News roundup June 8, 2024

Finance news June 8 2024

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Credit Sesame’s personal finance news roundup June 8, 2024. Stories, news, politics and events impacting personal finance during the past week.

2 out of 3 Americans live paycheck to paycheck

A survey by MarketWatch found that 66.2% of American households report living from paycheck to paycheck. That means they are just barely covering expenses, with no margin for error if they experience a delay or loss of income. Women have a harder time making ends meet, with 72% of women reporting living paycheck to paycheck compared to about 60% of men. Among different generations, Millennials are finding it most difficult to get by financially, while Baby Boomers are finding it easiest. 73.58% of Millennials are living paycheck to paycheck, compared with 54.53% of Baby Boomers. Even high earners are not exempt from financial struggles. 48% of people earning at least $100,000 a year, and 36% of those earning $200,000 say they’re living paycheck to paycheck. See article at Marketwatch.com.

Most credit card theft occurs online

Fifty-two million Americans had fraudulent charges on their credit or debit cards last year, according to a report by Security.org. Losses from these charges totaled $5 billion. Only 7% of the losses occurred due to the card being physically obtained due to loss or theft. The vast majority of credit card fraud comes from information being misappropriated online. 60% of those surveyed said they’d experienced unauthorized charges at least once, and the median value of these charges was $100. Customers can typically have fraudulent charges taken off their bills as long as they are reported promptly. See article at Newsweek.com.

Job openings continue to decrease

Total job openings declined by 296,000 in April 2024, continuing a trend that has seen job openings decline by more than 1.8 million over the past year. The number of job openings still exceeds the number of people seeking work. However, the ratio of job openings to job seekers has dropped from 2.0 in January 2023 to 1.25 now. Fewer job vacancies could ease some of the inflation pressure the economy has been under in recent years. See report at BLS.gov.

Employment shows a significant gain for last month

Total non-farm employment rose by 272,000 in May 2024. That was a substantial increase over April’s job growth of 165,000, and above the monthly average of 232,000 over the prior 12 months. Health care was the biggest source of job gains, with 68,000 new jobs added in May. Department stores experienced the biggest job losses, with 5,000 jobs lost in May, and furniture and home furnishings retailers saw 4,000 job losses. See employment report at BLS.gov.

Credit card losses increase as late payments ease

Net charge-off (NCO) rates for credit card companies increased for a ninth consecutive quarter in Q1 2024. NCO rates measure losses on unpaid bills that credit card companies have decided are uncollectable. However, during the first quarter, the delinquency rate for credit card balances eased for the first time since the second quarter of 2021. Analysts hope that the turn in the rate of late payments signals that consumer payment problems have peaked and will start to head back down. Credit card losses on unpaid bills tend to raise credit card fees and rates for all consumers and make credit more challenging to obtain. See report at SPGlobal.com.

Pending sales signal slowing in the housing market

According to the National Association of Realtors, pending home sales decreased by 7.7% in April 2024. All regions reported slower sales, with the Midwest experiencing the sharpest drop-off, with a 9.5% decline for the month. The Northeast market held up the best, with just a 3.5% decline during April. Until now, a shortage of properties on the market is thought to have caused the relatively slow housing market. However, April’s decline in pending home sales came despite a rise in listed properties. Pending home sales are a leading indicator of housing market activity because they are based on when the purchase contract is signed rather than when the transaction is closed. See details at NAR.Realtor.

Mortgage rates fluctuate around 7%

For the fourth consecutive week, 30-year mortgage rates see-sawed close to 7%. 30-year rates fell by 0.04% this week to reach 6.99% after rising by 0.09% the week before. Mortgage rates have settled into this narrow range after sustained increases and decreases. Previously, 30-year rates climbed by 0.43% during one five-week period. Following that, they fell by 0.28% over three weeks. After all the ups and downs, mortgage rates are now 0.38% higher than when 2024 began. See rate details at FreddieMac.com.

Weekly news headlines from Credit Sesame

Richard Barrington
Financial analyst for Credit Sesame, Richard Barrington earned his Chartered Financial Analyst designation and worked for over thirty years in the financial industry. He graduated from St. John Fisher College and joined Manning & Napier Advisors. He worked his way up to become head of marketing and client service, an owner of the firm and a member of its governing executive committee. He left the investment business in 2006 to become a financial analyst and commentator with a focus on the impact of the economy on personal finances. In that role he has appeared on Fox Business News and NPR, and has been quoted by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, CNBC and many other publications.

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