Money Money Money: The Las Vegas Sun offers a breakdown of the campaign coffers of leading Nevada Congressional candidates. Republican candidate Danny Tarkanian contends the $17 million judgment against him is the result of “fraud.” [NNB] Can we add that to “practicing law without a license” in which he also said he was confused and misled? [LVRJ] Or, his confusion about the 1Q filing requirement with the FEC? [NNB]
The Homeowners Association mess in Clark County continues: A federal judge is taking guilty pleas [RGJ] as … “New details surfaced Thursday — including on the role of real estate agents — in the long-running criminal investigation into fraud and corruption at Las Vegas-area homeowner associations.” [Las Vegas Sun]
Jobs Jobs Jobs: The employment figures are out, and they aren’t all that ‘Summery.’ Economist Chris Rupkey (BTM) advises a bit of restraint:
The unemployment rate went up a tenth today, but at least we don’t have to hear about how people are dropping out of the labor force. The labor force had fallen in March and April, those not in the labor force had risen. No jobs for them so they dropped out was the argument. But today, the labor force went up 642K, 422K of them found jobs, employment up, and 220K of them did not find jobs, so the unemployment level went up to 12.7 million. We cannot be too bearish then on the 8.2% unemployment rate, and this is especially true as unemployment claims are still low.
Back to payroll jobs of 69K, a disappointment, but we do not view this crawl speed as a stall speed reading for the labor market. We don’t think jobs will actually decline, say next month, and keep in mind a double-dip or recession for the economy is signaled by three consecutive declines in payroll jobs. (emphasis in original) [Business Insider]
There’s more: Calculated Risk adds,
“If we average over the first five months of the year, the economy has added 164,600 jobs per month (169,400 private sector per month). At this pace, the economy would add around 2 million private sector jobs in 2012; about the same as in 2011.”
“There were 69,000 payroll jobs added in May, with 82,000 private sector jobs added, and 13,000 government jobs lost. The unemployment rate increased to 8.2%. The household survey showed a strong increase in employment (422,000 jobs added), but the participation rate increased too (from 63.6% to 63.8%) so that pushed up the unemployment rate.” [CR]
The scary part is not necessarily the overall jobs numbers, but what’s NOT happening to family earnings. Angry Bear takes the latest DoL report as dismal news indeed, and notes:
“…the average work week fell from 33.5 to 33.4. In combination with the weak employment increase this generated a significant drop of 0.2% in aggregate hours worked. This reversed the recent strengthened in the index of hours worked as it fell back below the trend for this cycle. [...] Average hourly earnings rose less than 0.1% from $23.39 to $23.41. The year over year gain is back to an all time record low of 1.39% [...] With the drop in hours worked, average weekly earnings fell $806.96 to $805.30.”
It’s really difficult to get an economy rolling at speedier revival rates when the people who are supposed to be purchasing the goods and services have less money to spend. There are some weeds to be explored in the data that should have a post of their own.
Hey Kids Your Student Loan Rates Are About To Double? Interesting that the House GOP never balked at credit card conservatism when the Bush Administration kept the costs of operations in Iraq off the books, and there were no “pay fors” attached to military spending, but “college students,” well, that’s another matter. The House is now offering it’s third proposal to “pay for” the cost of cutting the middle-men Bankers out of the Stafford Student Loan program.
“One of those proposals would raise the required federal employee contribution toward retirement benefits by 1.2 percent of salary over three years in equal portions starting in 2013. That increase was in the budget plan the White House proposed earlier this year.” [WaPo]
The battle does seem to be heating up. [NYT]
Recommended Reading: The headline says it all – “Michelle Rhee, Go-to Girl For Scott Walker’s Union-Busting Ways” [Crooks and Liars] What do we want to talk about during this campaign season? “Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts Record Shows Why He’d Rather Talk about Bain” [Politicususa] The Big Dog is in the house — Bill Clinton supports recall efforts in Wisconsin. [TalkingPointsMemo] Not to be missed: “Mitt’s Massachusetts Excuse,” [Perrspectives]
Closer to home: “Los Desperados” [NVProgressive] and “America is in the midst of a student loan crisis,” [NVRDC] ICYMI: “Heller — I’m no stockbroker!” [SlashPolitics] “The Feminist Files” [SinCitySiren]