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BUSINESS
April 6, 2013 | By Don Lee and Shan Li, Los Angeles Times
Poor job growth and a large exodus of unemployed workers last month stifled weeks of upbeat economic data and marked a sobering reality check, signaling that hiring was likely to remain weak in the coming months. Employers added a paltry 88,000 net new jobs in March, the smallest number since June and just one-third of the gain in February. Retailers, manufacturers and finance companies shed jobs over the month, an indication that consumer spending may be softening as workers grapple with higher payroll taxes and sluggish wage growth.
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BUSINESS
April 3, 2013 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
The recent improvement in the labor market and other signs that the recovery is gaining speed have surprised economists, fueling speculation that the Federal Reserve will soon pull back from its massive monetary stimulus. One of the Fed's policymaking participants, John C. Williams, said in an interview with The Times that he can envision the central bank dialing back some of its bond purchases this summer before halting them entirely by the end of the year. Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, is a self-described centrist on a panel of 19 Fed officials who meet regularly to discuss the economy and policy options.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2013 | By Shan Li
California's labor market picked up last month, according to figures released Friday, as the state's unemployment rate fell to 9.6% and employers added 41,200 jobs. Gains were mostly notched in the leisure and hospitality and government sectors, according to the data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. January's unemployment rate was 9.8%. California is now tied with Nevada and Mississippi for the highest unemployment rate in the nation. The survey of the Golden State's employers showed that the leisure and hospitality sector added 15,700 jobs, followed by the government sector, which expanded by 11,200 jobs.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Initial jobless claims ticked up last week, but still indicated an improving labor market as the four-week average hit its lowest point in five years. The number of people filing for the first time for unemployment benefits rose to 336,000 for the week ending Saturday, up 2,000 from the previous week's revised figure, the Labor Department said Thursday. The reading was better than analysts expected. A Reuters poll of economists projected the figure at 342,000.
BUSINESS
March 20, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Wednesday that the central bank might gradually ratchet back its stimulus efforts if the labor market continues to improve, before completely pulling the plug on the unprecedented effort. The Fed has said it would continue purchasing $85 billion in bonds until there is substantial improvement in the labor market. Federal Reserve policymakers said Wednesday that moderate economic growth has returned after a slowdown at the end of last year and the employment situation has improved.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2013 | By Don Lee
WASHINGTON -- The American job market appears to be holding up fairly well in the face of higher payroll taxes this year and uncertainty over government budget cuts -- so far anyway. The payroll processing firm ADP said Wednesday its data showed that private employers added a solid 198,000 jobs in February, compared with a little over 200,000 in the prior two months. ADP's analysis suggests that the government's official jobs report for February, due out on Friday, may be a bit stronger than what many analysts are forecasting.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- Consumer confidence surged in February as the improving job market offset concerns about higher taxes and looming federal spending cuts, according to a leading private barometer. The monthly consumer sentiment index from Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan rose 5.1% last month from January. The new reading of 77.6 also was up 3.1% from a year earlier. “Consumer confidence continued to improve in February due to expected gains in employment," said Richard Curtin, the survey's chief economist.
BUSINESS
February 9, 2013 | By Shan Li
With decades ahead of them in the job market, more than half of millennials stay awake at night chewing over all manner of worries, according to a study. Those 18- to 33-yeas-olds actually stress out more than older generations, the American Psychological Assn. concluded in its new study. Slightly more than 50% said that overwhelming worries disrupted their sleep in the past month. A dour economy is top of mind for young people, with work and job stability sending their stress levels soaring.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 8, 2013 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
"The Job," which premieres Friday on CBS, puts a reality-show spin on the hiring process - which is to say, it does explicitly what many reality shows do figuratively. Here, five "highly qualified candidates," a new batch each week, sell themselves to a tribunal of executives who will hire one for their company (also new each week) within the hour. Linking their series to the weak economy and job market, the producers (including Mark Burnett of "Survivor" and "Shark Tank" and "The Celebrity Apprentice")
BUSINESS
February 7, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- New jobless claims dropped last week to 366,000 as the labor market continued to show signs of moderate growth. The number of people filing for the first-time for unemployment benefits was down 5,000 in the week ending Saturday from the previous week's revised figure of 371,000, the Labor Department said. Analysts had expected a deeper drop last week, to about 360,000 new claims. QUIZ: Test your knowledge about the debt limit The four-week average, which smooths out some of the volatility in the numbers, fell to 350,500.
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