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Patrice Hill

Patrice Hill

Patrice Hill has been chief economics correspondent at The Washington Times since 1994. She previously was a Washington correspondent for the Daily Bond Buyer and worked for Securities Week and Inside E.P.A. She started her career writing a consumer action column carried by the Riverside Press-Enterprise, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune and other newspapers.

Her feature stories showing how the average guy is affected by significant economic trends have earned more than a dozen awards from the Maryland-D.C. Press Association, the Chesapeake-AP Press Association, the Virginia Press Association and the Society for Professional Journalists. She is a graduate of Oberlin College.

She can be reached at

Articles by Patrice Hill

Former General Electric Chairman Jack Welch tweeted his skepticism five minutes after the Labor Department recently announced the unemployment rate had fallen to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent the previous month. (Associated Press)

Welch’s criticism of jobless-rate drop brings a backlash

It may have only been a bit of bad-mouthing typical of fans rooting for their home team, but former General Electric Chairman Jack Welch stirred up a hornet's nest of criticism from fellow businessmen and professional economists when he accused the White House of engineering a big drop in the nation's unemployment rate just a month before the presidential election. Published October 15, 2012

** FILE ** This Oct. 18, 2012, file photo, shows the iPhone5. (Associated Press)

Report: Shoppers hit stores with gusto in Sept.

U.S. consumers went on another shopping spree last month, driving up retail sales by a robust 1.1 percent in the second straight month of sizable gains, the Commerce Department reported Monday morning. Published October 15, 2012

**FILE** Veteran Luis Gomez (seated center), 40, from Dover, N.J., hands his resume to a representative from White Rose Foods during a Sept. 28, 2012, job fair at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York. (Associated Press)

'Fiscal cliff' fight already drags on U.S. economy

Worries about the federal government’s “fiscal cliff” are taking a toll on the economy well ahead of the year-end deadline, which analysts say is looking like it may be more damaging in the run-up than in the reality. Published October 9, 2012

A worker directs traffic for street construction in Portland, Ore., Friday, Oct. 5, 2012. The Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, a decline of 0.3 percentage point and the lowest since January 2009. The government said the economy created 114,000 jobs, about as expected, and generated 86,000 more jobs in July and August than first estimated.(AP Photo/)

Consumers jump-start sputtering economy

The U.S. economy is getting a boost from the awakening of long-slumbering sectors such as housing and local government, even as previously strong sectors such as exports and business investments decline. Published October 7, 2012

** FILE ** In this Monday, Sept 17, 2012, file photo, Robert Orkin, of the company TxT-Alert, third from left, talks with job seekers during a job fair held by National Career Fairs, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Economists forecast that the unemployment rate edged up in September to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent, according to a survey by FactSet. Employers are expected to have added 111,000 jobs. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

Unemployment falls to 7.8 percent on faster job growth

A modest pick-up in job growth last month helped lower the nation's unemployment rate to a 4-year-low of 7.8 percent — exactly where it was when President Obama took office nearly four years ago, the Labor Department reported Friday morning. Published October 5, 2012

** FILE ** A real estate agency sign advertises a house for sale in San Diego on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

Mortgage refinancings surge amid record-low rates

The Federal Reserve touched off the biggest mortgage refinancing wave since 2009 last month by driving the interest rates on 30-year mortgages to record lows near 3.5 percent. Published October 3, 2012

**FILE** Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigns on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012, at American Spring Wire in Bedford Heights, Ohio. (Associated Press)

Economic signs point both ways for presidential election result

At first glance, it looked as if the elections might be a slam-dunk for Republicans this year, given the way presidents in recent history have fared in the face of poorly performing economies. But as the GOP is finding out, today's economy is a double-edged sword that is cutting both for and against President Obama. Published September 30, 2012

**FILE** A clerk straightens out her display at a shoe store in Salem, N.H., on Sept. 10, 2012. (Associated Press)

Consumer confidence, home prices on the rise

Consumer confidence perked up this month while home prices posted their third straight month of gains in the latest signs that the economy continues to slowly but steadily improve. Published September 25, 2012

In this Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, photo, WorkForce One staffer Rose Capote-Marcus works with a client, Pen Osuji as he works on job applications at the Hollywood, Fla. unemployment office. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 3,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 382,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

Workforce dropouts: Frustrated, retired or lack skills

Jobless rates are down both because some people are finding work and because some people have stopped trying, economists say. The big question: Who are all these people who have given up, driving the share of able-bodied Americans in the labor force to a 30-year low of 63.5 percent last month? Published September 20, 2012

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke speaks during a news conference in Washington on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting to present the FOMC's current economic projections and to provide additional context for the FOMC's policy decision. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

GOP sees Fed move as a ploy in the election

The Federal Reserve took aggressive action Thursday to try to reinvigorate the economy and generate more jobs, announcing a major program of purchasing $40 billion a month in mortgage bonds that it hopes will drive down interest rates to record lows and spur faster growth. Published September 13, 2012

**FILE** A statue of former Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin stands outside the Treasury Building in Washington on Aug. 8, 2011. (Associated Press)

Moody's warns of downgrade from AAA without budget deal

Moody's Investors Service on Tuesday warned that it will downgrade the U.S. government's AAA credit rating if Congress and the newly installed president next year fail to produce a major budget agreement that stabilizes and reduces the U.S. debt. Published September 11, 2012

Judy Smith of Dalton, Ga., looks over paperwork as she files for unemployment for the first time since being laid off from a catering job. Though the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent in August, pushed down by 368,000 dropping out of the labor force, job growth remains subpar and will not be enough to put millions back to work. (Associated Press)

Economic recovery sending mixed signals before election

President Obama heads into the final weeks of his re-election campaign getting little support from an economy that is growing weakly and remains threatened by political turmoil at home and economic distress overseas. Published September 9, 2012

China's currency reforms may make 'get tough' promise moot

Presidential candidates of both parties like to score points with voters by promising to get tough with China, but recent evidence suggests that currency reforms quietly adopted by the Asian giant since 2005 have come close to eliminating the biggest trade distortion and bone of contention between the two countries. Published September 5, 2012

Terri Doring lost her secretarial job at a Philadelphia law firm in 2009. She now is on the verge of losing much of what remains of her middle-class lifestyle and is scrambling to make mortgage payments on her town house. (Rod Lamkey Jr./The Washington Times)

The Mean Economy: Even law firms hit hard by recession

Terri A. Doring used to take her comfortable middle-class lifestyle for granted. She figured that as a legal secretary at a well-regarded law firm here, she always would have plenty of work and get paid well for doing it. Published August 27, 2012

Offshoring: Coming to a small business near you

Large corporations have been reaping the harvest of profits and efficiency gains from automation and outsourcing for years, but many small businesses, which do not enjoy the same economies of scale, have missed out. Published August 26, 2012

**FILE** Shoppers in New York pass signs for discounted clothing sales on July 19, 2012. (Associated Press)

July surge in spending fraught with caution

U.S. consumers snapped out of a spring funk last month and went on a shopping spree. That sent sales at department stores, restaurants, auto showrooms and other retailers soaring by 0.8 percent, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday morning. Published August 14, 2012