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November 21, 2014

Conservatives inadvertently give Justin Trudeau a leg up: H

Filed under: Homes, Mortgage — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 4:20 pm

By the standards of extended family gatherings, the gala hosted by the Broadbent Institute on Thursday night in Toronto was a sober affair and not just because the issue of inequality was on the menu.

For the past and present New Democrat luminaries who make up the backbone of this progressive think tank, federal life can hardly be said to be unfolding as it should.

On Monday, the GTA voters of Whitby-Oshawa delivered the NDP a morale-sapping blow. The party’s vote collapsed to a miserable eight per cent. And that was only the latest in a string of federal byelection setbacks that included the loss of Olivia Chow’s former Toronto seat last summer.

Each of those defeats increases the risk that non-Conservative voters trample the NDP in a rush to the Liberals next year. Each stands to accelerate a detrimental bandwagon effect for the party.

At some point Thomas Mulcair’s civil society allies will have to decide whether loyalty to the NDP should take precedence over taking out an ideologically hostile federal government next year. Some of them quietly acknowledged that reality on Thursday night.

But if they’d come to the pre-gala cocktail looking for hints of a convincing plan B to restore the party’s momentum, they did not find it.

By now Mulcair’s brain trust is near the end of its collective wits.

Neither a leader who routinely performs at the top of his game, nor a caucus with enough talent to form a competent cabinet, nor a voter-friendly policy handbook seems to do the trick for the NDP.

It is actually no wonder that party strategists are increasingly helpless at strategizing their way out of the current predicament. The main authors of the NDP’s misfortune are not within their ranks.

At least part of the credit for that belongs to the apprentice sorcerers who toil in the Conservative war room and who may, in this instance, have outsmarted themselves.

In 2011, a majority of Canadians — 60 per cent — did not support Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Since then the prime minister and his crew have given those voters little cause to change their minds.

If anything the past mandate — and the consistent polarizing approach to policy that is has featured — has solidified the opposition to the current government cash till payday advance. When asked by pollsters, precious few 2011 non-Conservative voters rank Harper’s party as an acceptable second choice.

This hardening of anti-Conservative feeling did not loom large in the party’s pre-election calculations, or at least it did not until now.

Second only to a committed base, vote-splitting between the opposition parties has been a winning condition for Harper since his first election victory in 2006. A long-standing assumption had been that it could be counted on to again work its magic for the party next fall.

The results in Whitby-Oshawa suggest otherwise.

On Monday, the opposition vote coalesced behind the Liberals. And while it was not enough to carry this particular riding, the pattern, if it were replicated across Ontario in the general election, would make vaulting from third to first place easy for Trudeau.

If by a domino effect Quebec followed Ontario’s example, the elements of a Liberal majority would be reunited.

For two years, the Conservatives have framed Trudeau as the leader to beat in the next election, virtually ignoring Mulcair in the process.

Never has a federal third party leader attracted as much attention from a ruling party.

In so doing the Conservatives wanted to ensure that Trudeau would walk wounded into his first campaign but so far, it is Mulcair who has had the legs cut from under him.

By systematically treating Trudeau as the leader to beat next year, they have helped to enshrine his status as the top Conservative slayer in the mind of an electorate that has rarely been more motivated to look for such a champion.

Less than a year from the federal election, the Liberals are exactly where they want to be vis-

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November 20, 2014

Gift Guide: Help your selfie with some add-on gear

Filed under: Loans, economics — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 8:32 am

ATLANTA (AP) — Not all selfies are created equal. Some are blurry, are poorly framed or miss the action entirely because you might be scrubbing your thumb fishing for a virtual shutter button as the moment passes you by.

Although phone manufacturers are trying to help by building in tools for better selfies, many of these have their limits. For better selfies, consider some of these gadgets for yourself or your loved ones.

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— Halo/Hisy ($25):

This one is really simple. The Halo is a small plastic button that serves as a wireless shutter trigger for your phone’s camera. Its only job is to trigger your phone’s shutter when you click the button. One function, one result.

My tests with the Halo for my Android phone went smoothly. The company makes an iPhone version called Hisy. You need to install its free camera app, Shutter Panorama, as neither Halo nor Hisy works with the regular camera app that comes with the phone.

Shutter Panorama doesn’t have too many manual settings or special features. But the device does a good job in allowing me to place my phone in places other than my hand. I got some nice shots of myself and my dog by putting the phone against a rock in the front yard and sitting a few feet away. It’s more elegant than setting the camera’s timer and running to get in the shot.

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— Kodak Pixpro SL25 ($300):

The Pixpro SL25 from Kodak is essentially a camera lens that mounts onto your phone, allowing for higher resolution than what your phone’s camera can capture. The Pixpro communicates with your phone over Wi-Fi and lets you compose the image on the phone’s screen. Once the photos are snapped using the shutter button on the Pixpro, the phone serves primarily to review and share the images to social media services.

The downside is you have a second device to carry around, which defeats the purpose of taking selfies on the fly. The upside is image quality. The Pixpro shoots sharp 16 megapixel photos and full high-definition video at 1080p. This quality is common for rear cameras, but not the front ones for selfies.

The Pixpro has fold-out arms to attach to my phone, such that the two devices act as one payday loan lenders in states. That, in itself, isn’t different from using just the phone for selfies. But I was able to hold the Pixpro and press the shutter in ways I could not with my phone. For instance, I was able to have my finger rest on a physical button on the Pixpro instead of searching on the phone’s touch screen for a virtual one.

I had a lot of success using the Pixpro unattached to my phone as well. It has a wide-angle lens that fits plenty of action into the frame.

Some phones are coming with better front cameras. The one on HTC’s new Desire Eye is 13 megapixels, the same as the rear camera. There’s even a front flash. You’ll still get sharper images with the Kodak attachment.

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— Satechi Smart Selfie Extension Arm Monopod ($50):

This telescoping monopod from Satechi helps get more than just yourself in the frame. Similar to the Kodak unit, this monopod has spring-loaded rubber pieces that grip the phone on its sides, holding it firmly in place. From there, you simply extend the telescoping device out to its full three feet and get lots of buddies or surroundings into the shot.

What really helps is that a shutter button on the grip of the pole connects to your phone via Bluetooth, allowing you to snap the selfie without reaching up to the phone. Once I paired the monopod to my phone and launched my default camera app, I was able to easily snap various selfies with a birds-eye view and other vantage points longer than my arm.

The Satechi unit worked fine with my phone’s default camera, but not with other camera apps I enjoy, such as FxCamera and Candy Camera.

Samsung’s new Galaxy Note models do let you fit more people in by stitching multiple images together. You tilt the phone left and right, and the Note’s software does the magic behind the scenes. The shot won’t be as instant, though, as what the monopod can provide.

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Follow Ron Harris on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Journorati

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November 18, 2014

Refugee advocates battle federal government over welfare

Filed under: Business, technology — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 10:24 am

OTTAWA—A new battle is brewing between refugee advocates and the federal government — this time over whether those awaiting a decision on their refugee status ought to have access to social assistance.

Measures that would give provinces the ability to cut off access were buried in the Conservatives’ latest omnibus budget bill, catching observers off guard in much the same way that sudden changes to refugee health care coverage did two years ago.

Those opposed to the social assistance provisions are appearing at hearings on the bill in Ottawa this week and also plan to express their outrage Tuesday in front of the finance minister’s office in Toronto.

Over 150 groups have signed an open letter calling on Finance Minister Joe Oliver to remove the provisions from Bill C-43.

“Access to social assistance is vital to sustain and rebuild lives,” the letter reads.

“Without that source of support, many will be unable to feed, house, or clothe themselves and their families, putting further pressure on already overburdened charities and shelters.”

The provisions in Bill C-43 amend the agreement which governs transfer payments between Ottawa and the provinces.

Currently, if provinces place any residency restrictions on who is eligible to receive social assistance, they could lose some of the money they receive from the federal government to cover those services.

But the budget bill seeks to change that, creating categories of people to whom residency requirements cannot apply, opening the door to the imposition of restrictions on anyone not on the list.

It’s a blatant attempt to go after refugee claimants, advocates say.

“It’s the same line and the same discourse being used here as has been used with the health care cuts so it’s the continuation of that,” said Janet Dench, the executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees.

“Just practically speaking, if you look at who has access to social assistance and who could be affected by a residency requirement, refugee claimants are the main group that would be affected guaranteed approval cash loans.”

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said the budget bill changes are about devolving power to the provinces, though in line with previous revisions to refugee policy.

The changes “will give the power to the provinces and territories to establish minimum periods of residence to qualify for social assistance, if they wish to do so,” Kevin Menard said in an email.

Officials from Citizenship and Immigration told a Senate committee hearing earlier this month that the changes were the product of conversations with Ontario officials, but the province denies making the request.

“In fact, the Ministry of Community and Social Services has concerns about the potential human rights implications of imposing a waiting period for a specific group,” said a spokesperson for Minister Helena Jaczek.

“We believe that a waiting period could impact people with legitimate refugee claims who are truly in need.”

The human rights implications of another recent change to refugee policy landed the Conservatives in court.

A coalition of refugee advocates and physicians successfully argued that the overhaul of 50 years of policy governing health care for refugee claimants violated those people’s charter rights.

They won, though the government is appealing.

It’s likely the new changes will also see the government in court, said Michele Biss, the legal education and outreach co-ordinator for Canada Without Poverty.

The Conservatives say they have no intention to force provinces into making the change, but that might not matter, Biss said.

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November 17, 2014

Ford: Mustang driver injured by air bag fragment in North Carolina crash

Filed under: Business, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 12:16 am

DETROIT • Ford Motor Co. said on Sunday night it was cooperating with U.S. safety regulators investigating a report the driver of a 2007 Ford Mustang was injured in August by a metal fragment from the car’s air bag.

The 2007 Mustang was part of a June recall of millions of cars from nine manufacturers because air bag inflators made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp. could rupture and send metal fragments into the cabin.

The so-called “regional recalls” were carried out mainly in high-humidity states such as Florida after Takata said the inflators could be susceptible to rupture if exposed to moisture or extreme humidity.

North Carolina is not one of the high-humidity states listed in Ford’s June recall, which covered Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The 2007 Mustang owner’s complaint was filed on Oct. 30 with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Ford could not confirm that the 2007 Mustang involved in the North Carolina accident was equipped with Takata air bags.

In a statement released on Sunday night, Ford said: “Based on the field reports and testing currently available, the Takata airbag inflator designs used in Ford vehicles have not shown the same risk of fragmentation as other Takata airbag inflator designs used by other manufacturers. We are continuing to investigate this issue, and we are cooperating fully with NHTSA and Takata fast cash online.”

Ford’s June recall covered 58,669 cars. It was expanded in late October to 85,023 cars, including about 61,000 Mustangs from model years 2005-2008; 23,700 Ford Ranger pickups from model years 2004-2005, and 256 Ford GT sports cars from 2005-2006.

A Takata spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

The NHTSA complaint about the August accident in North Carolina said the Mustang “crashed into the rear end of another vehicle” at about 35 miles per hour.

“The air bag deployed with abrupt force and a metal fragment dislodged, causing injury to the driver’s leg, which required medical attention,” the complaint said.

Ruptured inflators in Takata air bags have been linked to four deaths in the United States and one in Malaysia, all in Honda vehicles. NHTSA has received dozens of complaints linked to the air bags.

The U.S. safety agency on Friday said Takata-related recalls since April 2013 number around 8 million. Before then, Honda alone had recalled more than 2.5 million cars, dating to November 2008, to replace defective inflators in Takata air bags.

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November 15, 2014

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath pledges to do better

Filed under: news, online — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 11:52 am

Embattled NDP Leader Andrea Horwath promises to do a better job by reaching out to unions and returning to the party’s socialist values.

“I am up to it, and you are too,” Horwath told the NDP convention in Toronto Saturday.

In her do-or-die speech before a leadership review vote later, Horwath said she wants an Ontario where everyone is equal.

“Our cause is to build a society that is much, much more socially and economically equal,” she said.

“We mean a province with a living minimum wage, so that the very concept of ‘working poor’ becomes a part of our past,” she said.

Fighting for that, housing for the poor, clean air, a publicly funded health care system and clean water, she said, will help her party form government in 2018‎, she said.

But whether the more than 1,000 delegates to the convention buy her mea culpa will be ‎determined later in the day.

After a disappointing showing in the spring provincial election, which she sparked, there have been a chorus of voices wanting Horwath gone.

Her tilt to the right during the election campaign and her brand of populism as well as the Progressive Conservatives’ collapse handed the Liberals a majority government.

In her speech, Horwath swung to the left calling for a province “where it is possible, it is normal, it is easy to join a union saving account payday loan.”

Several union leaders turned their back on Horwath when she turned her nose up at a provincial budget that they believed held much for workers.

Horwath said there are lessons to be learned from the election.

“There is no doubt about it,” she said.

Horwath said the party has to be much more open and inclusive “as we frame our next campaign and our next election platform.”

“We need to keep talking about our ultimate values and goals and not just our first steps.”

“These are some of the key lessons of the latest campaign — ones I commit to you that I will never forget,” she said.

Her new chief of staff, Michael Balagus, said many delegates were not so much there to be inspired by her speech but rather to keep score on what she was offering.

“The more Andrea went on, the more people warmed up and the more the energy in the room started to change and come around nicely,” Balagus said.

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November 13, 2014

Average U.S. 30-year loan rate slips to 4.01 percent

Filed under: Business, Finance — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 11:20 am

WASHINGTON • Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates edged lower this week, approaching their lows for the year. The benchmark 30-year loan rate hovered near 4 percent.

Mortgage company Freddie Mac said Thursday the nationwide average for a 30-year mortgage slipped to 4.01 percent from 4.02 percent last week. The 30-year rate, which stood at 4.53 percent back in January, now is at its lowest level since June 2013.

The average for a 15-year mortgage, a popular choice for people who are refinancing, ticked down to 3.20 percent from to 3.21 percent.

Long-term rates recovered in recent weeks following a five-week decline that had sparked a wave of homeowners looking to refinance mortgages at a bargain rate.

To calculate average mortgage rates, Freddie Mac surveys lenders across the country between Monday and Wednesday each week. The average doesn’t include extra fees, known as points, which most borrowers must pay to get the lowest rates. One point equals 1 percent of the loan amount.

The average fee for a 30-year mortgage was unchanged from last week at 0.5 point. The fee for a 15-year mortgage also remained at 0.5 point.

The average rate on a five-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 3.02 percent from 2.97 percent. The fee was steady at 0.5 point.

For a one-year ARM, the average rate declined to 2.43 percent from 2.45 percent. The fee held at 0.4 point.

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November 12, 2014

US-China deal could end fees on $1T in tech sales

Filed under: Homes, money — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 1:04 am

NEW YORK (AP) — A trade deal between the U.S. and China could end tariffs on $1 trillion in global sales of semiconductors, MRI machines, GPS devices, printer ink cartridges, video game consoles and other high-tech items.

President Barack Obama, in Beijing for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, said Tuesday that the U.S. and China reached an “understanding” on expanding the Information Technology Agreement of 1996. The ITA bans tariffs — or taxes on imported goods and services — on IT products among countries that are part of the World Trade Organization. Tariffs give domestic goods a price advantage for customers over imported ones. The expanded deal would eliminate those costs for multiple high-tech products such as global positioning systems, medical equipment, software and gadgets — leveling the playing field for those items.

Similar talks broke down in 2013 over the scope of the products that could be covered. But if the deal is finalized later this year at World Trade Organization talks in Geneva, it would mark the first major tariff reduction by the WTO in 17 years. The agreement covers more than $100 billion in products sold by the U.S. each year and could support up to 60,000 new U payday loan.S. jobs, according to the office of U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

Chip and medical device industries might benefit the most from the new agreement, said Anna Han, director of the Center for Global Law and Policy at Santa Clara University School of Law. She noted that the expanded agreement doesn’t eliminate all barriers on trade: for example, China imposes additional rules on foreign telecommunications companies’ products.

Analyst Andrew Bartels of Forrester Research said the effects of the deal will be “relatively minor” because other issues — including government investigations into price-fixing — have a bigger impact on U.S. and European companies in China. However he said the agreement will create hope.

“A lot of negotiations over trade have been stalled and stymied,” he said. “Any time they start to make a small step forward … after a period where there’s been no progress, it creates the perception that this small step could be followed by bigger steps.”

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November 10, 2014

Four ways the courts could better handle sexual assault cases

Filed under: Finance, money — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 7:48 am

As the Jian Ghomeshi case has highlighted — and the statistics, the experts and the victims have been saying for a long time — the criminal justice system is failing sexual assault cases. Sexual assaults are vastly under-reported and conviction rates notoriously low. Short of a complete overhaul, experts suggest four ways to alter the current court system to better handle sexual assault cases:

1. Appoint lawyers for complainants

“The truth is (people who have been sexually assaulted) have no legal representation in the court,” says activist Jane Doe. Doe says she was the first woman to hire her own lawyer for the trial of her rapist in 1986, and doesn’t understand why it hasn’t become routine practice.

“The Crown represents the state, Regina . . . they do not make the woman’s case,” Doe said. “I often say the only woman represented in a rape trial is the Queen of England. It’s critical for women to have their own legal representation, so they are protected from what happens from the defence lawyer, crown and even the judge.”

Currently lawyers may be appointed in cases where an application is brought to access the complainant’s medical records. But experts say this should be expanded to allow sexual assault victims to have their own lawyers throughout the process — which could combat the discriminatory or abusive treatment many victims experience.

This is already done in other jurisdictions like Germany and Denmark, says University of Ottawa law professor Elizabeth Sheehy.

A lawyer can offer advice before reporting a sexual assault, be present during interviews with the police, keep complainants informed throughout the process and help deal with feelings of stress and isolation, she says.

And while there would be a cost to this, Sheehy says, it’s worth it to level the playing field and protect the rights of sexual assault victims as well as the accused.

2. Allow Crowns to handle some cases civilly

“In a certain class of cases sexual assault victims are looking for jail and in a certain class of cases — dangerous predators and so on — the public is looking for jail. For that class of cases you have to stick with the criminal justice system,” says criminal lawyer David Butt, who often represents sexual assault victims.

But in cases where victims are looking for recognition that they were wronged and to hold the perpetrator accountable, Crowns should have the option to proceed in civil court, he argues.

This would apply particularly to cases where “judges say it might have happened, it probably happened but I don’t have proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” Butt says.

Civil cases are held to a lower standard of proof than criminal courts — a balance of probabilities rather than proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

The flip side is that cases handled in the civil system don’t lead to convictions, jail time and criminal records, he says.

“But there is also a broader social benefit of presenting a face of justice that is more inclusive to half a population paydayloans. . . there is a huge structural gender bias in delivery of justice services.”

3. Stop allowing rape myths into the courtroom

“The Supreme Court of Canada has been really, really good on sexual assault. They’ve come down with decisions on what consent means, what the rape myths are, what you aren’t allowed to suggest,” said a current Crown prosecutor who has been practicing for more than 14 years. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she did not have authorization to speak to the media.

“When you apply the law the way it’s supposed to be applied, it should be easy to prosecute these cases,” she says.

The problem is that rape myths — like that women lie and say they were raped, when they merely regret having sex — are still brought up in court, masquerading as common sense, she says. And rather than being challenged by judges, they are accepted, she says.

“We are still imposing our ideas about what women who have been raped should do in the circumstances. Lawyers are still saying ‘she didn’t struggle.’ Well, she doesn’t have to struggle. And ‘she didn’t really say no.’ Well, she doesn’t have to say no.”

4. End “whacking” complainants in cross-examination

The Supreme Court of Canada has held that “(t)he accused is not permitted to ‘whack the complainant’ through the use of stereotypes regarding victims of sexual assault.”

But while the law limits discriminatory treatment of complainants, defence lawyers still routinely exploit stereotypical assumptions about women and consent, use applications for medical records to intimidate complainants and conduct humiliating cross-examinations, says David Tanovich, a law professor at the University of Windsor, in a soon-to-be published article for the Ottawa Law Review.

This violates the ethical duty of defence counsel, he argues.

“In no other context would the profession countenance lawyers publicly stating that their job is to ‘whack’ or ‘kill’ the complainant,” Tanovich argues, referring to advice given to young lawyers on cross-examining in sexual assault cases.

Tanovich suggests law societies develop “ethical standards for the defence and prosecution of sexual assault cases to guide lawyers and to assist in the teaching of the issue to law students.”

He also suggests that lawyers who violate these standards be subject to discipline by their law societies — arguing such conduct is “an affront to the administration of justice.”

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November 8, 2014

Solid hiring provides little boost to wages _ yet

Filed under: money, news — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 7:16 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Healthy job growth in the United States has reached a level of consistency unseen in nearly two decades.

In the same week that voters signaled discontent with the U.S. economy, the government issued a report that showed employers have added at least 200,000 jobs for nine straight months — the longest such stretch since 1995.

Combine it with an unemployment rate that has slid to 5.8 percent — the lowest since 2008 — and the picture that emerged Friday was of a job market gaining increasing distance from the recession that officially ended nearly 5½ years ago.

The job gain for October was a solid 214,000, on top of a combined 31,000 more in August and September than the government had previously estimated.

The steady improvement contrasts with the struggles of economies overseas, a key reason the Federal Reserve is withdrawing its stimulus just as other central banks ramp up theirs. This week, for example, the European Central Bank opened the door wider for further help for a eurozone economy that may be on the brink of another recession.

The U.S. job market is hardly without its own weaknesses. Americans’ average hourly pay rose only slightly last month, a negative note in an otherwise solid report. Stagnant wages have been a chronic weakness in the job market since the recession ended.

Voters listed the economy as their top concern in Tuesday’s elections, and the sluggish pace of pay growth was a likely factor. Average hourly pay rose 3 cents in October to $24.57. That’s just 2 percent above the average wage 12 months earlier and barely ahead of a 1.7 percent inflation rate.

Some economists say, though, that they’re seeing early signs of rising pay, especially as more jobs emerge in higher-paying sectors. If so, more workers could begin to enjoy thicker paychecks in coming months. A broad measure of pay and fringe benefits, which captures bonus pay that the jobs report’s gauges miss, has risen in the past six months at its fastest pace since 2008.

“We think that there is plenty of evidence to suggest that … wage growth is accelerating,” said Paul Ashworth, an economist at Capital Economics.

The U.S. unemployment rate fell in October even as more Americans began looking for work. That suggests that more out-of-work people were encouraged by the brightening jobs picture.

“This was a great month for the American labor market,” said James Marple, an economist at TD Bank. “The U.S. job engine is not just chugging along, it is gaining speed.”

Pay gains in some industries are outpacing the national average. For workers in the hotel, restaurant and entertainment industry, hourly pay has risen 3.5 percent in the past year. Retail pay has risen 2.6 percent. So has construction pay.

And hiring has increased in middle- and higher-paying industries, a change from earlier in the recovery when job creation. Job gains have picked up in construction, manufacturing, professional and business services, and government.

Sophia Koropeckyj, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, calculates that 34 percent of jobs gained in the July-September quarter were in mid-paying industries, up from just 21 percent a year ago. Higher-paying jobs made up 27 percent, up from 16 percent. Lower-paying jobs constituted 39 percent, down from 66 percent a year ago.

Economists say the rising U.S. economy — the world’s largest — is unlikely to provide much spillover help to sputtering economies overseas. Though the U.S. economy accounts for one-fifth of global output, Europe and Japan face major hurdles to faster growth. These include aging populations, crushing government debt and heavily regulated job markets.

“It helps at the margin, but it’s not going to do enough to turn around those economically depressed regions,” Sal Guatieri, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, said of the improving U.S. economy.

XPOLogistics, a shipping company, has hired 250 people in the past three months and has 300 open jobs. The company connects manufacturers, retailers and other firms that need shipping with independent trucking firms. It has opened a new office in Kansas City, Missouri, where it plans to hire 125 people.

Scott Malat, the company’s chief strategy officer, said that rising manufacturing output has helped drive growth.

“The economy has been better, and that plays right into our hands,” he said.

Analysts say the economic expansion remains strong enough to support the current pace of hiring. Over the past six months, the economy has grown at a 4.1 percent annual rate.

U.S. manufacturers are expanding at the fastest pace in three years, according to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group. A measure of new orders showed that factory output will likely continue to grow in coming months. A separate survey by the ISM found that retailers, restaurants and other service companies also grew at a healthy pace last month.

Home sales rose in September at their fastest rate this year, a sign that housing could pick up after a sluggish performance for most of this year.

Still, faltering global growth could create trouble for the U.S. economy in the months ahead. Exports fell in September, the government said this week, widening the trade deficit. That led many economists to shave their predictions of economic growth in the July-September quarter to an annual rate of 3 percent or less, down from the government’s initial estimate of 3.5 percent.

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November 7, 2014

CBRE hires Rick Messey as a senior VP

Filed under: money, term — Tags: , , , — Gogo @ 1:52 am

CBRE hired Rick Messey as a senior vice president, specializing in office properties in the St. Louis area.

Messey has more than 15 years of experience serving institutional building owners and corporate clients. Most recently, he was a senior managing director with Cassidy Turley. He also has worked as a branch manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

He has volunteered with the Arts and Education Council and the St electronic check payday advance. Louis Art Museum. He is also a Certified Commercial Investment Member.

Messey has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Alabama.

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