Today: Mostly cloudy and becoming windy. Showers at times. An afternoon high in the upper 50s to low 60s. An increasing North wind at 10-20mph.
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Georgia's Unemployment Rate Declines in August
The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday that Georgia’s unemployment rate decreased to 8.7 percent in August, down from 8.8 percent in July. The rate was three-tenths of a percentage point lower than 9.0 percent in August a year ago. The decline follows three consecutive months of rate increases.
“The primary reason the rate dropped is that we had a significant reduction in layoffs, in fact, the fewest since September 2007,” said State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Also, we had a small increase in the number of jobs.”
There were 35,503 new layoffs, represented by initial claims for unemployment insurance, 18,603, or 34.4 percent, fewer than the 54,106 in July. Much of the decline came in manufacturing, as workers who were temporarily laid off in July returned to work in August. Fewer claims also came in construction, trade, and administrative and support services.
“The job gains that we normally would have in August, especially in the private sector, occurred in June and July, two months in which we normally lose thousands of jobs,” Butler said. “As far as the overall number of jobs, we are much better off this August than last.”
Georgia gained 82,300 jobs, or 2.1 percent, since August 2012 when there were 3,962,800 jobs.
There were 176,300 long-term unemployed workers, down by 3,600, or 2.0 percent, from 179,900 in July. This was the fewest since 168,200 in December 2009.
Georgia's Unemployment Rate Declines in August
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Last Update on October 31, 2014 07:28 GMT
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average surged 5 percent and the yen slid against the dollar after the Bank of Japan unexpectedly announced new stimulus to boost a flagging economic recovery.
Other Asian stock markets were also higher after the Japanese central bank's announcement Friday. The dollar rose 1.2 percent to 110.64 yen.
The bank said it would increase its asset purchases by between 10 trillion yen and 20 trillion yen ($90.7 billion to $181.3 billion) to about 80 trillion yen ($725 billion) annually.
The Nikkei was up 4.6 percent at 16,380.11 after shedding some of its initial gains. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.2 percent and Seoul's Kospi was up 0.1 percent.
ECONOMY-THE DAY AHEAD
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Today. the Commerce Department will release its September report on consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity in the U.S.
Also, the University of Michigan will issue its monthly index of consumer sentiment for October. In September, the index reached its highest level since July 2013, led by greater optimism that the economy will grow and incomes will rise.
The Labor Department will also release the third-quarter employment cost index.
Before the market opens, Exxon Mobil will report its quarterly financial results.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Citigroup is slashing its third-quarter earnings by $600 million, saying that recent investigations by regulators have altered the results it reported earlier this month.
The New York-based bank on Thursday revised its quarterly net income to $2.8 billion from a previously reported $3.4 billion, citing legal expenses.
The bank's operating expenses rose from $12.36 billion to about $13 billion.
The company said in a statement the unexpected increase came from "rapidly-evolving regulatory inquiries and investigations, including very recent communications with certain regulatory agencies related to previously-disclosed matters."
Citi previously reported third-quarter net income of $3.44 billion, or $1.07 per share, on Oct. 14. The results exceeded Wall Street estimates.
Like other major banks, Citigroup has been the target of lawsuits and government investigations for its role in the mortgage meltdown that helped spur the financial crisis of 2008.
SURGICAL GOWNS LAWSUIT
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A lawsuit says Kimberly-Clark Corp. falsely claimed its surgical gowns met the highest standards for protecting against Ebola and other infectious diseases.
Lead attorney Michael Avenatti says the Texas hospital where two nurses contracted Ebola used to stock the gowns but it's not clear if the nurses had used them.
The $500 million fraud suit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles on behalf of a surgeon who wore the gowns.
The lawsuit says Kimberly-Clark knew for a year that the gowns failed industry tests and allowed the transfer of bodily fluids, bacteria and viruses, but the company still promoted them as having the highest level of impermeability.
The maker of Kleenex and other consumer products says it doesn't comment on lawsuits but stands behind its products' safety.
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