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Business/Economy

  • Fewer Americans applied for jobless aid last week

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits last week, adding to evidence that hiring will pick up this year.

    The Labor Department says the number of people seeking benefits fell by 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 404,000 for the week ended Jan. 15.

    The decline suggested that an unexpected rise in applications a week earlier was the result of seasonal factors. Applications often rise in early January after retailers lay off temporary holiday workers.

  • 2010 ends as 2nd worst year for home construction

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Builders began work last year on the second fewest number of homes in more than half a century, as the weak economy kept people from buying houses.

    Builders broke ground on a total of 587,600 homes in 2010, just barely better than the 554,000 started in 2009. Those are the two worst years on records dating back to 1959.

  • Apple shares fall 2 pct with Jobs on medical leave

    Shares of Apple Inc. fell modestly Tuesday following the company's disclosure that Steve Jobs, the CEO who transformed the niche computer maker into the most-envied consumer-electronics brand today, is taking another medical leave of absence.

  • US companies expand goals as China leader arrives

    WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies have long demanded that China let its currency rise to make U.S. exports cheaper. But as President Hu Jintao visits Washington this week, U.S. companies are stressing other goals: Stopping the theft of intellectual property. And getting a fair chance to win government contracts.

  • Jobless claims rise as employers cut holiday help

    WASHINGTON (AP) — More people applied for unemployment benefits last week after retailers shed temporary holiday employees.

    The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people seeking benefits jumped by 35,000 to a seasonally adjusted 445,000 for the week ending Jan. 8. It was the highest level since late October.

    The increase comes after applications had fallen to their lowest levels in two years over the winter holidays. Applications usually rise in early January once the holiday season ends.

  • Banks repossess 1 million homes in 2010, peak numbers yet to come

    NEW YORK (AP) — The bleakest year in foreclosure crisis has only just begun.

    Lenders are poised to take back more homes this year than any other since the U.S. housing meltdown began in 2006. About 5 million borrowers are at least two months behind on their mortgages and more will miss payments as they struggle with job losses and loans worth more than their home's value, industry analysts forecast.

    "2011 is going to be the peak," said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc.

  • Co-op Hits $1 Million Mark

    “We have done it! This community provided the funding, the heart and the soul to make the store a reality,” said President Nancy Savoia of the Los Alamos Cooperative Market board of directors.
    The co-op has raised more than $1 million from member loans and member investment certificates as of Dec. 31. All financing for the new natural foods grocery store has been raised from local member households, now totaling 712.
    General Manager Steve Watts anticipates that the store will open in just a few weeks.

  • Jobless rate declines as people stop looking for work

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's economy added 103,000 jobs in December and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent last month, its lowest level in 19 months.

    But the job growth fell short of expectations based on a strengthening economy. And the drop in unemployment was mainly because people stopped looking for work.

    Private employers added a net total of 113,000 jobs last month and the government shed 10,000 jobs, the Labor Department said Friday.

  • No big increase in local gas prices

    While some states face a $4 per gallon price tag for gas this year, locally, gas prices appear to have stabilized.
    Gasoline prices at stations throughout Los Alamos did not drastically deviate.
    As of Monday afternoon, the price for regular ranged from $2.89 to $2.91, regular plus went from $2.99 to $3.08, premium gas ranged from $3.09 to $3.20 and diesel went from $3.34 to $3.45.
    The Conoco stations, Metzger’s Mobil and Chevron shared similar gas prices.

  • Martinez suspends pending NM agency regulations

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez is halting pending regulations by executive branch agencies under her control to determine whether they hurt businesses in New Mexico.

    Martinez also directed agencies to review rules and regulations that are in place and determine by the end of the month which ones should be scrapped to improve economic development and job growth.

    Shortly after taking office on Saturday, Martinez issued an executive order to suspend pending and proposed regulations for 90 days while they are reviewed by a task force.