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Business/Economy

  • Fitch affirms county utility system revenues at 'A-'; outlook stable

    Fitch Ratings affirms the 'A-' rating on Los Alamos (the Utility) approximately $47 million utility system revenue bonds, series 2004 and 2006. The Rating Outlook on all bonds is Stable.

    RATING RATIONALE:

    --Stable Financial Performance: The combined utility continues to generate healthy profit margins averaging 7.2% since fiscal 2006, and reported low system leverage (4.8 times [x] debt-to-funds available for debt service [FADS]), adequate debt service coverage (1.42x) and healthy liquidity (125 days cash on hand [DCOH]) in 2010;

  • Unemployment rises to 9.2 percent as hiring stalls

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring slowed to a near-standstill last month. Employers added the fewest jobs in nine months and the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent.

    The economy generated only 18,000 net jobs in June, the Labor Department said Friday. And the number of jobs added in May was revised down to 25,000.

    The latest report offered stark evidence that the recovery will be painfully slow. Businesses added the fewest jobs in more than a year. Governments cut 39,000 jobs. Over the past eight months, federal, state and local governments have cut a combined 238,000 positions.

    Two years after the recession officially ended, companies are adding fewer workers despite record cash stockpiles and healthy profit margins.

  • Business owners should contact County Recovery Center

    Los Alamos County has opened the County Recovery Center.

    The Community Development Department has people to answer the phones - what they want to know is contact information for business owners and or the key people you need to bring in to town to get your businesses up and running.

    Many businesses have already been contacted, but if you own a business in Los Alamos and have not already been contacted the number to call is 663-1861.

     

  • Unemployment falls locally, statewide

    The unemployment rate in New Mexico took a big tumble in May, although job growth wasn’t a factor in the fall.
    The state’s seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in May, according to the state’s Department of Workforce Solutions. That number was significantly down from 7.6 percent in April and 8.3 percent in May 2010.
    However, job growth hasn’t been part of the drop in unemployment. Between May 2010 and May 2011, nonfarm payroll employment has dropped by 6,300 jobs, or 0.8 percent, the worst clip in the nation.
    Despite the losses, statewide employment was still considerably stronger than the nation as a whole. The U.S. currently has a 9.1 percent unemployment rate.

  • Business Watch: Investors can bring cash, other benefits

    Business owners who obtain outside equity – whether from family, friends or institutional investors – quickly learn money has strings attached.
    Most outside equity providers want to get repaid over a reasonable period of time and at a very good rate of return. In exchange for capital, they obtain a piece of the company, thereby becoming business partners.
    For a growing business, the advantages of this kind of capital are numerous. Equity significantly improves a company’s balance sheet and provides resources for hiring marketing staff, developing new products, purchasing equipment and other needs.

  • Oil drops as international reserves are tapped

    NEW YORK (AP) — Oil plunged nearly 5 percent Thursday after the International Energy Agency said it will release 60 million barrels of oil from its reserves to make up for a loss of Libyan exports in global oil markets.

    The IEA, which includes the U.S., will release 2 million barrels per day over the next 30 days. Half of that will come from U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which currently holds 727 million barrels in underground caverns along the Gulf Coast.

  • Unemployment applications jump by most in a month--video extra

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose by the most in a month, signaling growing weakness in the job market.

    Applications rose by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was the second increase in three weeks and the 11th straight week that applications have been above 400,000.

    The four-week average for unemployment benefit applications, a less volatile measure, was unchanged at 426,250 last week.

  • Internet minders OK vast expansion of domain names

    SINGAPORE (AP) — Internet minders voted Monday to allow virtually unlimited new domain names based on themes as varied as company brands, entertainment and political causes, in the system's biggest shake-up since it started 26 years ago.

    Groups able to pay the $185,000 application can petition next year for new updates to ".com" and ".net" with website suffixes using nearly any word in any language, including in Arabic, Chinese and other scripts, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers decided at a meeting in Singapore.

  • Marine reservist in custody after Pentagon scare--video

    ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A Marine Corps reservist carrying a backpack containing what authorities said were suspicious materials briefly fled police Friday before he was detained in the middle of the night near the Pentagon.

    Yonathan Melaku, 22, of Alexandria, Va., was discovered after 1 a.m. Friday inside Arlington National Cemetery, hours after it had closed. He was detained for trespassing after becoming uncooperative, authorities said, though he has not yet been charged with anything. Authorities believe Melaku acted alone.

  • Health care law waivers stir suspicion of favors

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Call it the Department of Waivers and Adjustments. It's doing a brisk business with the new health care law.

    President Barack Obama's administration has granted nearly 1,400 waivers easing requirements of the new health care law, and some critics on the right say Obama is giving his political allies a pass from burdensome requirements everyone else will have to live with.

    But what if the waivers work more like a safety valve? What if during the transition to a new system they can prevent unintended consequences — such as people with bare-bones insurance losing their current coverage, or insurers closing shop in a particular state?