Fallout on Main Street

Health care premiums rise again, workers at smaller firms feel the pinch

Premiums for job-based health insurance are up 5 percent in 2008 and have more than doubled since 1999, a growth rate that far outpaces inflation and the increase in workers' wages over the same period, according to an annual survey of employers. | 09/24/08 10:00:00 By - Tony Pugh

House votes to rein in credit-card fees, interest rates

Over the objection of the White House, the House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed legislation to curb what its sponsors regard as abuses and unfair practices in the credit-card industry. | 09/23/08 17:08:00 By - Tony Pugh

Groups say bailout doesn't do enough to aid homeowners

The push for greater consumer protections in the pending Wall Street bailout bill intensified Tuesday as a host of advocacy groups called on Congress to include more help for American families in the legislation. | 09/23/08 19:22:00 By - Tony Pugh

Consumers unlikely to start spending again soon

While Friday's flurry of regulatory rescue actions on Wall Street should help loosen the ever-tightening restrictions on consumer credit, don't expect American families to rush in and take on much new debt. | 09/19/08 18:48:00 By - Tony Pugh

Stock-market woes highlight risk U.S. families now face

Whether it's disappearing work-based health care, the move from traditional pensions to 401(k)s, the push to privatize Social Security or just making it harder to file for personal bankruptcy, safety nets that were designed to make Americans more secure have been watered down, abandoned or altered so that individuals bear a greater share of the risk and cost. | 09/18/08 19:12:00 By - Tony Pugh

Financial crisis could make consumer credit even tighter

The decision by the Federal Reserve not to help Lehman Brothers has its pros and cons. But in letting the company fend for itself, the Fed is sending a message that the next faltering financial institution cannot expect a taxpayer bailout. That alone adds greater risk to credit markets, which could make home, retail and business loans more expensive and harder to secure. | 09/15/08 19:31:00 By - Tony Pugh

Spike in jobless rate for women is worst in more than 33 years

A sharp monthly rise in unemployment for women could be a sign that the economic slowdown has begun to hit working women with a force not seen since the 2001 recession. When the unemployment rate for women went from 4.6 percent in July to 5.3 percent in August, it was the largest one-month spike in the jobless rate for women in more than 33 years. | 09/14/08 06:00:00 By - Tony Pugh

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