Next Economy Notes - New Jobless Claims

New unemployment claims are at the highest levels in 2 months. Some states fared better than others.

Meanwhile, foreclosures filings fell to their lowest levels since 2007 - the start of the real estate collapse. Although this seems encouraging, the drop in foreclosures is likely due to processing backlogs, not a reduction in distressed properties.

According to Pew, one of the pillars of the Next Economy - clean energy - saw record investment in 2011.

Paying for college is a significant burden for most families. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched a new web tool that allows families to compare total costs of attending various colleges and universities.

Are we transitioning to a cashless America faster than anticipated? According to new data, 43% of Americans have gone a week without spending cash. 

Finally, in honor of Opening Day, here's an exclusive photo of the latest delicacy at Nationals Park - the StrasBurger. Named in honor of the Nationals star player, the StrasBurger is eight (!) pounds of Americana.