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Weekly Update: Flat Fall for September Hiring

November 15, 2017

The Economy

Job openings (a measure of labor demand) remained at a historically strong 6.09 million in September, according to the Department of Labor’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. Hires were flat at 5.3 million as employers continued to struggle with finding qualified staff at competitive wages. A lack of skilled employees (who require higher pay) may provide further impetus for the Federal Reserve (Fed) to keep a December rate hike on the table. Outstanding consumer credit (which measures non-mortgage debt) accelerated by 6.6% in September, the fastest pace in 10... More >

U.S. Weekly Economic Update

November 9, 2017

The Economy

The U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October—less than economists’ expectations of over 300,000, but significantly more than the previous month’s tiny gain. Unemployment sunk to 4.1%, its lowest level since December 2000. Wage growth remained challenged, rising by only 2.4% year over year. The Federal Reserve (Fed) left interest rates unchanged in a unanimous vote, despite moderate economic expansion and a solid labor market. The central bank’s official statement reinforced the likelihood of a third rate hike at the December meeting, in addition to the three hikes... More >

Workforce, Wages Gain Weight

October 11, 2017


The Economy

The U.S. economy lost 33,000 jobs in September, the first monthly decline since 2010, despite consensus forecasts of 100,000 new positions. The total labor force nevertheless surged to a record high, as the unemployment rate fell to a 16-year low of 4.2%. Average hourly earnings recorded the largest monthly gain in 10 years, spiking 0.5% after recent disappointing reports.

Initial jobless claims fell by 23,000 to 259,000 in the week ending September 30; claims from hurricane-affected Florida and Texas both dropped. The more-stable four-... More >

The Equifax Data Breach

September 18, 2017

On September 7, 2017, Equifax, one of the three main credit reporting agencies, announced a massive data security breach that exposed vital personal identification data — including names, addresses, birth dates, and Social Security numbers — on as many as 143 million consumers, roughly 55% of Americans age 18 and older. 1

This data breach was especially egregious because the company reportedly first learned of the breach on July 29 and waited roughly six weeks before making it public (hackers first gained access between mid-May and July) and three senior Equifax executives... More >

13 Money Lessons Your Kids NEED to Know Before Leaving for College

August 16, 2017

"Broke college student?" Not for long!

Originally on:

Make saving second-nature

Having the self-discipline not to spend every cent of every paycheck can be tough. To make it easy, have teens set up their accounts so part of their paychecks automatically go into a separate savings account, recommends financial consultant Robin Taub, CPA, CA, author of A Parent’s Guide to Raising Money-Smart Kids... More >

Unlocked: 2017 Power Leaders in Banking & Finance

July 31, 2017

The South Florida Business Journal has unlocked its exclusive list of 2017 Power Leaders in Banking in Finance. Check out the key players at the community banks, credit unions, regional organizations and national/multinational institutions that help keep South Florida's economic engine churning.

Click here to view the slideshow.

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Bauer reveals South Florida’s strongest banks - Database

September 20, 2016

The second quarter was a strong one for South Florida banks, with a high number receiving star upgrades. And for the first time in quite a while, there was a higher proportion of strongly rated banks in the tri-county area than across the state.

Most South Florida-based banks remained strong through the second quarter of 2016, with the number of banks awarded “recommended” ratings of four or five stars increasing by three compared to the previous quarter, according to Coral Gables-based Bauer Financial.

The financial research and analytics firm awarded recommended ratings... More >

Bank fund targeting affordable housing in South Florida

June 18, 2016

Ken Thomas, a longtime economist and banking consultant, thinks it's inexcusable that many South Floridians making $40,000 or $50,000 a year can't afford to buy a home.

He recently launched the Community Development Fund, an investment vehicle exclusively for banks and thrifts designed to promote affordable or work force housing across Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

The fund started with $25 million from 10 banks, including six in South Florida.

The money is used to invest in securities backed by mortgages valued in the $100,000 to $200,000 range,... More >

South Florida banks join $25M community development fund focused on affordable housing

June 14, 2016

There’s a new fund in town, and it’s made up of banks that are interested in community development and affordable housing.

Miami-based Community Development Fund Advisors LLC on Monday announced the launch of the $25 million Community Development Fund. It will focus on investing in fixed-income and mortgage-backed securities tied to properties in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods and affordable housing.

There are 11 initial banks invested in the fund, including six based in Miami-Dade County: Miami-based City National Bank of Florida, Coconut Grove Bank,... More >

Most banks’ executive training programs have disappeared

September 17, 2015

Formal training programs for bank executives – some lasting as long as 24 months – are a thing of the past in South Florida, observers say. Some question whether they were all that relevant to begin with.

“Formal training has changed,” said Raul G. Valdes-Fauli, president and CEO of Professional Bank and chair of the Miami Finance Forum.

It was a trend in the ’80s and ’90s, but because the market is now dominated by smaller banks, grooming rising talent has become a more informal process, he said.

“The less-sizeable banks in South Florida have fewer resources to... More >


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