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UNEMPLOYMENT: Unemployment aid applications drop, but still high
Finally, some good news: “Unemployment benefit applications fell 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 414,000, the second drop in three weeks,” MSNBC reports. But it’s not good enough: “Applications remain above levels consistent with a healthy economy.”
More good news with a cloudy lining: “The number of homeowners put on notice for being behind on their mortgage payments fell in May to the lowest level since 2006,” USA Today reports. But the reason? Mortgage lenders are still slowed down by last year’s documentation scandals.
BUSINESS: Small-business lending plummets
The recession isn’t going away for small businesses. “Bank lending to small businesses fell $15 billion in the first quarter of this year,” CNN reports. That continues a trend of three straight quarters of steady decline.
High oil prices have had one good result: “The amount of solar energy capacity installed in the U.S. increased 66 percent in the first quarter,” Bloomberg reports. And the more they’re installed, the cheaper they get.
If you bought a 2011 Chrysler, pay attention: “Chrysler is recalling 11,351 cars, minivans and other models because a manufacturing problem can cause the steering to fail,” MSNBC reports. Chrysler says it knows of no crashes or injuries because of the problem.