States with the lowest, highest tax burden

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Round up the usual suspects? Well, OK, taxpayers in New York and California (the first and second in the most onerous tax list) do get hammered, according to an analysis by WalletHub. But who knew that Nebraskans (No. 3) have the tax man breathing down their necks?

We in Pennsylvania aren’t exactly lucky, either — we’re No. 13 on the highest tax rate list. Continue reading

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Confusing unemployment report explained in 2 graphics

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The job report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics always seems to be sending mixed signals. Take the January report. Unemployment rate down a smidge. U.S. economy added 113,000 jobs. Blah. Blah.

But the Labor figures don’t include people who have given up looking for work, so we’re usually left wondering how many people are really unemployed.

Ritchie S. King, a visual reporter at Quartz, has taken a good look at the January jobs report and explains the employment status of Americans of working age … Continue reading

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Queen Elizabeth in the poor palace

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There’s not much left in the royal cookie jar.

British lawmakers report that Queen Elizabeth’s household finances are in such disarray that she has lost $50 million since 2001 and is now down to her last million pounds ($1.6 million) in the contingency fund, while Buckingham Palace and other royal residences “crumble” around her, according to the Telegraph. Continue reading

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The ‘pretty dismal’ jobless rate in one chart

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The federal employment report for December is “pretty dismal news,” Kevin Drum writes in Mother Jones.

The economy would have needed to add 90,000 to keep up with population growth, Drum says. We got 16,000 less than that, which means more people stopped looking for jobs.

A chart shows how the jobless rate has struggled to stay out of the red. (Click on the chart to see a larger image.)

blog_net_new_jobs_december_2013

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Gotcha! States experiment with mileage tax

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With cars getting increasingly better mileage and the popularity of hybrid electric vehicles growing, states are not producing enough through the gas tax to repair highways. So, MoneyWatch reports, some — Oregon Nevada, Washington, Minnesota and California — will be starting pilot programs that would tax you for the amount of miles you drive. Continue reading

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