The El Paso Treasurer held its annual tax lien auction last week to recover funds from delinquent property owners. The numbers, however, don’t tell the whole story when it comes to the health of the county’s real estate market.

AP survey: Painfully slow economic gains into 2011

The job market and the economy will improve only slightly next year, according to an Associated Press survey of leading economists whose outlook for 2011 has dimmed over the past three months. The latest quarterly AP Economy Survey shows economists are pushing back their estimates of when key barometers of economic health – hiring, spending, […]

JPMorgan Chase’s profit jumps 23 percent in 3Q

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Wednesday that its third-quarter profit jumped 23 percent because the banking giant was able to set aside less money to cover loan losses. CEO Jamie Dimon did warn that loan losses are still high in both the mortgage and credit card portfolios, but they are no longer rising like they […]

Holiday hiring picture gets a bit merrier

Macy’s, Toys R Us, Pier 1, American Eagle Outfitters and Borders all plan to hire more temporary holiday workers this year than last, emboldened by several months of sales gains and a slowly improving economy. The jobs probably won’t be enough to be a dent in the nation’s nearly 10 percent unemployment rate, but for […]

GM posts sluggish Sept. sales, sign of slow autumn

General Motors says its sales sputtered in September, a sign that Americans are nervous about taking on debt to buy big-ticket items. Sales for the biggest U.S. automaker fell about 6 percent from August but were up 10.5 percent over September of last year. However, it was easy for sales to improve from last September. […]