[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/18/job.fair.line.jpg caption="People seeking employment line up outside a job fair in Baltimore, Maryland."]
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Five states posted jobless rates above 12% last month, according to the Labor Department. Michigan had the highest unemployment rate – at 15.2%, followed by Nevada at 13.2% and Rhode Island at 12.8%. 27 states and the District of Columbia reported increases, 16 states registered rate decreases, and 7 states had no rate change. The news offers more confirmation that whether or not the recession is over, the jobs picture is still bleak.
Poppy Harlow in today’s Breakdown takes a look at big bonuses and golden parachutes on Wall Street – a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, it’s looking a lot like business as usual. Poppy talked to FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair who says the bonuses seem “absolutely unseemly.” And now a huge crackdown into bank compensation may be in the works. The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the Federal Reserve is proposing broad oversight of any policies which encourage risk among bank employees. The Fed would have the power to amend or reject the executive compensation policies.
Rising stock prices are helping pushing the net worth of Americans higher. After two years of declines, the net worth of Americans rose by $2 trillion to an estimate $53.1 trillion in the second quarter. In that period, stock holdings rose 22% and home prices edged up 2%. Still, from the pre-recession peak, net worth is down 19%.
Time is fast running out for first-time buyers hoping to get a tax credit of up to $8,000. Now there’s a bill to extend the first-time homebuyers credit. 1.4 million Americans have already claimed the credit. Gerri Willis reports on what impact the tax credit has had on the housing industry, what an extension could do and what the critics are saying.
Call it “cash for electronic clunkers.” If you have a used Blackberry, digital camera, cell phone, old iPod, you could trade it in for some quick cash. A startup website called Gazelle.com will buy your used electronics and resell them. CNNMoney’s Julianne Pepitone has a terrific story on the site.
And for the first time in many weeks, gas prices didn’t move at all.
AAA reports the average price of regular unleaded remained unchanged at $2.55 a gallon.
On CNNMoney today:
* When workers take charge. It's a unique model – the worker-owned business. Some say it sounds like socialism, but these six companies say it's helped them tough out the recession.
* Finding health care for a virtual workforce. Small companies have a hard enough time finding affordable health coverage for their workers. When your staff is scattered throughout the U.S., it's even tougher.
* High style on a plain prairie: Why a Kansas-born luxury furniture designer set up his manufacturing shop in his home state, far from the cities where his wares sell.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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