Interest rates on new credit card offers remained fixed this
week, according to the CreditCards.com Weekly Credit Card Rate
The national average annual percentage rate (APR) remained at
14.95 percent Wednesday after slipping by 3 basis points the first
week of June.
Card issuers left APRs alone this week. For the first time in
about a month, issuers also made no changes to promotional offers,
including introductory APRs and balance transfers.
Until this week's lull, issuers had been active this quarter
compared to the first quarter of 2013, when changes to card terms
Over the past two months, for example, the national average has
changed four weeks out of eight due to issuers modifying the rates
on their cards. In the first quarter of the year, the national
average remained flat 10 weeks out of 13.
Job market improving
Issuers have begun ramping up their marketing efforts and tinkering
with credit card terms in order to attract new and profitable
cardholders at a time when cardholders' job prospects are slowly
but steadily improving.
The economy added 175,000 jobs in May, modestly beating
economists' estimates, according to a
released Friday by the U.S. Labor Department.
The department's figures, including revised employment data for
March and April, say the economy has added an average of 189,200
jobs per month for the past five months. That's a considerable
improvement from the same period in 2012, when the economy added an
average of 166,400 jobs per month in the first five months of the
Despite the substantial increase in new jobs, the unemployment
rate ticked up from 7.5 percent to 7.6 percent in May, but that,
too, is a positive sign: The rate increased because more people
re-entered the workforce, looking for jobs.
of employers released Tuesday by the staffing agency Manpower
suggests that the new job-seekers may have luck: Employers are
poised to absorb a larger number of those workers in the months
ahead, the survey said.
Manpower's Employment Outlook survey, which queries 18,000
employers across the country, found that 22 percent of them say
they plan to hire more people in the third quarter of 2013 -- up
from 18 percent in the previous quarter. Just 6 percent say they
Hiring expectations have improved steadily since 2009, according
to the survey, but are still well below pre-recession levels.
Industries with the biggest percentage increase in the number of
employers who say more jobs will be available by fall include
construction, hospitality and retail -- all three of which greatly
depend on consumer spending.
Consumers, meanwhile, say the economy still weighs heaviest on
their minds these days (with unemployment a relatively close
second), according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday. But even that
report sounded a bright note: The percentage of consumers who say
that high unemployment is "the most important problem facing this
country today" has fallen significantly over the past three years,
showing that Americans are feeling more comfortable with the
current job market than they have since 2009.
"Americans' longstanding concern with economic problems is
easing," wrote Gallup's Frank Newport in a
announcing Gallup's results. Still, "it remains fairly prominent in
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