In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo, the seal of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve System is displayed in the ground at the Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, File)

Older Americans are fueling a sustained boost to the U.S. economy. Benefiting from outsize gains in the stock and housing markets over the past several years, they are accounting for a larger share of consumer spending — the principal driver of economic growth — than ever before.

Sheri Wilkins talks about her experience using the DailyPay app outside of the clubhouse at her apartment complex in College Station, Texas on Tuesday, March 26, 2024. (Sam Craft / AP Photo)

Earned Wage Access apps extend small short-term loans to workers in between paychecks so they can pay bills and meet everyday needs. On payday, the user repays the money out of their wages. Between 2018 and 2020, transaction volume tripled from $3.2 billion to $9.5 billion.

Mayor Brandon Johnson and Rebecca Shi, executive director of the American Business Immigration Coalition, at a “Here to Work” roundtable event on April 4, 2024, at the Chicago Urban League, 4510 S. Michigan Ave. (WTTW News)

“Here to Work” advocates say extending legal work permits to long-term undocumented residents will help unite communities, stabilize the workforce and promote fair wages. Opponents argue that could come at a cost to taxpayers and drive down wages for legal citizens.

(David Gray / Bloomberg / Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

The price of spot gold reached $2,364 per ounce Tuesday after hitting record highs for seven straight sessions and trading at $2,336 per ounce Monday. Year on year, gold is up 16.5%.

Construction workers work in Mount Prospect, Ill., Monday, Feb. 26, 2024. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh, File)

Friday’s report from the Labor Department also showed that the unemployment rate dipped from 3.9% to 3.8%. The jobless rate has now remained below 4% for 26 straight months, the longest such streak since the 1960s. 

LaSalle Street in Chicago. (Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

“Like many cities, we are in the process of recovering from the impact of the pandemic, resulting in vacancies, particularly our storefronts and offices,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said. “We have to respond to these changes. As a city, we have to do it in a creative and collaborative way.”

(WTTW News)

Nearly 80% of voters in two precincts of the 7th Ward endorsed a referendum asking whether Ald. Greg Mitchell and Mayor Brandon Johnson should support “a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) ordinance to prevent the displacement of renters, condo & home owners in South Shore in light of the impact of the Obama Center and growing development in the area.”

Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability chief economist Ben Varner (left to right), revenue manager Eric Noggle and executive director Clayton Klenke testify at the commission’s annual revenue update meeting in Springfield Tuesday. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

The state’s two main fiscal forecasting agencies agree: Illinois’ finances will see a strong close in the final 3 ½ months of the fiscal year before things tighten a bit next year.

A rendering of the Obama Presidential Center’s athletic and conference center, designed by Moody Nolan. (Credit: Obama Foundation)

The Obama Presidential Center, which broke ground in September 2021, had been slated to open in October 2025.

Shoppers carry Macy's bags during Black Friday in New York in November 2023. (Yuki Iwamura / AFP / Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

The company is closing 150 underperforming stores — 50 by the end of 2024 and the other 100 over the next few years. By 2026, it will have just 350 Macy’s stores, the company announced.

A “Help Wanted” sign is displayed in Deerfield, Ill., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

The economy looks set to grow 2.2% this year after adjusting for inflation, according to the National Association for Business Economics. That’s up from the 1.3% predicted in the association’s prior survey, which was conducted in November.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers his state of the state and budget address before the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune / pool)

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday unveiled a $52.7 billion budget that he described as filled with “hard choices.” The plan builds on priorities like funding preschool, supporting Black residents, funding the neediest schools and caring for asylum seekers.

Mayor Brandon Johnson addresses the news media on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024. (Heather Cherone/WTTW)

“I’m going to spend all that money, I can assure you of that,” Mayor Brandon Johnson said.

(WTTW News)

Voters in two precincts of the 7th Ward will be asked whether Ald. Greg Mitchell (7th Ward) and Mayor Brandon Johnson should “support a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) ordinance to prevent the displacement of renters, condo & home owners in South Shore in light of the impact of the Obama Center and growing development in the area.”

(Michael Izquierdo / WTTW News)

Chicago spent less than $160 million on a host of programs including affordable housing, mental health, violence prevention, youth job programs and help for unhoused Chicagoans through Dec. 31, 2023, according to reports to the federal government.

FILE - Television screens on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange show the news conference of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024. (Richard Drew / AP Photo, File)

According to a report from the New York Federal Reserve Bank, the real net worth of white individuals outgrew that of Black and Hispanic individuals by 30 percentage points and 9 percentage points respectively, from the first quarter of 2019 through the second quarter of 2023.