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Business/Economy

  • Gas prices are about more than just oil

    When Jay Ricker, owner of the BP filling station off Interstate 70 in Plainfield, Ind., set the price of unleaded gasoline at $3.44 per gallon on Monday of last week, it was 4 cents higher than the Friday before.

    That alone might have been irritating to drivers paying the highest gas prices in more than two years. It was even more so because it happened on a day when the price of crude oil, which is used to make gasoline, fell almost $1 a barrel.

  • Southwest joins other US airlines in raising fares

    DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines Co. has joined a sweeping increase of $10 in the price of many domestic round-trip airfares, citing the need to offset high fuel prices.

    Southwest's action over the weekend may have ensured success for a price hike by major airlines that seemed to be faltering. Southwest carries more U.S. passengers than any airline and wields great influence over prices.

  • Oil jumps to near $107 amid fierce Libya fighting

    Oil prices climbed to near $106 a barrel Monday as intense fighting between Libyan government forces and rebels appeared to be turning into a civil war and raised the prospect of a prolonged cut in crude exports from the OPEC nation.

    By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for April delivery was up $2.25 to $106.67 a barrel, the highest since September 2008, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract had gained $2.51 to settle at $104.42 a barrel on Friday.

  • Unemployment dips to 8.9 pct., 192K jobs added

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers hired in February at the fastest pace in almost a year and the unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent — a nearly two-year low.

    The economy added 192,000 jobs last month, with factories, professional and business services, education and health care among those expanding employment. Retailers, however, trimmed jobs. State and local governments, wrestling with budget shortfalls, slashed 30,000 jobs, the most since November. Federal government hiring was flat.

  • Unemployment aid requests fall to near 3-year low

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people requesting unemployment benefits last week plunged to a nearly three-year low, bolstering likelihood that companies will increase the pace of hiring this year.

    Applications for unemployment benefits fell by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. It was the third decline in the last four weeks. Applications are now at their lowest level since May 2008.

  • NM House narrowly approves $5 billion state budget

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The House narrowly approved a proposed budget on Wednesday that cuts state spending by nearly 3 percent next year and uses savings from public employee pensions and film subsidies to balance the financing blueprint for public education and government programs.

  • Los Alamos Co-op Market open for business

    The Los Alamos Co-op Market opened for business at noon Wednesday. It was a “soft” opening to allow for final details to be completed before the official grand opening, which will be announced soon.

    The co-op will be open 7 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday.

  • Bernanke: Rising oil prices pose threat to economy

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Tuesday that a prolonged rise in oil prices would pose a danger to the economy. But he said a more likely outcome is a temporary and modest increase in consumer prices, not runaway inflation.

  • NM spaceport gets new executive director

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Spaceport Authority's board of directors has named a retired Air Force civilian official as the spaceport's next executive director.

    Gov. Susana Martinez's office announced Christine Anderson's appointment Monday. Anderson previously served for 30 years in civilian positions with the Air Force, including several years at Kirtland Air Force Base.

  • House OKs 70% unemployment tax hike on businesses

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The House has approved a bill to increase taxes on businesses and trim jobless benefits to shore up the state unemployment compensation program.

    The measure raises taxes in January 2012 and will trim some benefits starting this summer.

    If nothing is done by the Legislature, the unemployment fund is projected to become insolvent early next year.

    The fund is being drained because of high unemployment — 8.5 percent in December.