The New York City Council passed legislation that bans most employers from discriminating against job applicants and current workers based on credit history. The bill passed Thursday by a vote of 47-3 and is being dubbed the strictest in the country. The bill's sponsor, Brad Lander, said credit checks can be discriminatory and don't relate to job performance. "Millions of Americans who have bad credit, would also be great employees," he said. "What they need to repair their credit is a job, and to make it harder for them to get a job is the definition of unfair." read more
For many Americans, the rise in food and housing prices is a tough squeeze. That's because -- even in an era with low overall inflation -- low-income Americans spend a disproportionate share of their money on food and housing. New data from the Labor Department show the extent of the discrepancy. The bottom 10% of Americans, by income, devote 42% of their spending to housing and an additional 17% to food -- nearly 60% of their total spending, according to the Consumer Expenditures Survey. By contrast, the wealthiest 10% of Americans dedicate only 31% of their spending to housing and 11% to food.
Most Americans' incomes continued to fall last year, but the richest 20 percent saw theirs rise, a new U.S. Department of Labor report showed Thursday. In fresh data that adds fire to a growing debate about income inequality, the department said that Americans on average saw their income decline for the second straight year in the 12 months to June 2014. The average pre-tax income fell 0.9 percent from the same period a year earlier, to $64,432. But broken down into quintiles, those in the top 20 percent of income saw their money stream grow by 0.9 percent to $166,048 on average. read more
DNA from antibiotic-resistant bacteria is spreading from cattle feedlots across the US through the air, a new study has found. The report indicates that so-called superbugs threatening humans could be traced to the use of antibiotics in cattle feed.
WASHINGTON -- Construction spending in the United States slipped in February, pulled down by a drop in single-family home building.
The result in part reflects bitter winter weather that constrained construction in many parts of the country during the month. It also joined a series of mostly discouraging economic reports, including on manufacturing and jobs, that weighed down the stock market on Wednesday and stoked concerns about corporate profits and global growth. read more