Unemployment Rates Drop in 49 WV Counties in April 2015

The Gilmer Free Press

CHARLESTON, WV - Unemployment rates dropped in 49 of West Virginia’s 55 counties in April.

WorkForce West Virginia says Pendleton County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.4%, followed by Jefferson County at 4.5% and Monongalia County at 5.1%.

Unemployment rates rose in six counties.

McDowell County’s unemployment rate fell from 15.2% in March to 13.9% in April, but that was still the highest in the state.

It was followed by Mingo County at 13.4%, Roane County at 13.1% and Calhoun County at 13%.

West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose four-tenths of a percentage point to 7% in April.

Oil Leaps 5% As Dollar Rally Stalls, U.S. Rigs Fall

The Gilmer Free Press

Crude oil prices jumped almost 5% on Friday, their biggest rally in 1-1/2 months, as a steady U.S. dollar and a bigger than expected drop in U.S. oil rigs in operation set off a renewed rush of bullish bets.

U.S. crude has risen by as much as $4 a barrel after hitting a one-month low just a day ago, locking in a record 11th weekly gain that was propelled both by declining domestic oil inventories and rapidly shifting sentiment ahead of next week’s OPEC meeting, at which the group is expected to keep production at high levels.

Oil bulls were also enthused by Friday’s rig count data from Baker Hughes, which showed U.S. drillers again reducing the number of rigs in operation this week despite speculation that they would add more. A lower rig count signals potentially lower production.

Brent crude LCOc1 settled at $65.56 a barrel, up $2.98, or 4.8%, on the day. It was flat on the week, while for the month, it fell 2%.

U.S. crude CLc1 ended at $60.30, up $2.62, or 4.5%, on the day, and up about 1% on both the week and month.

Tensions in the Middle East after the Islamic State claimed responsibility for a mosque bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed three people added to the market’s support.

The dollar edged lower against a basket of major currencies .DXY on Friday, after having risen 2.5% this month.

Oil bears cautioned that prices could fall again on the global supply glut. Pressure might build by next week if the dollar rallies and OPEC decides not to cut output, they said.

OPEC is expected to maintain a collective output target of 30 million barrels per day and produce 1 million bpd above that. Demand for its oil is much lower, leaving an estimated surplus above 2 million bpd.


The Gilmer Free Press

Ribbons of Hope: Grants to Benefit Women and Girls

Ribbons of Hope/Invest in Women, Inc. is an Atlanta-based foundation that began as friends and family of the Coca-Cola Company who wanted to reach out and support organizations making a difference in women’s lives.

Its membership is now 50 women who together are committed to an annual grant to non-profit organizations that empower women and girls in the areas of education, health, economic independence, social well-being, or human rights.

Maximum award: $100,000.

Eligibility: 501 (c)(3) status organizations or agencies with at least three years of financial records and an annual operating budget of at least $500,000.

Deadline: May 31, 2015.

MLB: Baseball Tomorrow Fund

Major League Baseball’s Baseball Tomorrow Fund gives grants to nonprofit organizations involved in the operation of youth baseball and softball programs and facilities.

Funds may be used to finance a new program, expand or improve an existing program, undertake a new collaborative effort, or obtain facilities or equipment necessary for youth baseball or softball programs.

Maximum award: $40,000.

Eligibility: U.S.-based or international nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations involved in operation of youth baseball and/or softball programs and facilities.

Deadline: July 01, 2015.

RWJF: Healthy Eating Research Projects

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has issued an RFP for two types of awards aimed at providing advocates, decision-makers, and policymakers with the evidence needed to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.

Round Nine Grants: grants of up to $190,000 over 18 months.

RWJF New Connections Grants will award up to $100,000 each for 12-18 months.

Eligibility: public entities or 501(c)(3) organizations.

Deadline: July 01, 2015.

American Legion Child Welfare Foundation: Grants for Children

The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation supports organizations that contribute to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual welfare of children.

The foundation awards grants for dissemination of information about new and innovative programs designed to benefit youth or information already possessed by well-established organizations.

Projects must have the potential to help American children in a large geographic area (more than one state).

Maximum award: Grant amounts are determined on a project-by-project basis.

Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations.

Deadline: July 15, 2015.

Pending U.S. Home Sales Jump to Strongest Level in 9 Years

The Gilmer Free Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans signed contracts to buy homes in April at the fastest pace in nearly nine years, evidence that steady job growth is strengthening the real estate market.

The National Association of Realtors said that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index climbed 3.4% to 112.4 last month. It’s the fourth consecutive monthly gain. The index now stands at its highest level since May 2006.

The upswing comes after a year of strong hiring, which has heightened demand to buy houses. Increased sales should help bolster the economy, but the surge could potentially destabilize the housing market. Inventories remain low, causing home values to rise at a pace that is eclipsing wage growth.

Signed contracts are a barometer of future purchases. A one- to two-month lag usually exists between a contract and a completed sale.

Pending sales increased in the Northeast, Midwest and South, while barely edging upward in the West. Greater demand has fueled sales growth this year after a lackluster 2014. Still, there is evidence that limited inventories are beginning to weigh on the market.

Sales of existing homes fell slightly between April and March to an annual clip of 5.04 million last month, the Realtors reported last week. The decrease may reflect complications in finalizing sales in addition to the shortage of listings.

The inventory of homes listed for sale has declined 0.9% over the past year, so would-be buyers have fewer choices and may face bidding wars.

On average, existing homes sold in 39 days last month, versus 52 days in March and 62 days in February.

Employers have hired 3.1 million new workers over the past 12 months. But wages are rising at a 2.1% annual clip, about four times slower than prices of existing homes.

Nationwide, the median price of an existing home surged 8.9% over the past 12 months to $219,400.

Unless home values level off because more supply comes onto the market, economists warn that buyers will be priced out of the market and sales will suffer.

Still, there is tremendous pressure on buyers to find homes quickly, since average rates for 30-year, fixed mortgages may start to climb from the relatively low sub-4% level.

A new analysis by indicates nationwide that waiting one year to buy will subtract $18,672 from the benefits of owning over the course of 30 years.

05.31.2015 (1) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

Nice one. Thank you for these type of information. I personally working in real estate consultancy and I think, this is very nice one for me.
In the real estate trade, majority of the people are searching for the properties for making homes. Eco-friendly homes are one of the new terms in Kerala.
Energy efficient lighting systems and structures for rain water harvesting and preserving water are also included in the structural designs of homes to make homes more appealing to the buyers. So Kerala real estate consultancy provides you more information about buy and selling home and how energy saves option in your home.

By William Headley  on  06.30.2015

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