unemployment rates

Six Upbeat Money Trends of 2012

Between the elections, the fiscal cliff, and the endless battles over taxes, expenditures, and budget issues both big and small, 2012 has been a difficult year. But, amid all the sound and fury, there have also been promising developments on the financial front. Here's a look at a few of our favorite money stories of this year.

Unemployment Rates Fall in Half of Large U.S. Cities

Unemployment rates declined last month in more than half of the 372 largest U.S. cities, further evidence of steady improvement in the job market. The Labor Department says rates fell in 201 metro areas. They rose in 116 and were unchanged in 55.

Why Jobs are Essential to the Economy

Americans who are unemployed or underemployed are three times as likely to fall behind on their bills as those who are fully employed, according to a Gallup Poll released Tuesday.

Holiday Hiring Takes a Hit, Despite a Brighter Economy

Retailers and shipping companies are adding fewer new jobs than they did a year ago. One reason for the low number is that employers began shopping for seasonal workers earlier than usual, boosting hiring in October. If retail sales hold up, December could see more hiring.

Millions of Unemployed Face a Loss of Benefits

Unemployed Americans are keenly awaiting congressional action on the latest extension of jobless benefits. With a midnight Tuesday deadline looming, some 2 million jobless workers face losing their only source of income in coming weeks.

A Hopeful Outlook for Retailers' Holiday Hiring

Two consecutive months of sales gains among the nation's retailers may provide just enough confidence to trigger increased seasonal hiring this year, says research firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Even so, prerecession hiring levels aren't likely.

Obama Has Plenty of Work to Do on Jobs

With his health care insurance overhaul sidelined for the time being, President Obama has turned his focus to lowering the nation's stubbornly high unemployment rate. For millions of jobless Americans, that shift comes none to soon.

The Great Recession Is Hitting Men Harder

Numbers show that men have borne the brunt of layoffs, in turn boosting the percentage of women in the workforce. Having made steady gains in employment since the 1970s, women now stand to overtake men as the majority of the labor pool.