WASHINGTON >> Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week, offering a slight degree of relief to would-be homebuyers.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages dropped to 4.52 percent from 4.55 percent a week ago. Rates have declined in five of the past six weeks. Still, the average rate has increased from a year ago when it stood at 3.96 percent.
The average rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans slipped to 3.99 percent from 4.04 percent a year ago.
Mortgage rates have declined as investors have bought 10-year U.S. Treasury notes, causing their yield to decline. The yield peaked in May at 3.11 percent and has since dipped to 2.83 percent as the financial markets have sought a haven amid risks of a trade war.
Starbucks worker fired for mocking patron
NEW YORK >> Starbucks says an employee in Philadelphia has been fired after reportedly mocking a customer with a stutter. The coffee chain says the behavior did not reflect the experience customers should have, and the employee is no longer with Starbucks.
A person on Facebook posted Sunday that his friend stuttered when giving his name, and that the barista made light of it verbally and then spelled the name with extra letters. The customer with the stutter emailed Starbucks and was offered $5 as an apology, according to the post. Starbucks said Thursday that was not the ideal response and that it has since apologized to the person directly.
In May, Starbucks held anti-racial bias training for thousands of U.S. employees after a worker at another Philadelphia store called police on two black men waiting for a friend. The incident was a major embarrassment.
U.S. employers added 177,000 jobs in June
WASHINGTON >> American businesses added 177,000 workers in June, a sign of health and resilience for the U.S. labor market and economy, according to a private survey.
Payroll processor ADP said Thursday that hiring was led by employers with more than 50 workers, accounting for 84 percent of the job growth. The education and health sector led the gains by adding 46,000 workers. Leisure and hospitality added 33,000 jobs, as did professional and business services.
The job growth of the past several years reflects an economic expansion that is now entering its 10th year. But the hiring gains are now creating a challenge for employers to find capable workers.
ON THE MOVE
>> Chris Lee, vice president of operations for Popeyes Hawaii since 2016, has been chosen as one of 15 members of the sixth cohort of Omidyar Fellows, a societal program that helps leaders with the skills and cross-sector relationships needed to affect change.
>> Seagull Schools’ board of directors has announced that as of Monday Megan McCorriston is the incoming executive director of the five- center schools. McCorriston has been a high school teacher for more than 20 years and was executive director of Ho‘okako‘o, a consortium of three charter schools for children grades pre-K through 12.
>> Armstrong Builders has announced that Lauren Kaleleiki is the company’s newest customer service technician. She has 16 years‘ experience in residential construction and tenant improvements as the owner of Island Rainbow Builders.