If you’re a saver, you should keep an eye on the monthly unemployment figures since the Federal Reserve has explicitly tied employment to its interest-rate-setting efforts.
The Fed has said it will work to keep interest rates exceptionally low as long as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5%.
On Friday, the Labor Department issued a surprisingly sunny jobs report, saying the U.S. economy gained 236,000 jobs in February, which — along with a shrinking labor force — helped push the unemployment rate to 7.7%, the lowest in more than four years.
But that dose of good news could be spoiled by the ongoing budget stalemate in Washington.
From the New York Times:
“At the current rate of job creation, unemployment could actually crack the 7 percent level by the end of the year. However, economists expect the budget cuts now under way in Washington to contribute significant headwinds in the months ahead. The so-called sequester went into effect March 1.”
Now the Fed has said its own projections suggest unemployment will remain above 6.5% until 2015. It will be interesting to see how — or if — that projection changes in the coming months.
Unfortunately, until we cross that threshold, I fear we’re stuck with the essentially flat CD rates we’ve had since the start of the year.
This week we added two deals to our list of the highest CD rates from credit unions and local banks:
- Main Street Financial Federal Credit Union (www.msfinancialfcu.org) in Louisiana pays 2.25% APY on 60-month CDs, 1.75% APY on 36-month CDS and 1.50% APY on 24-month CDs with a $10,000 minimum deposit. Membership is open to residents of Jefferson Parish and employees of the credit union’s 200 corporate partners and several schools, which are listed on the website.
- New England Federal Credit Union (www.nefcu.com) in Vermont pays 1.91% APY on 60-month certificates of deposit with a $25,000 minimum deposit. Credit union membership is open to anyone who lives in the counties of Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille or Washington.
We have a couple of rate increases to report this week.
Department of Commerce Federal Credit Union in Washington, D.C., raised its 5-year CD rate from 2.00% APY to 2.05% APY.
And Suntide Credit Union in Texas increased its 24-month CD rate from 1.85% APY to 1.90% APY and its 6-month CD rate from 1.10% APY to 1.25% APY.
We saw cuts from Mississippi Telco Federal Credit Union and HEW Federal Credit Union in Washington, D.C.
You’ll find all the top-paying deals clearly marked on our highest CD rates page, showing where they are available, with a quick link back to the original post, which includes more information on the institution and its requirements.
We’ll update this page weekly, so you’ll always know what great deals are out there from credit unions and local banks.
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