US unemployment rate reaches 9.8%

Friday, October 2, 2009

Companies in the United States are shedding more jobs, pushing the country’s unemployment rate to a 26-year high of 9.8%.

The US Labor Department said on Friday that employers cut 263,000 jobs in September, with companies in the service industries — including banks, restaurants and retailers — hit especially hard. This is the 21st consecutive month of job losses in the country.

The United States has now lost 7.2 million jobs since the recession officially began in December 2007. The new data has sparked fears that unemployment could threaten an economic recovery. Top US officials have warned that any recovery would be slow and uneven, and some have predicted the unemployment rate will top 10% before the situation improves.

“Continued household deleveraging and rising unemployment may weigh more on consumption than forecast, and accelerating corporate and commercial property defaults could slow the improvement in financial conditions,” read a report by the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, predicting that unemployment will average 10.1% by next year and not go back down to five percent until 2014.

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s, said that “it’s a very fragile and tentative recovery. Policy makers need to do more.”

“The number came in weaker than expected. We saw a lot of artificial involvement by the government to prop up the markets, and now that that is starting to end, the private sector isn’t yet showing signs of life,” said Kevin Caron, a market strategist for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co.

Also on Thursday, the US Commerce Department said factory orders fell for the first time in five months, dropping eight-tenths of a percent in August. Orders for durable goods — items intended to last several years (including everything from appliances to airliners) — fell 2.6%, the largest drop since January of this year.

The US government has been spending billions of dollars — part of a $787 billion stimulus package — to help spark economic growth. There have been some signs the economy is improving.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday that spending on home construction jumped in August for its biggest increase in 16 years. A real estate trade group, the National Association of Realtors, said pending sales of previously owned homes rose more than 12 percent in August, compared to August 2008.

A separate Commerce Department report said that consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US economic activity, rose at its fastest pace in nearly eight years, jumping 1.3 percent in August.

Other reports have provided cause for concern. A banking industry trade group said Thursday the number of US consumers making late payments, or failing to make payments, on loans and credit cards is on the rise. A survey by a business group, the Institute for Supply Management, Thursday showed US manufacturing grew in September, but at a slower pace than in August when manufacturing increased for the first time in a year and a half.

Stock markets reacted negatively to the reports. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 41 points in early trading, reaching a level of 9467. This follows a drop of 203 points on Thursday, its largest loss in a single day since July. The London FTSE index fell 55 points, or 1.1%, to reach 4993 points by 15.00 local time.

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Relocation Tax Assistance How To Optimize Your Companys Relocation Tax Assistance Policy

By Pat Thompson

A Substantial And Often Hidden Expense

Tax assistance is an expensive and sometimes hidden cost of corporate relocation programs. In fact, its the third most expensive benefit in a relocation program, on average, after home sale and household goods. More specifically, the 2008 Worldwide ERC Transfer Volume and Cost Survey reported that it cost an average $76,600 to move an existing employee, of which more than 10% was spent on employee tax assistance benefits. It can cost more to provide tax assistance than to pay for an employees house hunting, temporary living and final trip expenses combined! Since relocation tax assistance is a corporate benefit and not a legal requirement, we often ask our clients if their companys tax assistance policy is one size fits all or if their policy takes into consideration key factors such as employees unique tax profiles such as annual salary, filing status, the number of dependents they have, and the ages of their dependents.

The Importance Of Proportional Relocation Compensation

Companies with a one-size-fits-all tax assistance policy apply the same tax rates to entry-level, middle management and executive transferees. This can result in paying an entry-level employee too much, which puts a burden on the companys bottom line. Conversely, this approach can result in compensating an executive too little, which places a burden on human resources and payroll departments. While theres no single correct way to calculate tax assistance, this is an area where employers can strive for a company policy that is accurate, fair and cost-effective while taking into consideration other important factors such as corporate culture, industry norms and budgetary issues. Generally speaking, the more accurate a tax assistance policy is, the more cost-effective it will be.

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Minimizing Your Companys Relocation Tax Exposure

Company-paid relocation is a substantial benefit for your employees on multiple levels professional, personal and financial. But every benefit has a cost, and in the case of corporate relocation, these costs can be considerable. Although relocation tax costs are unavoidable, they can be minimized with a properly structured relocation policy and compliance with basic IRS guidelines.

Using Tax Laws To Reduce Moving Costs

Its a fact that tax assistance benefits cost an average 55-60 cents for every dollar of taxable relocation expense. In other words, a $10,000 lump sum payment could result in $5,500 to $6,000 of tax assistance costs. While potentially substantial, these charges can be mitigated: By properly structuring relocation benefits, taking advantage of relocation-friendly tax laws and customizing tax assistance policy to the needs of transferring employees, companies can control and potentially reduce tax assistance costs.

Closing Cost Reimbursement: An Easily Reduced Expense

While structured home sale programs have become the norm, many companies still take the more traditional approach of reimbursing their employees for closing costs after the home is sold. This is the most expensive and most easily avoided tax approach a company can take: Considering the average cost of tax assistance, a direct reimbursement program can result in $14,400 in unnecessary tax assistance benefits on the sale of a $300,000 home.

How Qualified Home Sale Programs Can Lower Unnecessary Tax Benefits

In November 2005, the IRS validated the long-held relocation industry position that qualified home sale programs result in no taxable income to relocating employees. However, this ruling came with 11 key elements that must be followed in order to qualify. Corporations can meet IRS guidelines for qualified home sales by using an agent to facilitate two separate and distinct real estate transactions that comply with the key elements addressed in the IRS ruling.

About the Author: If youre looking for professional corporate

business relocation services

, TRC Global Solutions offers comprehensive employee

corporate relocation

packages for companies of all sizes for over 25 years.


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Child abuse case in West Virginia ends in jail time

Friday, September 15, 2006

A 35-year old woman, Venus Critchfield of Philipippi, West Virginia, United States was convicted of child abuse and sentenced to two to six years in prison.

Critchfield was accused of beating her stepchildren with boards, and using hooks and ropes to secure them and force them to stand for long periods of time. Critchfield also forced the children to continuously eat food and drink, and then eat their own vomit. Her stepson, now aged 17, described the abuse in court.

Circuit Judge Alan D. Moats called this the worst case he has seen in 30 years. “You have never been a mother. You are the antithesis of everything that is a mother.” Moats said in court.

The abuse involved all six of Critchfield’s children, however only some were willing to testify against her.

Critchfield pleaded guilty and was convicted of two counts of child abuse, with injury. The charges pertained to abuse committed from January 2001 until January 2002. She was sentenced to the maximum possible term.

State welfare services had removed the children, now 11-16 years old, from the Critchfields’ care in previous cases.

Jenning Brian Critchfield, the father, is currently serving a 3-15 year sentence for abuse.

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Calls for corporate tax reform in Australia goes unheeded

Friday, May 12, 2006

Peter Costello’s budget announcement has led to rejoicing for small businesses, but the lack of joy for those pushing for radical corporate taxation reform has led to many businesses asking “what about us?”

Personal taxation and small business have been the big winners after this year’s federal budget. Although dampened by the twin economic threats of rising interest rates and petrol prices, there should be a reasonable amount of real income savings for both low and high income earners, with those receiving Medicare, or a superannuation benefit, privy to an even lower level of taxation (0% for those on super benefits).

Small business also has benefited from the Howard government’s 11th annual budget, with them receiving a higher level of reducing depreciation, leading to a higher level of deductions in the years following the uptake of new technology or other capital. They are also privy to a AU$435 million dollar tax cut to compensate for their changing accounting requirements under the government’s new AIFRS reporting standards, as well as increasing the uptake of both the small business tax relief scheme and CGT (Capital Gains tax) Concessions.

The budget was not a complete loss for big business however, as superannuation laws have been tweaked to streamline contribution and payment rules previously impeding those with multitudes of staff.

But this is not enough, says Big 4 accounting firm Ernst & Young. In their newly published paper “Taxation of Investment in Australia: the need for ongoing reform”. In it they lead the charge for a greater streamlining and organization of the corporate tax system in Australia, submitting that it will lead to reductions in “disincentives to work save and invest in Australia [as well as improving] the international competitiveness of Australian businesses.” This follows from a recent report brought out by Mr. Costello himself about the need for tax reform in Australia.

A budget night Mr. Costello was notably coy about any future reform of corporate tax in Australia. He alluded to the report by his ministers but kept from outlining the government’s plan precisely.

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The Whole New Means Of Selling A Home In Seattle

The Whole New Means of Selling a Home in Seattle


William Rogers

Those who are in the point of selling their house have their own, personal reasons of doing so. It could be because you got a new job opportunity elsewhere or you want your family to transfer to a new location. The bottom line here is that, you have to sell your house so that you will have enough cash to purchase a new one. This write-up is created to help those people who reside in Seattle to have their home sold for a reasonable price in a very short time. The following facts are some tips in selling a home in Seattle.

Practically, there are three standard techniques to help you sell your house. First is by finding a real estate agent who will help you with all the assessments, home fixes, financing, titling companies, and everything else. And of course you can rely on real agents in finding for prospect buyers. Another way of selling a home in Seattle is by selling it to an investor. Doing this is the most practical way since you are given a choice to fix up your house and/or pay for home improvements. Signing up the documents, settling the amount and handing keys over the investors are the things that you simply need to carry out. So, here are the things that you have to do in preparing your house up for a sale.

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Have your exteriors renovated. Fixing all exterior problems ought to be done to gain good impression to prospective buyers. Keeping your lawn mowed and shrubs cut will make your house look nice. Buyers will definitely get fascinated on viewing more on your house.

Get rid of all the clutters in the interiors. To generate tranquil atmosphere, existing and rarely used things ought to be disposed. Rather than flooding the house with too much furniture, use a single combo of stylish and classy furniture instead. This will also compel the clients during the open house.

Repair all the problems in the interiors. Make sure that there will be no imperfections in the functionality of your house. Hire a handyman to repair all those creaking doors, leaky faucets, or ruined water heating system. Even if the interior design is ground-breaking, a single malfunction on your heating system, electrical wiring system and others will just drag the elegance of the interior down into poor quality. They would feel that it may cost them more money to repair when they move in.

Selling a home in Seattle is no easy undertaking, but you can always find excellent house-selling solutions by just taking those things into action. You can find an interested buyer by bearing all these things under consideration.

For more details please take the time to view our site by heading over here –

Real Estate Expert Seattle WA

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The Whole New Means of Selling a Home in Seattle

Wikinews interviews U.S. Libertarian Party potential presidential candidate R.J. Harris

Friday, June 17, 2011

R.J. Harris, a potential candidate for the U.S. Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, took some time to speak with Accredited Wikinews Reporter William Saturn about his campaign and issues positions.

Harris is an officer in the United States Army National Guard, currently serving in Afghanistan. He is also in his third year as a law student at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Harris previously worked as an Air Traffic Controller and small business owner. He plans to enter the race in September after completing his tour in Afghanistan.

Others seeking the nomination include Libertarian activist R. Lee Wrights, radio host Jim Duensing, former Nevada Libertarian Party chair Jim Burns, marketing executive Roger Gary and attorney Carl Person. 2008 Vice presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root is also expected to make a run.

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CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Hana Razga running in Edmonton—Leduc

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. New Democratic Party candidate Hana Razga is standing for election in the riding of Edmonton—Leduc. Born in London, England to Czechoslovakian parents, she immigrated to Canada in 1968, having a long career in human resources with the federal government. She is a volunteer for organizations including the Alberta Women’s Shelter, Big Sisters and Match International. She has previously run in campaigns three times provincially for the NDP, and once federally.

Wikinews contacted Hana Razga, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.

Created in 2004, the riding consists of southwest Edmonton, the City of Leduc, the Town of Devon, and the surrounding area. Contesting Conservative incumbent James Rajotte are Razga, Valerie Kennedy (Green), and Donna Lynn Smith (Liberal).

For more information, visit the campaign’s official website, listed below.

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Wikinews interviews John Wolfe, Democratic Party presidential challenger to Barack Obama

Sunday, May 20, 2012

U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate John Wolfe, Jr. of Tennessee took some time to answer a few questions from Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn.

Wolfe, an attorney based out of Chattanooga, announced his intentions last year to challenge President Barack Obama in the Democratic Party presidential primaries. So far, he has appeared on the primary ballots in New Hampshire, Missouri, and Louisiana. In Louisiana, he had his strongest showing, winning 12 percent overall with over 15 percent in some congressional districts, qualifying him for Democratic National Convention delegates. However, because certain paperwork had not been filed, the party stripped Wolfe of the delegates. Wolfe says he will sue the party to receive them.

Wolfe will compete for additional delegates at the May 22 Arkansas primary and the May 29 Texas primary. He is the only challenger to Obama in Arkansas, where a May 10 Hendrix College poll of Democrats shows him with 38 percent support, just short of the 45 percent for Obama. Such an outing would top the margin of Texas prison inmate Keith Russell Judd, who finished 18 percent behind Obama with 41 percent in the West Virginia Democratic primary; the strongest showing yet against the incumbent president. Despite these prospects, the Democratic Party of Arkansas has already announced that if Wolfe wins any delegates in their primary, again, due to paperwork, the delegates will not be awarded. Wolfe will appear on the Texas ballot alongside Obama, activist Bob Ely, and historian Darcy Richardson, who ended his campaign last month.

Wolfe has previously run for U.S. Congress as the Democratic Party’s nominee. On his campaign website, he cites the influence “of the Pentagon, Wall Street, and corporations” on the Obama administration as a reason for his challenge, believing these negatively affect “loyal Americans, taxpayers and small businesses.” Wolfe calls for the usage of anti-trust laws to break up large banks, higher taxes on Wall Street, the creation of an “alternative federal reserve” to assist community banks, and the implementation of a single-payer health care system.

With Wikinews, Wolfe discusses his campaign, the presidency of Barack Obama, corporations, energy, the federal budget, immigration, and the nuclear situation in Iran among other issues.

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How To Shop For Network Cabling In Frederick, Md

byAlma Abell

If you own a business, you know how important it is to have a network system in your office that is reliable. One of the most important things you can do is have Network Cabling in Frederick, MD installed in your office. This will ensure that everyone in the office has reliable access to the Internet they need, and that you can provide your employees with the tools they need to get their job done. If you have never shopped for network cable before, then you may not know how to do so.

Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect contractor for all of your cabling needs.

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Quality of Cable

You should make sure that the shop that you use only uses quality cable for all of their installation. While you may think all Network Cabling in Frederick, MD is created equally, this isn’t further from the truth. Not using quality cable can cause internet speeds to decrease, and that can lead to a drop in productivity for your employees, Make sure they have the dependable internet access they need by only choosing a vendor who uses quality cable.

Time of Installation

Talk to the contractor you choose about the amount of time it will take to complete the job. It should be a realistic time frame, and not cause a long term disruption in your office. Get the length of installation in writing so you can hold the contractor accountable to their quote. This will ensure that the work will be completed in the amount of time you expect.


While you would think all contractors would charge the same price, this is far from the truth. You should get any quotes upfront so you can best plan for your expense. This can keep you from going over budget, and spending more than you can afford. Get your quote in writing so you can hold the person you choose for Network Cabling in Frederick, MD accountable for their price.

Contact ICS Communication Services today to obtain the network cabling you need at a price you can afford. Regardless of your current system, they can install quality cabling that you can trust to provide high quality data service to everyone in your office.

Man attacks people, kills 7 in Akihabara, Tokyo

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A lively shopping district was suddenly struck by an indiscriminate murder spree on a Sunday afternoon. A young man attacked a crowd with a rented truck, and then stabbed people with a dagger, around 12:35 JST (3:35 UTC) on Sunday in the Akihabara district of Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. The suspect, identified as Tomohiro Kat?, aged 25, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. Seven people were killed, and ten injured.

The injured people include pedestrians, a 53-year-old policeman, and a taxi driver, 54, who is believed to have left his taxi in order to help a pedestrian hit by the truck. About 17 ambulances came to the scene. NHK reports that medical teams trained for disasters joined the rescue.

The dead are six men aged between 19 and 74 and a 21-year-old woman; each was identified by police.

The truck, traveling on Kanda My?jin-d?ri (Kanda My?jin Avenue), ran into the crowd at a crossing on Ch??-d?ri (Ch?? Avenue), which is a vehicle-free road every Sunday. After entering the crowd, the truck continued moving for about 30 meters. The suspect then exited the truck and began stabbing people. According to a witness, the suspect, upon being pursued by police, ran south on Ch??-d?ri and was cornered in a narrow alley. The suspect dropped his knife after the police officer drew his gun, and was overpowered by the officer and several bystanders.

The suspect has been quoted as confessing to police, “I came to Akihabara to kill people. I’m tired of the world. Anyone was OK. Today I came alone.” The suspect, a native of Aomori City, lived and worked as a dispatched temporary employee in Shizuoka Prefecture. After being held at the Manseibashi Police Station, he was sent on Tuesday to the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office.

At the scene, a table covered with a white cloth was set for memorial flowers and other offerings on the morning of Monday, June 9. As acquaintances of the dead and passersby visited, the table soon filled—almost flooded—with flowers, drink bottles, pictures, and folded paper cranes.

The incident occurred on the same date with the 2001 Osaka school massacre, in which eight elementary school students were killed.

NHK reported the incident as confirmed within 45 minutes, interrupting a news channel program for one minute. Some newspapers created special issues to report the incident as June 8 was a Sunday and also a press holiday, many newspapers in Japan were not scheduled for delivery on that evening or the following morning.

The Akihabara district is famous for its Electric Town with wholesalers and retailers of video games or electric gadgets such as PC parts, televisions and kitchen appliances. It has also become famous for distinctive trends in cultures created or supported by the youth.

Local residents, business owners, and government officials from Chiyoda Ward assembled for an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss whether the practice of maintaining the vehicle-free area on Sundays ought to be continued. The Tokyo Metropolitan Public Safety Commission is also expected to discuss the issue.

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