Economy

economy
2:30 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Austin Jobless Rate Dips to 5.1 Percent

flickr.com/jimnix

Austin’s economy added 30,500 jobs over the last year. The latest employment report shows the jobless rate dropped to 5.1 percent last month from 5.6 percent in April 2012. 

The recent job growth happened as more people were moving to the Austin-area looking for work. The civilian labor force grew by more than 27,000 in the past 12 months.

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Politics
7:00 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Obama in Austin: 'Folks Around Here Are Doing Something Right'

President Obama spoke to crowds at Austin's Applied Materials yesterday.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

President Barack Obama spent about six hours in Austin yesterday touring around the city on the first stop of what the White House is calling a “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour.

After landing mid-day in Austin, the President headed to Manor New Technology high school. The school is what’s called a STEM academy – focusing on science, technology, engineering and math.

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Politics
5:45 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Agenda Texas: An Update on the Texas Miracle

Gov. Perry hopes tax cuts will keep the state's economy running strong.
Photo courtesy The Texas Tribune

President Barack Obama will be in Austin tomorrow. The stop is part of his "Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour.”

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Economy
8:18 am
Fri May 3, 2013

165,000 Jobs Added In April, Jobless Rate Fell To 7.5 Percent

Waiting for work: Job seekers lined up last month at the 25th Annual CUNY big Apple Job and Internship Fair in Manhattan.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 9:05 am

(Most recent update: 10 a.m. ET.)

The nation's jobless rate edged down to 7.5 percent in April from 7.6 percent in March and employers added 165,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

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Politics
5:30 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Agenda Texas: A Written Defense of the 'Texas Miracle'

“Big, Hot, Cheap and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas” is the newest book from Texas Monthly senior editor Erica Grieder.

It’s been called the Texas Miracle: Hundreds of thousands of jobs added, millions of people and thousands of companies moving here from other states.

But that sense of pride inside Texas isn’t shared outside the state. Critics say the majority of jobs created don’t pay well and the state’s low tax-low service model has led to crumbling schools, inadequate roads and a water crisis.

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Politics
1:03 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

AP Twitter Account Hacked; Tweet About Obama Shakes Market

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 8:56 am

A Twitter account from The Associated Press was hacked Tuesday afternoon and the erroneous message — to be perfectly clear, it WAS NOT TRUE — sent stocks down sharply for a few moments.

The false message claimed there had been two explosions at the White House and that President Obama had been injured. Again, none of that happened.

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Austin
12:52 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Austin Unemployment Down a Bit

People collecting unemployment benefits, like some at this Texas Workforce Commission office, would be required to submit to drug testing under a bill in the Texas House
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Austin’s unemployment rate went down slightly from February to March – to 5.3 percent. The state rate was about one point higher (6.4 percent, seasonally adjudged; 6.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted).

Both numbers are well below the national rate for March: 7.6 percent.

Both the state and local rates are also well below what they were in March 2012 (7 percent and 6 percent, respectively).

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Texas
1:45 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Five Smaller, Stranger Events That Tapped Texas' Events Trust Fund

The Texas Events Fund draws events to Texas every year, like the American Miniature Horse Association Championship in Fort Worth.
flickr.com/bsterling

Texas’ official motto is “friendship.” And the state’s long drawn on its welcoming ways to attract tourism and convention crowds from all over.

One example of Texas hospitality is its event trust funds: the Major Events Trust Fund and the Events Trust Fund. (And that’s not counting the Motor Sports Events Trust Fund and the Special Events Trust Fund.)

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Real Estate
3:26 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Austin-Area Home Starts Up 27 Percent

Garreth Wilcock/Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/gjmj/5793428199/

New home construction is up by 27 percent in the Austin area, according to MetroStudy. The real estate tracking firm says there were 1,952 starts in the first three months of the year. That’s 413 more than the same quarter last year.

MetroStudy’s Austin market director Madison Inselmann says the surge in new building is helping to lift pay for construction workers.

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Economy
4:02 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

S&P 500 Closes at All Time High

A trader on floor of the New York Stock Exchange on March 25, 2013. U
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 3:31 pm

The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index broke new ground today, closing at 1,569, an all-time high that erased the record set on Oct. 9, 2007.

The S&P joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which broke its 2007 record earlier this month.

Both indices have now recovered all the losses they suffered during the Great Recession.

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Economy
8:14 am
Thu March 28, 2013

Slow but Better Than Thought: 4th Quarter GDP Revised Up Again

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 9:22 am

The U.S. economy grew at a 0.4 percent annual rate in fourth-quarter 2012, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

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Economy
4:07 pm
Wed March 13, 2013

Fewer Texas Workers Earning Minimum Wage Or Less

Below-minimum wage work dropped in 2012.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Fewer Texans are earning minimum wage or less. The number dropped by 21,000 last year to 452,000 people in Texas earning no more than $7.25 an hour. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics analyst Cheryl Abbot says the decline reflects the fact that the minimum wage hasn’t gone up since 2009.

“Every time it did bump, we saw a larger share of workers receiving the minimum wage or less,” Abbot said. “Now that those increases have fallen off a bit, we’re seeing that share start to decline.”

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Economy
7:47 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Pleasant Surprises: 236,000 Jobs Added; Jobless Rate Dips To 7.7 Percent

The scene at a job fair in Manhattan earlier this month.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 8:54 am

There were 236,000 jobs added to payrolls in February — many more than expected — and the jobless rate unexpectedly dropped by two-tenths of a point, to 7.7 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

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Texas
4:49 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Sales Tax Receipts Way Up in Austin

Growth and economic recovery are factors in the tax numbers.
Todd Wiseman & Mikhail Popov, Texas Tribune

Texas sales tax receipts are up 3.7 percent from a year ago. Here in Austin, sales taxes were up more than 13 percent from February 2012.

Economist Angelos Angelou says that points to the rapid growth of the Austin area, which he says is adding nearly 65,000 people a year.

“The economy is overperforming both the Texas and the national economies, so we’re doing well and we will continue, I think, to prosper,” Angelou said.

Economy
12:50 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

198,000 Jobs Added In February; January Growth Revised Upward

The scene at a job fair in New York City on Feb. 28.
Lucas Jackson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 8:00 am

There were 198,000 jobs added to private employers' payrolls in February, according to the latest ADP National Employment Report — a privately produced snapshot of the employment picture that's sometimes a signal of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say when it releases its data from the same month.

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Economy
3:32 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

14,253.77: Dow Rallies, Finishing In Record Territory

A trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week.
Brendan McDermid Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 4:36 pm

Update at 4:09 p.m. ET. A New Record:

The Dow Industrials finished in record territory today. Gaining 89 points, it closed at 14,253.77, its highest level since Oct. 9,2007.

That is, the Dow has recovered all the losses it suffered during the Great Recession.

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Affordable Housing
1:32 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

Sequester Expected to Squeeze Austin's Affordable Housing Programs (Update)

Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell (R) at a city council work session in 2011. Today, Leffingwell announced some affordable housing programs will see a cut due to federal sequestration.
Daniel Reese for KUT News

Update: You can now read the full letter HUD sent to its grantees around the country, including Austin. 

Original Post (12:05 p.m.): Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell says the federal spending cuts known as the sequester will have an effect on affordable housing in the city.

Mayor Leffingwell says he was notified of the cuts by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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The Lead
8:57 am
Tue March 5, 2013

The Lead: ABIA and the Sequester, Spring Break, Warrant Roundup

A security checkpoint at Austin-Bergstrom. Sequester cuts are expected to have less impact on lines than a flood of SXSW visitors.
KUT News

Good morning. The National Weather Service says a Red Flag Warning in effect until 8 p.m. today. The windy, dry conditions mean a high risk of fire in Central Texas. The Travis County Fire Marshal is asking everyone to be careful and to avoid doing things like mowing, welding and outdoor cooking.

Lead Story: The nation is three days into those across-the-board federal budget cuts called the sequester.  And the Secretary of Homeland Security says some of the nation’s bigger airports are already seeing security-line waits up 150 to 200 percent because of immediate cuts to overtime pay.

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Transportation
1:08 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Napolitano: Airport Lines Have Seen '150 to 200 Percent' Increase Since Sequester

People wait in a security line at John F. Kennedy Airport on February 28, 2013 in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 5:50 pm

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the across-the-board spending cuts that went into effect on Friday are already causing headaches at the nation's airports.

"Now that we are having to reduce or eliminate basically overtime both for TSA and for customs, now that we have instituted a hiring freeze... we will begin today sending out furlough notices," Napolitano said, according to Politico.

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The Lead
8:57 am
Mon March 4, 2013

The Lead: 10-1 Review Panel Drawing, Texas' Sequester, Austin’s Kite Festival

The high-flying scene at Zilker Park on Sunday.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Good morning. Central Texas is under a hazardous weather outlook due to warm temperatures and dry, gusty winds, per the National Weather Service. The winds will continue tomorrow, but in the form of a cold front – meaning today’s unseasonable highs in the mid-80s will drop into the 60s Tuesday.

Lead Story: As the City of Austin initiates the process of drawing single-member city council districts, City Auditor Kenneth Mory is hosting a public drawing today to select the city’s first Applicant Review Panel.

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