Business Buzz: New government/energy reporter starts at the Craig Daily Press | CraigDailyPress.com

Business Buzz: New government/energy reporter starts at the Craig Daily Press

Janelle O'Dea

The Craig Daily Press is pleased to introduce Janelle O'Dea the new government/energy reporter. O'Dea started Sept. 15.

She graduated from the University of Illinois in May with a degree in journalism. O'Dea spent the summer as a database intern at the Naples Daily News in Florida.

"We're thrilled to have Janelle join our news team," said Daily Press Managing Editor Noelle Leavitt Riley. "She's dove right into her job, and I'm impressed with her work ethic and her enthusiasm to be a part of the Craig community. I would like the community to join me in welcoming her to Moffat County."

Daily Press General Manager Renee Campbell shared the same sentiments.

"Janelle is exactly what we were looking for when we were looking to fill this position," Cambell said. "I know she's going to be a great fit. Welcome to the team, Janelle."

Dipping into retirement funds can be costly

When finances get tight, it can be tempting to suspend contributions or withdraw funds from your retirement account, said the Better Business Bureau in a press release. Although some plans allow you to use these funds in case of a financial hardship, tapping into your retirement nest egg can lead to significant financial complications.

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BBB serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming recommends the following advice from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation:

Be aware of tax liability — Unless you’re over the age of 59 1/2, you will not only have to pay income taxes on the amount you withdraw, but you will also be subject to a 10 percent tax penalty. In most cases, your employer will withhold 20 percent in federal taxes, so the amount you receive will be significantly lower than the amount you requested.

Withdrawing funds decreases opportunity cost — The repercussions of withdrawing funds from your 401(k) could be costly in terms of lost growth opportunity. For example, if you're 30 years old and have a 401(k) balance of $20,000, at 6 percent interest rate of return over the next 32 years, your balance at age 62 will be $129,068, even if you do not make any additional contributions. If you take funds out, you’ll have nothing. Even if you have a shorter time horizon, you will forgo significant savings opportunities by taking money out of your 401(k). For a 45-year-old, that $20,000 will grow to $53,855 in 17 years.

Open assets to creditors — Under the Bankruptcy Abuse Protection and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, creditors cannot touch your 401(k) balance or similar retirement savings account even if, as a last resort, you file for bankruptcy protection. Balances in traditional and Roth IRAs are also protected up to a limit of $1 million. If you take money out of your retirement plan through a loan or a hardship or regular withdrawal, your creditors can go after that sum.

Take advantage of employer-match programs — You may be able to borrow from your 401(k) without actually making a withdrawal. This would reduce your tax burden and likely come with a lower interest rate than a bank loan. Check with your plan administrator as to whether this option is available.

Start with trust. For more consumer tips and information, go to http://www.bbb.org.

Colorado employment situation improves

Nonfarm payroll jobs decreased 700 over the month from July to August to 2,447,400 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs decreased 700 and government was unchanged over the month.
 


According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased two tenths of a percentage point in July to 5.1 percent. The last time the Colorado unemployment rate was as low as 5.1 percent was September 2008.
The number of people participating in the labor force decreased 3,700 over the month, and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 2,200.

The increase in total employment and the decrease in labor force caused the number of unemployed to decrease 5,900 and the unemployment rate to decline to 5.1 percent.

The national unemployment rate decreased one tenth of a percentage point in August to 6.1 percent.
Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 34.9 to 34.6 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $25.51 to $26.02.
 


The largest over the month private sector job gains were in manufacturing and leisure and hospitality. The largest over the month declines were in professional and business services and construction.
 


Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 54,400. Private sector payroll jobs increased 49,400 and government increased 5,000. The largest private sector job gains were in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services.

Financial activities and information declined over the year.
Over the year, the unemployment rate declined one and seven tenths of a percentage point from 6.8 percent in August 2013. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 48,800, total employment increased 92,100 and the number of unemployed decreased 43,300. The national unemployment rate declined from 7.2 percent in August 2013 to 6.1 percent in August 2014.