February 24, 2014 |
The first Honda Fit rolled off the assembly line Friday at a new $800-million factory near Celaya, Mexico, a symbol of the growing might of the country's auto industry. Honda's U.S. factories spit out hundreds of thousands of Accords and Civics each year. But when the automaker redesigned the Fit for North America, it turned to Mexico for an increasingly skilled workforce and favorable export rules. Mexico already accounts for about 18% of North American auto production, but that's expected to jump to 25% by 2020 as automakers pour billion of dollars into factories, said Joe Langley, an analyst at IHS Automotive.
February 23, 2014
Re "Better than a minimum wage," Opinion, Feb. 21 USC economist Larry Harris says that instead of raising the minimum wage, low wages should be beefed up by government wage vouchers. Harris mentions that payroll taxes would increase with more employment, but since this would be facilitated by government money, it would be the dog chasing its own tail. Arguing that wage subsidies would be better than boosting the minimum wage, Harris says that business owners follow the market principle of supply and demand.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 21, 2014 |
Four key executives are leaving the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority after their jobs were eliminated to make the agency more efficient and less top-heavy, officials said Friday. Employees expressed surprise that leaders of some of the agency's most important departments, including finance and real estate, would leave during a year that they had helped make possible. Metro will be managing an unprecedented $14 billion in Los Angeles County construction projects this year, including five new rail lines.
February 18, 2014 |
Families boosted their borrowing late last year at the fastest pace since the global financial crisis, a sign that Americans are gradually reopening their wallets as they feel more secure in their jobs. Household debt jumped $241 billion to $11.5 trillion in the fourth quarter, the biggest increase since the third quarter of 2007, according to data released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. "This quarter is the first time since before the Great Recession that household debt has increased over its year-ago levels, suggesting that after a long period of de-leveraging, households are borrowing again," said Wilbert van der Klaauw, an economist at the New York Fed. The pickup in debt was a welcome development after a string of disappointing economic reports in the last few weeks.
February 17, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Brutal winter weather contributed to a downturn in job growth and other economic data, raising questions about the strength of the recovery and testing the Federal Reserve's resolve in unwinding its key bond-buying stimulus program. Fed policymakers will have another month of data to consider when they next meet in mid-March. But if the views of John C. Williams are any indication, the Fed is likely to hold course. As president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, one of the Fed's 12 district banks, Williams has a seat at the mahogany table where top Fed officials meet regularly to discuss the economy and make policy decisions.
February 14, 2014 |
It's the headline or TV news item that public officials dread: City workers sleeping on the job! Garbage truck drivers dining on the public dime! Public workers wasting your taxpayer dollars! Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation managers were so worried about bad publicity that they enacted rules nine years ago prohibiting garbage truck drivers from napping in their rigs during their 30-minute breaks. The rules also barred drivers from meeting more than one colleague for lunch, lest the sight of several trash trucks parked outside a diner raise eyebrows.