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Austin’s unemployment rate of 3.3% in June, facing the tightest job market it's seen in years, is now tied with Amarillo for the lowest metro unemployment rate in the state.

Over the past year, Austin’s labor force increased to 1.1M workers from 1.07M and is the first time since May that Austin’s unemployment has moved above 3%.

Texas, as a whole, saw another month of sluggish job growth. The state’s labor force rose to 4.5%, still below the national unemployment rate of 4.9%, experiencing substantial sector losses in mining & logging, and manufacturing areas but with solid increases in leisure & hospitality.

http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2016/07/22/austin-unemployment-tied-for-lowest-in-state-texas.html

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Moving experts recently shared with realtor.com® some of their most creative tips and tricks for helping home owners pack up their belongings.

Glasses and cups: Insert a stemware into a tube sock to prevent cracks. Also, “pick up wine or beer boxes with cardboard separators to pack glasses and other fragile items -- liquor stores give these away for free,” says Mim King, a professional organizer in Minneapolis.

Jewelry: Prevent necklaces and bracelets from getting tangled up by taking a few empty toilet paper rolls or drinking straws. Thread each chain through a toilet roll or straw. Then fasten the clasp.

Plates: Use bubble wrap or insert paper plates in between ceramic ones and then stand them up in a box, suggests Randy Shacka, president of Two Men

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The MoPac Express Lane project is already nearly a year behind schedule and now new delays are pushing back the opening date yet again.

The section of express lanes from 2222 to Parmer Lane was set to open Saturday or the contractor was going to face some hefty fines. KXAN has learned that date has been set back to sometime in August and the contractor isn’t going to face a fine, at least not yet.

The Executive Director of the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority says the reason for the latest delays are due to the heat which is making it hard to pour concrete. The contractor has also been facing a labor problem not getting enough workers out to the job site.

“We’ve put the contractor on notice and we feel they need to ramp up the number of

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Saving for a down payment can pose one of the biggest challenges for potential home buyers. Indeed, “a down payment is often the largest single payment a consumer makes in their lifetime and saving for it isn’t easy,” says Corey Carlisle, executive director of the American Bankers Association Foundation. “However, with a few changes, consumers can put themselves on track to make their home ownership dream a reality.”

In honor of American Housing Month, the American Bankers Association Foundation recently featured several tips to help consumers cut their household costs and start saving for a down payment.

Determine how much you need. Find out how much you’ll need for a down payment. From there, create a budget by figuring how much you can realistically

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Austin ranked No. 10 in the most mobile-friendly U.S. cities list.

The Nerdwallet report analyzed the country's 50 most populous cities and examined carrier network performance, customer service, mobile websites and taxes and crime risk.

California had 4 of the Top 10 cities but fast upload speeds and customer service reviews earned Austin a spot in the Top 10.

Atlanta came in No. 1 on the list for its coverage, abundance of mobile phone stores and a low wireless tax rate. Houston earned the No. 6 spot for its customer service and mobile-friendly city website.

https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/utilities/cell-phones/top-mobile-friendly-cities-2016/

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For the seventh consecutive year, Houston nabbed the number one spot as top destination city among movers, according to a newly released annual list by the moving company U-Haul.

And 3 of the top 5 are in Texas!

U-Haul Destination Cities report highlights the top drop-off locations for one-way U-Haul truck rentals. The migration trends report was compiled from more than 1.7 million one-way U-Haul truck transaction during 2015.

The upcoming Memorial Day weekend kicks off moving season, with about 45 percent of all moves occurring from now through Labor Day, according to U-Haul’s survey.

The following cities topped U-Haul’s destination list:
1. Houston
2. Chicago
3. Orlando
4. Austin, Texas
5. San Antonio, Texas
6. Las Vegas
7. Brooklyn, N.Y.
8.

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Traffic signal engineers with the Austin Transportation Department claim distracted driving is making the traffic problem worse.

'You sit behind someone for 30 seconds after the light is green waiting for them to go and they're just sitting on the phone texting," said driver Jonas Tatu.

"Basically, just talking on the phone, not looking at what they're doing, probably reading an email or something and then sitting at the light after the lights already green," said motorcyclist Frank McIlhenny.

Distracted driving at stoplights is more than annoying. "Hopefully by raising awareness about this, we can help people know that they have a part in making sure traffic in Austin is moving," said Traffic Signal Engineer Brian Goldberg.

Seventy-seven

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Great News for Texas … Yesterday, Texas came in #2 (to Utah) in CNBC’s annual “Top State for Business, 2016” and today CNBC crowned Texas #1 as the “Top of the Tops” as the top state for Business over the last decade.

Of the 10 categories ranked in 2016, Texas came in top for Economy, #2 for Infrastructure and were in the Top 10 for Workforce and Access to Capital.

Over the last 10 years, Texas has dominated two key categories, being #1 in Economy and in Infrastructure. Texas ranked #5 for Technology and Innovation and ranked in the Top 10 in Business Friendliness and Access to Capital.

For the bad news and why Texas has not been able to secure the Top spot in the study since 2012: Texas ranked 40th for schooling this year. Higher education

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The road to home ownership has been a struggle for many young adults, mostly due to financial obstacles. However, some millennials may find more luck in less expensive metro areas that also have steady job growth and lower qualifying incomes necessary to purchase a home.

NAR recently analyzed employment gains, population trends, income levels, and housing conditions among the 100 largest metro areas to pinpoint the best purchase markets for millennial home buyers.

After all, “even with potentially higher incomes, prospective millennial home buyers residing in some of the most expensive cities in the country face the onerous task of paying steep rents while trying to save for an adequate down payment,” says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “However,

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Austin’s Parkland Events Task force says the clock is ticking for the public to give input on using one of four East Austin parks as alternative spaces for smaller music festivals or special events.

The task force is listing the Walter E. Long Park, Onion Creek Metropolitan Park, Bolm Road Park and John Trevino Park as possible spaces.

One neighbor of the Onion Creek Metropolitan park says he welcomes the growth, as long as the city does it right.

“Just make sure you put in enough parking for all these people,” David Levrier says. “I think they should build the road first, and the build that.”

The task force says they have a lot to consider before they have a final report to present to the city council. They plan to look at the number and size

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