The Fed keeps its rates low, while teens join the struggle to find jobs and unemployed women sell their engagement rings

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A weekly round-up of hopeless economy news.

  • The Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate near zero on Tuesday, affirming its view that job growth and other economic indicators remained weak as the United States slowly pulls itself out of recession. [NYT]
  • The proportion of 16- to 19-year-olds landing summer jobs this year is expected to slip below last summer’s record-low of 28.5%, says Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University; that compares with 45% in 2000. The Economic Policy Institute says one million teens have simply left the labor force—they’re neither working nor looking for work—since the recession began, an unprecedented number. [WSJ]
  • More than 1 in 5 young veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan can’t find work, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department. The unemployment rate last year for veterans ages 18 to 24 reached 21.1%, compared to 16.6% for that age group as a whole. [LAT]
  • Unemployed women are forced to sell their engagement rings on Craigslist. [HuffPo]
  • Three out of five Americans who are unemployed or underemployed don’t expect to find work in the next month, according to a new Gallup poll. [WSJ]
  • As unemployment rates hit 10 percent, breakfast sales dipped 4 percent, according to the NPD Group, a consumer behavior research firm. [AOL]
  • According to the latest official data on inflation, rents on apartments and houses in New York City and the surrounding region rose at a slower pace in the past year than during any 12-month period since mid-1994. [CityRoom]
  • But amid the recession last year, the number of coupons redeemed rose 27%, to 3.3 billion from 2.6 billion in 2008, says Inmar Inc., a coupon-processing agent. The year-over-year percentage increase was the largest since Inmar started tracking the statistic more than 20 years ago. Discount devotees have formed vast online communities that collectively unearth and swap digital, mobile-phone and paper coupons. The cleverest shoppers combine dozens of coupons and go from store to store buying items in quantity, getting stuff free of charge. [WSJ]

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