The troubled jobs market has long been the hot issue for U.S. economy since the 2008 financial crisis. However, in last quarter of 2013, the unemployment rate has dropped considerably. The central bank will have to take that into account as it examines its monetary policy going forward.
- New York City is slated to get its first bitcoin ATM, which made an appearance in last week’s Consumer Electronics Show. Bubble tea shop Just Sweet in the East Village is expected to be the first NYC establishment with the bitcoin ATM.
- The U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to 6.7 percent in December, the lowest since October 2008. The rapid improvement of the jobs market signals a thriving economy while the Federal Reserve starts to taper its bond-buying program. Savers should remember that the Fed is likely to continue to keep rates low, even if the jobless rate drops below the 6.5 percent threshold.
- Other U.S. retailers are likely to have also become victims of hackers in recent months, according to Reuters, citing undisclosed sources familiar with the cyber attacks. It is unclear whether or not these breaches are similar to those that affected Target during the height of the 2013 holiday shopping season. Target recently announced that another 70 million customers also had personal information compromised by hackers.
- In Europe, a U.K.-based mobile wallet plans to shut down after 18 months. The O2 Wallet, backed by mobile operator Telefónica, will cease operations in March due to low adoption rates. The announcement offers insight on consumer behavior and how the U.S.-based Isis Wallet, backed by the three biggest U.S. mobile carriers, will sit with U.S. consumers.
- PayPal plans to offer a smoother checkout experience at online merchants that allow customers to pay for purchases with their PayPal accounts. The company is working to eliminate the need to leave a merchant’s website when logging into their PayPal accounts. The feature is currently being piloted with several merchant partners.