News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: Mixed job indicators, changes to home loan requirements

Katharine Crnko Mar 2, 2011

The U.S. Labor Department releases its monthly jobs report Friday, but other key job indicators give us a sense of what to expect. Job placement firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas released a report today saying planned layoffs at U.S. firms rose last month to the highest level in almost a year. But figures from ADP Employers Services predict U.S. employment increased by 217,000 in January.

The federal government is considering a policy change to encourage banks to reduce the number of risky mortgages that get approved. Regulators could encourage banks to require a 20 percent down-payment on home loans.

California lawmaker William Monning is proposing a penny-per-ounce tax on sweetened beverages like sodas and sports drinks. This new “sin-tax” could hit lower-income households hardest. Bob Moon speaks with LA Times consumer columnist David Lazarus about the numbers.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.