The outspoken Tea Party darling, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MN, announced this morning that she will not seek a fifth term in Congress next year. Bachmann said her decision not to run has nothing to do with the ongoing federal investigation into allegations of ethics violations during her failed presidential campaign in 2012. Nor is it related to the announcement that Jim Graves, her opponent last year that nearly defeated her, would be running for her seat in 2014. - Read more at The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
MEET OBAMA’S NEW ECON GURU Jason Furman is replacing Alan Krueger as President Obama’s new top economic adviser. -Here are 10 things you didn’t know about him
MORE WOMEN ARE BRINGING HOME THE BACON A record 40 percent of mothers in households with children under the age of 18 are either the sole or primary source of income for the family, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis. That’s compared to just 11 percent in 1960. The report shows that 37 percent are married mothers who earn more than their husbands, and 8.6 percent are single mothers. See the analysis here
HOUSING IS BACK The Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller home price index on Tuesday posted the biggest gains in seven years. Housing prices rose in all 20 states that the index tracks, continuing a trend that began three months ago. New and existing home prices are up as well, along with building permits. The New York Times’ Catherine Rampell writes, “the broad-based housing improvements appear to be buoying consumer confidence and spending, countering fears earlier this year that many consumers would pull back in response to government austerity measures.” - Read more at The New York Times
CONFIDENCE UP, WAGES ARE NOT New data by Sentier Research suggests that wages are not behind the improvement to consumer confidence, which is the highest it’s been in nearly five years. According to the data, median annual household income in April was $51,456. That’s up $266 from March’s $51,190—not a statistically significant gain, and instead, was mostly due to a drop in consumer prices. The research shows income has bounced back and forth between $51,000 and $52,000 post-recession. “Even though we are technically in an economic recovery, the most recent experience suggests that real median annual household income is still having difficulty gaining any solid traction,” Sentier’s Gordon Green said. - Read more at MarketWatch
FURLOUGHED WORKERS COLLECT UNEMPLOYMENT
Some federal workers who are forced to take furloughs this summer are recouping their lost pay by collecting unemployment benefits.
The Navy signed an agreement with the International Federation of Professional & Technical Engineers, a union for federal workers, allowing civilian workers at a shipyard in Philadelphia to take their required unpaid leave in five-day blocks, so they would be eligible to collect unemployment benefits.
Workers must log fewer than 28 hours each week to receive benefits in Pennsylvania. So, federal workers are instructed to take a full week of furloughs instead of spreading them out over the course of the summer to qualify for the benefits. Civilian defense workers are required to take 11 furlough days by the end of the fiscal year. Some federal workers are exempt from furloughs. - Read more at CNN