In the News

Americans are ending 2014 with a binge — on credit-card debt.

The year that began with a flood of red ink is now seeing credit-card and other debt spiking higher as it comes to an end.

Consumers have continued pulling out the plastic this year, with a nearly $16 billion increase in debt in the third quarter. [...]

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The holiday shopping season is the best time of the year for big retail chains across the United States. But not so much for the people who stock the shelves and ring up the Christmas sales.

As holiday gift-seeking shoppers return, retail businesses are hiring. But that does not necessarily mean employees are finding good jobs. In fact, if you find work in the slow-growing U.S. economy, it’s increasingly likely to be a low-wage job at one of our country’s retail giants.

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 24 million.

That's the estimated number of Americans who would stand to benefit from raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour.

And this year there were many signs that those who struggle the most have reason for optimism: 2014 has seen an explosion in activity around raising the minimum wage.

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One of the issues that helped fuel last week's national fast-food workers strikes is the growing income disparity between rank-and-file workers and the chief executives in charge of those multi-billion-dollar companies.

Like millions of retirees who assumed their companies had taken care of them, Ronald Tussey never thought that his retirement plan might be flawed.

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City council races seldom get the attention of their up-ballot brethren, especially on a day like today when the fate of the U.S. Senate is up for grabs. But local elected officials probably hold greater sway over decisions that directly affect your life. And their ranks tell us something important about who holds power in any community — and, equally important, who doesn't. [...]

The soaring pay of corporate chief executives is spurring efforts to pass laws to limit their compensation and close the widening gap in earnings between workers and top executives.

Such laws have been proposed in at least three states, including Massachusetts, as well as in Switzerland. Proponents have yet to succeed in enacting these measures, but they vow to keep pressing the issue. [...]

For a moment last week, it looked like Walmart CEOs were getting enlightened. The company promised to “end minimum-wage pay” for its lowest-paid sales workers and touted a plan to ‘”invest in its associate base” and maybe even offer more bonus opportunities.

For decades, free high-school education helped strengthen the middle class and generate prosperity. So isn’t it time to extend the same thinking to college?

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Despite Friday’s unemployment rate dropping to 5.9 percent nationally, New York City is still home to the dead-end kids.

Half of the city’s 600,000 recent college graduates are either underemployed or out of work, according to New York Fed researchers.

Most of this 50 percent are working in jobs they are overqualified for — no college degree required — and that are often low-pay, part-time and without benefits. It’s a vast jobs wasteland out there for this Millennial generation. [...]

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