National / International News
It’s that time again, the Federal Reserve is meeting later today, and once again many will spend their time parsing the Fed’s words for any hint that an interest rate is coming.
If rates go up, some economists think there will be a land rush to scoop up homes to lock in low interest rates.
The only problem says with that theory says Sterne Agee Chief Economist Lindsey Piegza is that even with today’s sweet rates, prices are too high for too many.
“If we don’t see the wage and income growth needed to fuel the demand, then we will continue to see a sluggish housing market,” she says.
Even though higher interest rates would mean more homes are out of reach. Zillow economist Stan Humphries says he’d welcome higher rates.
“Home buyers for too long have been looking at the home market through this distorted lens at very low rates which is leading them to bid up prices in a lot of metros and instead they should be looking at home prices through a clearer lens so they get an accurate read on how expensive homes are,” he says.
Humphries says new rates would suggest the Fed sees a strengthening economy.
One where more people have money in their pocket, which Humphries says is what the housing market really needs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases annual figures on employment for veterans every March. There’s a familiar story that veterans from the post-9/11 era have had an especially hard time finding work. However, the numbers supporting that premise turn out to be elusive.
There is this striking graph from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University:
This chart from Syracuse University shows that veterans ages 20-24 have higher unemployment rates than older veterans, and than the general population. But other data isn't broken out.Courtesy:Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Affairs
"If you look back to about ten years or so you start seeing a real spike," says Nicholas Armstrong, the Institute's research director. "A gap in terms of unemployment being higher for vets that are ages 20 to 24."
However, that’s a small group — small enough that the gap isn't always statistically significant, according to Jim Walker, an economist who tracks veteran-employment numbers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. "That group, there's very few of them," he says. "It has a very high error rate."
The Syracuse chart also leaves out other numbers that seem like they would make a useful comparison, For instance: What about 25 year-old vets? What happens when those younger vets turn 25? Armstrong’s group hasn't tracked those stats over time.
It’s not that the data undercut the familiar narrative. Only that I haven’t seen an analysis that demonstrates that story.
Neither has Kate Kidder, a researcher who looks at veterans issues at the Center for a New American Security. She says veterans groups, lobbying for resources, do push stories about out-of-work veterans.
"Individual stories are compelling," she says. "And it’s also — a number of these folks were coming back as the economy was tanking."
War crimes prosecutors ordered the arrests, believed to be the first that are directly linked to the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II.
Partisan bickering and lots of stress for kids and teachers as Common Core exams begin.