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News from the Reference Desk

Consumer Action Handbook

The Consumer Action Handbook is published each year by the Federal Citizen Information Center at the General Services Administration. Inside, you’ll find helpful tips about preventing identity theft, understanding credit, filing a consumer complaint and many other useful topics. MPPL has two copies in English and one in Spanish in our collection. You may also view the entire Handbook online or in PDF format.

Topics include: Banking, Employment, Health Care, Housing, Identify Theft, and other consumer interests.

By Patricia Smolin on April 16, 2013 Categories: Consumer, Economic

Feb. 21, 2013: Community Resource Fair, Arlington Heights, IL

 The Illinois workNet Center will host a Resource Fair with organizations including:

-  the Anixter Center North, Catholic Charities, CEDA, Chicago Federation of Labor, Department of Rehabilitation Services, Disabilityworks, District 214, Frisbie Senior Center Des Plaines, Jewish Vocational Services, Journey, The Road Home, My Free Taxes, Safer Foundation, The Harbour, Inc.

The IDESis co-sponsoring this Resource Fair. This program is open to the general public.

“We are hosting this Resource Fair to meet the critical community needs by offering access to important services,”said Lisa Maentz, Associate Director Business and Career Services, Inc. Maentz added,“We feel it is especially important to provide access to these services under one roof .” To view participating organizations, visit workNet.

WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, February 21, 2013

WHO: Major resource agencies providing community support services access.

WHAT: Services include emergency/transitional shelter, Veteran’s Outreach, disability support, tax filing information, employment/job placement, re-entry support and more.

WHERE: IDES/Illinois workNet Center, 723 W. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights, IL

By Patricia Smolin on February 15, 2013 Categories: Community, Economic, Housing, Taxes

Salary Surveys

Want to know what others in your field may be earning?  There is always salary.com, but there is also some specific detail available thru the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  BLS Wage Data provides occupation, compensation, industry, geographic, and other demophraphic figures which can be very helpful in setting and negotiating salaries.

By Patricia Smolin on December 21, 2012 Categories: Economic, Employment, Jobs

Counting Campaign Dollars

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) administers and enforces the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) – the statute that governs the financing of federal elections. The FEC is an independent regulatory agency and is assigned to disclose campaign finance information, to enforce the provisions of the law such as the limits and prohibitions on contributions, and to oversee the public funding of Presidential elections.

You can retrieve detailed lists of contributors based on type (individual or organization) and search for summary financial information about candidate campaigns, party committees, and other political committees.

Among thousands of data tables in the Campaign Finance Disclosure Portal is the Table of Contribution Limits 2011-2012

Historical data is available from the FEC’s Public Records Office (800) 424-9530 (press 2 when prompted) or e-mail pubrec@fec.gov.

By Patricia Smolin on September 19, 2012 Categories: Economic, Elections, Finance, Voter Info

What’s FRED?

What is FRED? Short for Federal Reserve Economic Data, FRED is an online database consisting of more than 55,000 economic data time series from 45 national, international, public, and private sources.

FRED, created in 1990 and maintained by Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, combines data with a tools that help us understand and display economic data.

The categories that can be searched include: Money, Banking & Finance; Population, Employment & Labor Markets; Production & Business Activity; Price Indexes; International and Regional Data.

By Patricia Smolin on September 13, 2012 Categories: Consumer, Economic, Finance