A worker tends to the inventory at Plant Salon, 947 Ashland Ave., on Dec. 27, 2023. (WTTW News)

There was some good news this year. According to Mastercard Spending Pulse, retail shopping was up about 3% this holiday season compared to last year. 

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The extended hours come after more than three months since the temporary casino’s grand opening. The hours at the casino were originally from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m.

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Some downtown businesses are seeing a slight dip in the average amount spent per transaction during this holiday season, indicating consumers might be more sensitive to prices due to factors like record high credit card debt and interest rates, according to the Chicago Loop Alliance.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection this week suspended international rail traffic at two Texas crossings “in order to redirect personnel to assist the U.S. Border Patrol with taking migrants into custody” as the agency strains to keep up with a surge of migrants at the United States’ southwestern border.

A shopper passes by a sign trumpeting a sale at a clothing store in the Thornton Premium Outlets Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Thornton, Colo. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Friday’s report from the Commerce Department showed that U.S. consumer prices slid 0.1% last month from October and rose 2.6% from November 2022. The month-over-month drop was the largest since April 2020 when the economy was reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Remote working. A four-day workweek. Quiet quitting. A resurgent labor movement. These are just a few of the changes workers and employers have been grappling with over the last few years.

President Joe Biden speaks at the Amtrak Bear Maintenance Facility, Monday, Nov. 6, 2023, in Bear, Del. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik, File)

Pollsters and economists say there has never been as wide a gap between the underlying health of the economy and public perception. The divergence could be a decisive factor in whether the Democrat secures a second term next year.

 A McDonald’s golden arches is shown at restaurant in Havertown, Pa., Tuesday, April 26, 2022. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke)

Ahead of a day-long event for investors, the Chicago burger giant said Wednesday that it aims to have 50,000 restaurants in operation worldwide by the end of 2027. McDonald’s had 40,275 restaurants at the start of this year.

(WTTW News)

Much of the country was back at work Monday after the long holiday weekend. But along with whatever else they were doing at their job, there’s a good chance they were doing something else ... shopping.

You may have heard Chicago has a pension problem … to the tune of more than $35 billion of debt. Pensions affect nearly everyone — even if you’re not a public employee. Taxpayers have already been footing the bill to alleviate the pension debt.

Sale signs are displayed at an appliance store in Arlington Heights, Ill., Nov. 8, 2023. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh)

Tuesday’s report from the Labor Department showed that prices either fell or rose more slowly across a broad range of goods and services, including gas, new and used cars, hotel rooms and housing. 

(WTTW News)

State Sen. Rob Martwick, the measure's author, praised Mayor Brandon Johnson for confronting Chicago’s pension woes. The bill ensures that all retired Chicago police officers get a 3% annual cost-of-living increase, regardless of whether they were born before or after Jan. 1, 1966.

Retailers say theft is exploding, and some data from retailers along with numerous videos of violent store robberies and looting seem to support the claim. (Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

Retailers say theft is exploding, and some data from retailers along with numerous videos of violent store robberies and looting seem to support the claim. But some retail analysts and researchers say stores may be over-stating the extent and impact of theft.

Walgreens and other drug stores have closed thousands of stores in recent years. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid are eliminating some locations as they face rising competition for these items from Amazon, big-box stores with pharmacies like Walmart, and Dollar General in rural areas.

The U.S. Social Security Administration office is seen in Mount Prospect, Ill., Oct. 12, 2022. About 71 million people including retirees, disabled people and children receive Social Security benefits. (AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh, File)
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The cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, means the average recipient will receive more than $50 more every month beginning in January, the Social Security Administration said Thursday. The AARP estimated that increase at $59 per month.

Starting next year, electric car buyers can get their tax credits at the time of purchase. (James D. Morgan / Getty Images)
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The changes to how car buyers can get the federal tax break on EVs — part of the Inflation Reduction Act — were announced by the Biden administration on Friday and are being rolled out to car dealerships before they take effect starting Jan. 1.