States Compensate for Paris Exit, Labor Market Still Strong
August 24, 2017
Nine states banded together to form a coalition to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the North East and Mid Atlantic region. Jobless claims are still at healthy levels, and housing sales have dropped.
- 9 States form emission slashing coalition. 9 states in the North East and Mid-Atlantic region of the United states, all part of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, have put together an aggressive plan to cut power plant emissions by more than 65% by 2030, lowering emissions an additional 30% from 2020-2030. While the plan is yet to be approved by each of the state’s legislatures, the plan’s market based “cap and trade” to greenhouse gas reduction, as well as its ambitious emissions targets, are a welcome sign for climate change advocates worried about the US’ withdrawal from the Paris accord. While critics argue that state regulators should look beyond power plants into transportation, whose environmental impact is of larger and growing significance, there is broad consensus that this is a step in the right direction. [Boston Globe]
Economic Indicators & News
- Continually low jobless claims, firings. The labor market remains tight, as jobless claims rang in at 234k, well under the 300k benchmark signaling economic health. While jobless claims increased slightly, the 4-week moving average, a less volatile measure of joblessness, decreased to 237,750 this past week. Firings also remained low, as a tight labor market and shortage of qualified workers encouraged employers to hold on to their existing workforce. The good employment news has been a key driver of the American public’s positive economic outlook. [Bloomberg]
- Previously owned homes sales decline to 11 month low. US previously owned home sales declined last month to their lowest levels since August of last year, due to sparse inventory and rising prices. While new home construction has been low, an increased appetite for home buying has increased prices and decreased housing availability. Median sale prices rose at similar rates to prices of new homes, increasing 6.2% year over year, with the new median sale price at 258,300. Available properties decreased 9%. [Bloomberg]