The National Credit Card APR average jumped from 14.97% week before last to a full 15.00% last week. Note that it’s done nothing but stay level or increase since our reports began, so be sure to keep an eye on the APRs of your credit cards and consider switching over to get lower interest rates where possible.
Now onto a subject we don’t like to think about but can’t ignore: unemployment. The unemployment rate in this country has remained steady at about 9.1% for the last few months, meaning about 14 million Americans are jobless. But there are several states in our United States where the unemployment rate is much higher than the national average.
The state of Nevada is coming in at a staggering 13.4% rate of unemployment, over 4% higher than the nation’s percentage of unemployed persons. Next up is California at a significantly lower but still alarming 12.1%. Michigan drops to 11.2%, while Washington D.C. and South Carolina both have 11.1% unemployment.
The best states to live in for employment? Oklahoma looks wonderful compared to Nevada, at 5.6%. New Hampshire is a little better at 5.3% unemployment, while South Dakota breaks the 5% barrier and comes in at 4.7%. Nebraska has just 4.2% of its population unemployed. The state you are most likely to have employment in is North Dakota, with just a 3.5% rate of unemployment.
If you are unemployed, Hawaii is the place you’ll be best able to maintain your standard of living--it pays out 54.3% of average weekly wages, totaling $416. Rhode Island covers less than half at 45.9% or $380. Iowa gets 44.9% or $321, while residents in Kansas get 44.7% or $326 and North Dakota--which is the state with the lowest unemployment rate--is the fifth best payout at 44.6%, $310 per week.
The outlook isn’t good for those unemployed in these next five states. Delaware pays out just 27% of weekly wages--$247. Alaska and Louisiana also only pay 27%--$239 and $208 a week, respectively. New York is barely better at 26.9% or $303 per week, and the state that pays out the lowest percentage of average weekly pay is Arizona at 26.2% or $213.
On to the better news in stocks: All of our stocks performed much better this past week.
Apple, Inc., which is definitely one to watch, shot up to 417.13, which is a vast improvement from the 370.66 of our last report.
Barrick Gold was up to 47.98, over a one point improvement.
Adobe Systems, Inc., at 26.54, was also up just above a point from the previous week.
Associated Estates showed about a half-point improvement, coming in at 15.93 over the 15.40 of last time.
Alliance Holdings came in as the second most improved last week, up nearly three points from the last report.