By STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) — The rolling hills and scenic bluffs of western Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota hide a valuable resource that has sparked what’s been called a modern-day gold rush. The object of desire is not gold but a soft sandstone needed by drilling companies to unlock underground natural Read more →
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer Job seekers visit a November career fair in Bloomington. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) WASHINGTON (AP) – A burst of hiring in December pushed the unemployment rate to its lowest level in nearly three years, giving the economy a boost at the end of 2011. The Labor Department said Friday Read more →
WASHINGTON (AP) — Recent statistics are producing optimism among economists about today’s government report on December employment. Weekly reports show declining layoffs and manufacturers also have reported that they’ve been hiring more. John Ryding at RDQ Economics forecasts that employers added 180,000 jobs last month, a big jump from November’s 120,000 net jobs. For the Read more →
Sales of consumer electronics, music, movies and books were soft. But Target said grocery and health and beauty sales were strong.
By DEREK KRAVITZ, AP Business Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — 2012 looks to be another year of opportunity for the few who can afford to buy or refinance a home. Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 3.91 percent this week, matching the record low reached two weeks ago. The Read more →
By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, AP Retail Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Many retailers are reporting solid sales gains for December, capping a decent holiday season, but shoppers bent on discounts exacted a high price. Merchants had to mark down coats and other gifts to get shoppers to buy in a challenging economy. That resulted in a Read more →
By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell further in the final week of 2011, a positive sign for hiring one day ahead of Friday’s December employment report. The Labor Department says weekly applications dropped 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000 last week. It was Read more →