.....Advertisement.....
.....Advertisement.....

Business/Economy

  • Fewest requests for unemployment aid since 2008

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits plunged last week to the lowest level in nearly three years, continuing a downward trend that suggests hiring could pick up this year.

    Applications sank by a seasonally adjusted 36,000 to 383,000, the lowest point since early July 2008, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

  • New drilling method opens vast oil fields in US

    A new drilling technique is opening up vast fields of previously out-of-reach oil in the western United States, helping reverse a two-decade decline in domestic production of crude.

    Companies are investing billions of dollars to get at oil deposits scattered across North Dakota, Colorado, Texas and California. By 2015, oil executives and analysts say, the new fields could yield as much as 2 million barrels of oil a day — more than the entire Gulf of Mexico produces now.

  • Bernanke encouraged by sharp drop in unemployment

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress on Wednesday that the sharp drop in unemployment over the last two months is encouraging but cautioned that it will take several years for hiring to return to normal.

    In prepared testimony before the House Budget Committee, Bernanke also warned that failing to forge a plan to reduce the government's $1 trillion-plus deficits over the long term could eventually hurt the economy.

  • Government: No electronic flaws in Toyotas

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration's investigation into Toyota safety problems has found no electronic flaws to account for reports of sudden, unintentional acceleration and other safety problems. Government investigators said Tuesday the only known cause of the problems are mechanical defects that have been addressed by previous recalls.

  • Foreclosures raise US economic stress

    The nation's economic stress inched up in December because higher foreclosures outweighed lower unemployment, according to The Associated Press' monthly analysis.

    Bankruptcy levels remained largely unchanged from November. But the depressed housing market took a toll. Foreclosure rates rose in 33 states, most sharply in Utah, New Jersey, Nevada and Arizona.

  • Unemployment falls to 9 pct., nearly 2-year low 


    WASHINGTON — The unemployment rate is sinking at the fastest pace in half a century because a surprisingly large number of people say they’re finding work.
    It conflicts with a business payroll survey last month that showed relatively weak job growth. But that survey doesn’t count the self-employed and likely undercounts the nation’s smallest businesses. Also, harsh weather disrupted business payrolls in January.

  • Unemployment rate drops, job growth weak

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The unemployment rate dropped sharply last month to 9 percent, the lowest level in nearly two years. But the economy generated only 36,000 net new jobs, the fewest in four months.

    The January report illustrates how job growth remains the economy's weakest spot, even as other economic indicators point to a recovery that is strengthening.

  • Autio Names Interim Assistant Administrators

    Acting County Administrator Randy Autio just announced that he has filled some top vacancies at the county.

    Autio appointed Capital Projects and Facilities Department Director Anne Laurant and Chief Financial Officer Steve Lynne as acting assistant county administrators.

    Individuals within Laurant and Lynne's respective departments have been appointed in acting capacities to fill their positions, Autio said.

  • Dow has first close above 12,000 in 2 1/2 years

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Dow Jones industrial average has closed above 12,000 for the first time in 2 1/2 years — yet another promising sign that the economy may be extending its recovery from the recession.

    Another big stock market index, the Standard & Poor's 500, reached a milestone of its own Tuesday. It closed above 1,300.

  • Comcast takes control of NBC Universal

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation's largest cable TV company, Comcast Corp., took control of NBC Universal after the government shackled its behavior in the coming years to protect online video services such as Netflix and Hulu.

    The deal closed shortly before midnight EST on Friday.

    The takeover gave the cable-hookup company 51 percent control of NBC Universal, which owns the nation's fourth-ranked broadcaster, NBC; the Universal Pictures movie studio and related theme parks; and a bevy of cable channels including Bravo, E! and USA.