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Business/Economy

  • Unemployment rate dips as hundreds of thousands abandon job hunt

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest level in more than two and a half years.

    The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dropped sharply to 8.6 percent last month, down from 9 percent in October. The rate hasn't been that low since March 2009, during the depths of the recession.

    Still, 13.3 million Americans remain unemployed. And a key reason the unemployment rate fell so much was because roughly 315,000 people had given up looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed.

  • On the airwaves

    New County Administrator Harry Burgess discusses his emergency management background during an interview on the monthly Safety and Security Matters program hosted by Carol A. Clark at KRSN.

  • Unemployment aid applications up 2nd straight week

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose for the second straight week, a sign the hiring market is recovering at a slow and uneven pace.

    Weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose by 6,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Applications had been below 400,000 for three straight weeks.

    The four-week average, a less volatile measure, was mostly unchanged at slightly below 400,000.

    The average fell to a seven-month low two weeks ago. Weekly applications had been declining for two months.

    The recent increases aren't enough to suggest things are getting worse, economists said.

  • Hallmark Store goes up for sale

    Hope that a buyer will surface to keep Brownell’s Hallmark Shop operating remains high for owner Steve Brownell.

    “I’m turning 70 on Dec. 22 and it’s time to retire,” Brownell said Tuesday. “We’re hopeful for the community’s sake that we’re able to find a buyer. If we can’t find a buyer then it will be bittersweet – another store closing is not good.”

    Brownell listed his business for sale late last summer, he said, adding that he can’t discuss the asking price,

    “That’s something we’d have to talk about with the buyer.”

  • American Airlines parent seeks Ch. 11 protection--video extra

    American Airlines' parent company is seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as it seeks to unload massive debt built up by years of accelerating jet fuel prices and labor struggles.

    The nation's third largest airline also said Tuesday that its CEO Gerard Arpey will step down. He's being replaced by Thomas Horton, currently the company's president.

    Fort Worth, Texas-based AMR Corp., along with its regional affiliate AMR Eagle Holding Corp., said Tuesday that they filed voluntary petitions to reorganize.

    American says it sought protection to reduce its costs and debt to remain competitive. The airline will continue normal flight operations during the reorganization.

  • VIDEO: Shopping Frenzy on Black Friday
  • VIDEO: Black Friday shopping kicks off
  • Earlier deals, longer hours woo Friday shoppers

    NEW YORK (AP) — Thousands of shoppers lined up at Macy's, Best Buy and other stores nationwide to buy everything from toys to tablets on Black Friday despite the economic downturn and some planned protests of the shopping holiday.

    Some stores had crowds rushing in when they opened their doors at midnight — a few hours earlier than they normally do on the most anticipated shopping day of the year. A few that opened on Thanksgiving Day even were filled with shoppers.

  • Turkey day more costly for many

    Some are holding potluck dinners instead of springing for the entire feast. Others are staying home rather than flying. And a few are skipping the turkey altogether.

    On this the fourth Thanksgiving since the economy tanked, prices for everything from airline flights to groceries are going up, and some Americans are scaling back. Yet in many households, the occasion is too important to skimp on. Said one mother: “I don’t have much to give, but I’ll be cooking, and the door will be open.”

    Thanksgiving airfares are up 20 percent this year, and the average price of a gallon of gas has risen almost 20 percent, according to travel tracker AAA. Rail travelers were also affected, with fares on most one-way Amtrak tickets up 2 to 5 percent.

  • Occupy protests cost nation's cities at least $13M

    NEW YORK (AP) — During the first two months of the nationwide Occupy protests, the movement that is demanding more out of the wealthiest Americans cost local taxpayers at least $13 million in police overtime and other municipal services, according to a survey by The Associated Press.

    The heaviest financial burden has fallen upon law enforcement agencies tasked with monitoring marches and evicting protesters from outdoor camps. And the steepest costs by far piled up in New York City and Oakland, Calif., where police clashed with protesters on several occasions.