Category Archives: Economy

The Agonising Dilemma of Interest Rates versus Wages

It must be a pretty nerve-racking job to be an economist in today’s UK. There are so many variables to consider, so many reports that one month indicates one thing and then apparently seem to contradict themselves just a few months later. While most would agree that the current government has done a pretty good job of steering the UK economy on the right path, with the Gross Domestic Product appearing to increase a few Screen Shot 2014-01-28 at 7.33.10 PMpercentage points, when compared to 2012, there are still many variables that have to be considered. Unemployment is still high, although it is falling just a tad. Consumers seem to be spending again, especially over the recent Christmas season, perhaps clinging to the hope that the worst is over and better times are ahead. But moving forward into 2014, there is a very slippery slope that confronts economic policy, when considering what mortgage interest rates should be and how they will affect homeowners.

The Bank of England Makes the Decision

The Bank of England is tasked with a heavy burden: where to peg interest rates, especially in regards to home mortgages. Their rates have been at a historical league low of 0.5%, which has allowed a lot of lending institutions to provide mortgages to a wide variety of people. You have seen what happened next. The housing market took off like an Apollo rocket headed to the moon and so far, has not looked back. But here is where a little dose of Russian roulette is involved. If the Bank of England decides to raise interest rates, but both unemployment and wages don’t increase, either ahead of time, or simultaneously, it could lead to disaster. An association known as the Council of Mortgage Lenders recently reported that mortgages jumped by almost 30% in the last 12 months ending this November. Yes, a lot more houses have been purchased. That has been good for the economy. But the Bank of England also estimates that the average household debt remains at £87,000, which is dangerously high.

Can real wages outpace mortgage rates?

Given the fact that the UK economy is still fairly shaky, especially with the manufacturing sector not producing as much as the Coalition would like, is there any real chance that wages will increase, even by 5%, across-the-board anytime soon? Nobody has a crystal ball, but given the current economic realities, it appears highly unlikely. If interest rates jumped from their current basement of 0.5% to say, 3%, the number of households that would be challenged to meet their increased mortgage payments would balloon. According to the Bank of England’s own estimates, what they referred to as “vulnerable mortgagors” would more than double and nobody wants that. So the Bank is going to have to proceed with caution, hopefully not raising mortgage rates until there has been a substantial drop in the unemployment rate, coupled with an increase in real wages.

Stay Out Of Harm’s Way

If you are able to budget your household expenses in such a way that you can put aside some money for savings on a monthly basis, your best bet is to look into ISA Accounts. With these great savings accounts, you won’t pay any taxes on the interest that you earn and you will also be safe in the knowledge that you’re getting excellent rates of return. While you cannot control what the Bank of England will do, you can certainly put your own financial house in order.

Image courtesy of: freedigitalphotos.net Stuart Miles

 

Popular Jobs for Men in Texas – Finding Employment in the Lone Star State

The following article is a sponsored post. The economy is the largest and one of the most rapidly growing economies in the United States. I live in Dallas, Texas. I can personally say people are moving to the city every day. 

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The Lone Star State has plenty to offer job seekers looking for new employment opportunities. The state of Texas has managed to maintain a relatively stable economy despite the nation seeing an overall decline in recent years. Major cities like Austin and Dallas have many opportunities for both men and women, but other areas of the state are also rich in jobs geared towards men.

Firefighters

Firefighter jobs in Texas are abundant with opportunities found throughout most cities of the state. Firefighters are not only responsible for combating fires, they also provide emergency aid services, participate in training and drills, educate the public on fire safety and also prepare reports. The qualifications needed for the job will vary with each city, but most will require the passing of a physical agility exam, a background check, interviews and a Human Performance and Evaluation physical and drug test. In addition, applicants must have a high school diploma and state certifications on fire protection and EMT basic certification. The average firefighter earns approximately $30,000 per year.

Petroleum Engineers

Petroleum engineering is another popular job in Texas that comes with an average salary of $97,250. These individuals are responsible for creating new methods for extracting gas and oil from the earth’s surface. Texas employment opportunities in this field are 8 times the national average, which makes the Lone Star State the perfect place for petroleum engineers to seek out employment.

Rotary Drill Operators

Another popular in state of Texas jobs for men is a rotary drill operator. Those who work in this field are in charge of setting up and operating drills to remove gas and oil from underneath the earth’s surface. When compared to other states, Texas has 7 times more employment opportunities in this field and the average person earns more than $40,000 per year.

Animal Scientists

Job opportunities as an animal scientist are surprisingly abundant in the state of Texas. These scientists perform research in reproduction, nutrition, genetics and the development of domesticated farm animals. The average annual salary of an animal scientist in Texas is $44,815.

Mining and Geological Engineers

This field also includes mining and safety engineers. Not surprisingly, Texas offers many opportunities in this field with the number of individuals working in this field being 5 times the national average. As the job title suggests, persons working in this field are in charge of removing minerals, such as metals and coal, from mines. These materials are then used for utilities and manufacturing purposes. The average salary in this field is $88,000.

Anesthesiologists

Anesthesiologists earn more than $100,000 per year and the state of Texas offers more job opportunities than the average state. These physicians are trained in administering anesthesia and in perioperative medicine. Although the job requires intensive training, it is a rewarding career in a flourishing field that is always in demand.

No matter whether you are looking for firefighter jobs in Texas or opportunities as an anesthesiologist, using a job search site like Jobtonic.com is one of the best ways to find local employment opportunities. Online job search sites typically have the most up-to-date listings and are consistently being updated with new opportunities. Regardless of how you search for your new job, you can find peace of mind in knowing that the state of Texas has plenty of employment opportunities to go around.

The Truth About Immigration Reform and the Economy

Inequality for All

I’ve been super busy handling family the past two weeks. Last week, I went to see my mom, and this week, my husband has some family in town, so we’re spending time with them. It’s crazy that the end of the year is already here. Once October gets here, December will be around the corner.

I found some awesome material from Robert Reich. Reich is a Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He was Secretary of Labor during the Clinton administration. He has written 13 books on the economy and other topics. He has a new film, “Inequality for All,” out September 27. It’s on my must watch list.

The Truth About the Economy

The Truth About Immigration Reform and the Economy

 What do you think? Let’s start a discussion below.

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What Would You Do For Money???

It’s time again for you to answer a question! What would you do for money???

You’re probably wondering why I ask the question? Quick recap- I probably watch too much HBO, but hey it’s free until September so I gotta watch as much as I can-I have been watching this show call Hung. Hung is a comedy-drama series, which premiered on HBO on June 28, 2009. The series was created by Dmitry Lipkin and Colette Burson and stars Thomas Jane as Ray Drecker, a struggling suburban Detroit high school baseball coach who resorts to male prostitution. It’s very similar to Breaking Bad, but instead of Meth, well it’s personal pleasure. The male equivalent to the Client List (Jennifer Love Hewitt).

We have all hit pretty harsh economic times. Unemployment is on the rise. Which makes me wonder about what would you do for money? Would you drop chemistry teaching to make meth?

If things went down the drain, you lost your job, and couldn’t get anything except something you have never done before like being:

  • Lumberjack – I don’t think I have enough physical strength, but I’m light enough to climb a tree!
  • Coal Miner – I’m afraid of the dark but if I’m hungry I would do anything for food.
  • Fish cleaner – I don’t even like eating fish because of the smell but I could do it for a meal.

What would you do for money??? Or what wouldn’t you do?

Think peeps! Make this fun :)

Dirty Jobs Are Still Important

Dirty jobs. They are out there and more prevalent than most think. If you didn’t know, Discovery Channel has a program, which profiles the unsung American laborers who make their living in the most unthinkable – yet VITAL – ways. I started watching this show with the kids I babysit. I didn’t even know it was out there. It’s such a great show! I think America has slowly but surely distanced itself from trade jobs. What is fancy or glitzy about a steel mill worker or an elevator maintenance man? These jobs don’t require a college education, but they are hard, grueling, and only a few can master.

These are jobs that have to happen in order for society to keep functioning. My job as an analyst would probably be useless if the world went under, but someone that knows how to build water towers on top of New York’s buildings or mold steel bars in a steel mill would most likely (for sure) be needed.

Dirty Jobs that I could think of:

  • Steel mill worker
  • Elevator Maintenance Man
  • Large Animal Vet
  • Septic Tank Cleaner
  • Skull Cleaner
  • Exterminator

I have worked some dirty jobs. I have cleaned houses during summers and Christmas breaks. Probably why I hate cleaning so much. My grandpa worked in a factory for 40 years. My dad has worked in a factory that produced insulation materials. As an electrician, he also has to cram in small attics to fix issues or work on construction sites.

What kind of dirty jobs have you worked? Any more dirty jobs you can think of?

Is the Economy Scaring You?

Who hasn’t worried about the economy? With the unemployment rate so high and consumer goods costing more and more, I feel like I cannot possibly be the only one. First of all, I know I am lucky to have landed a great job. It took a lot of hard work and meeting the right people. This is not me complaining. My hubby is still underemployed, currently looking for a job. But I know he will land one when the time is right. My family is okay. They could be better financially. Two of my best friends have dads that have lost their jobs in the past year. Do any of you have a parent that has recently become unemployed? How do you deal with it?

When I started college four years ago, all my professors told us we were lucky to have just started college, and by the time we graduated the economy should be booming again. Well…hello??? It hasn’t!

Reading the news seems to make my anxiety worse. I’m an avid reader of the WSJ, BBC, Market Watch, Bloomberg; a habit I picked up in college. All the headlines are always about companies missing expectations, no jobs, etc. No wonder sometimes people stop reading the news and turn to celebrity news. It’s a way to escape the gloom and doom! I’m totally guilty of this….I love looking at celebrities’ fashion.

I understand the economy is going through a cycle, and is sort of fixing itself. We can’t continue to amass consumer debt, the way we did throughout the last decade; although a lot of our growth came from buying things. After all, we are American! But how can we have 1 out of 7 Americans on food stamps? Is that being American?

Serendipity relayed one of her encounters in A Change In Perception.

I think many pf bloggers; although not rich, are not on food stamps. In the world, where we urge to save money for a down payment, pay down debt and mortgage, and make more money, I think we can get caught up. It’s all positive, of course! It’s one of the reasons I escape into pf world. I love the optimism and am truly happy when some one accomplishes their goals! But sometimes I find myself feeling scared. What if things don’t turn around? Are we going to fall into a Great Depression? Are we in one? I worry about my parents. I feel for my friends’ family and for those friends who are struggling financially.

Then again, if we really are in a Great Depression how could 40,000 people afford tickets to the Texas Rangers vs. Angels game last night?

Picture taken from my Samsung Galaxy SII. This doesn’t even show the amount people spent on concessions or parking.

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To me the seems depression invisible. Only truly affecting some people, and not so much others. What do you think?

All I can do is to continue hoping, saving, and working hard. Macro economics is out of my control, but I at least can help the economy by not driving myself into more debt. I just hope things start getting better for everyone.

Higher Oil Prices Here They Come

Here comes the summer, watch out for those skyrocketing gas prices!!!

I watched this video on Wall Street Journal regarding higher oils prices (click on the picture to be redirected to the page).

Well, if things could not get much worse, gas prices are predicted to up to $5 a gallon. Which means that everything else is going to go up: groceries, fast food, clothes, etc. When oil prices rise, your bank account will hurt! Higher oil prices also means more inflation, which makes your dollar worth even less. Yay! Not.

On a positive note, there are many ways you can save on gas. You could carpool with your co-workers, use public transportation, take fewer trips to the grocery store, or open the car window instead of using the a/c.

Have you started to see this affecting your budget? What’s your plan for the summer?

SavvyFinancialLatina