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Business/Economy

  • 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.

  • Initial jobless claims hit lowest level since July 2008

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest point in more than two years, a sign that the job market may be slowly improving.

    Applications dropped by 34,000 to 388,000, the fewest since July 2008, the Labor Department said Thursday. The level of applications has either fallen or remained unchanged in five of the past six weeks.

  • Holiday 2010: The year shoppers came back

    NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers came back in force for the holidays, right to the end. After two dreary years, Christmas 2010 will go down as the holiday Americans rediscovered how much they like to shop.

    People spent more than expected on family and friends and splurged on themselves, too, an ingredient missing for two years. Clothing such as fur vests and beaded sweaters replaced practical items like pots and pans. Even the family dog is getting a little something extra.

  • Economy brightens as consumers spend, layoffs slow

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Economic reports Thursday suggest employers are laying off fewer workers, businesses are ordering more computers and appliances, and consumers are spending with more confidence.

    The latest data confirm that the economy is improving, even though too few jobs are being created to lower the 9.8 percent unemployment rate.

  • New govs take office amid historic budget crisis

    NEW YORK (AP) — New York's incoming governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, says he won't raise taxes even though he will inherit a budget deficit of at least $9 billion when he takes office in January. Ohio Republican Gov.-elect John Kasich is promising to cut taxes, despite a shortfall of about $8 billion.