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Articles written by Christopher S. Rugaber


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  • Economic gains boost US confidence to 5-year high

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writers

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices are surging, job growth is strengthening and stocks are setting record highs. All of which explains why Americans are more hopeful about the economy than at any other point in five years. Investors on Tuesday celebrated the latest buoyant reports on consumer confidence and housing prices, which together suggest that growth could accelerate in the second half of 2013. Greater confidence could spur people to spend more and help offset tax increases and federal spending cuts. And the fastest rise...

  • US economy adds 88K jobs, rate drops to 7.6 pct.

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added just 88,000 jobs in March, the fewest in nine months and a sharp retreat after a period of strong hiring. The slowdown is a reminder that the job market's path back to full health will be uneven. AP Photo/Steve Helber A help wanted sign is shown in front of a restaurant in Richmond, Va. The U.S. economy has enjoyed a four-month stretch of robust job gains. Last month, 88,000 jobs were created. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate dipped to 7.6 percent from 7.7...

  • Economic growth improves to 2 pct. rate in third quarter

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster 2 percent annual rate from July through September, buoyed by more spending by consumers and the federal government. Growth accelerated from the 1.3 percent rate in the April-June quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday. AP Photo/Tuscaloosa News, Dusty Compton, File Mercedes SUV bodies are seen during a tour of the SKD packaging facility at BLG Logistics, Inc. in Vance, Ala. The U.S. economy grew at a slightly faster 2 percent annual rate from July through...

  • Fewer seek US unemployment aid, tying a 4-year low

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez George's restaurant employee David Lopez works on filling a customers order, in Waco, Texas. Fewer people sought unemployment benefits last week, adding to signs that the job market is strengthening. WASHINGTON — Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, adding to signs that the job market is strengthening. And in another reassuring sign for the economy, wholesale inflation remains mild outside of higher gas prices. Applications for unemployment aid dropped 14,000 to a seasonally...

  • Economy adds 227K jobs, jobless rate unchanged

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs in February to complete three of the best months of hiring since the recession began. The unemployment rate was unchanged, largely because more people streamed into the work force. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate stayed at 8.3 percent last month, the lowest in three years. AP photo Job seekers lineup to attend a job fair held by JobEXPO, a company hosting hiring events, in New York. on Jan. 25. And hiring in January and December was better than... Full story

  • Unemployment rate falls as economy adds 200K jobs

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON — 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 that employers added a net 200,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest since February 2009. The rate has dropped for four straight months. AP Photo/J Pat Carter A construction worker directs a steel hoist at the foundation of a new condo complex in Sunrise, Fla., Thursday. A burst of hiring in...

  • Unemployment rate falls as economy adds 200K jobs

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON — 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 that employers added a net 200,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent, the lowest since February 2009. The rate has dropped for four straight months. AP Photo/J Pat Carter A construction worker directs a steel hoist at the foundation of a new condo complex in Sunrise, Fla., Thursday. A burst of hiring in...

  • US unemployment claims hit 4-year low of 357K

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low last week, suggesting employers kept hiring in March at a healthy pace. Weekly applications dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 357,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the fewest since April 2008. AP Photo/Jim Cole Martina Ryberg, right, of Plymouth State University talks with Tara Rossetti of On Call International during a job fair for college students on Wednesday in Manchester, N.H. The number of people...

  • US economy adds 163K jobs, rate rises to 8.3 percent

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON — U.S. employers added 163,000 jobs in July, a hopeful sign after three months of sluggish hiring. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in June. July's hiring was the best since February. Still, the economy has added an average of 151,000 jobs a month this year — enough to keep up with population growth but not enough to drive down the unemployment rate. "After a string of disappointing economic reports ... we'll certainly take it," said James Marple,... Full story

  • US applications for unemployment aid drop sharply

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week by the most in nearly a year. The figure was a hopeful sign one day before the government releases the April jobs report. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment aid applications fell 27,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 365,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up to 383,500 last week. AP Photo/Amy Sancetta This photo shows a sign advertising job openings outside a McDonalds restaurant in...

  • US economy added 69K jobs in May, fewest in a year

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON — U.S. employers created 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year, and the unemployment rate ticked up. The dismal jobs figures could fan fears that the economy is sputtering. AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File Job seeker Alan Shull attends a job fair in Portland, Ore., on April 24. The Labor Department also says the economy created far fewer jobs in the previous two months than first thought. It revised those figures down to show 49,000 fewer jobs created. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent in... Full story

  • Consumer price index jumps on costlier gas

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    A man with a Santa cap looks up at a marquee with high gas prices at a Shell gas station in San Francisco. Consumer prices rose last month as the cost of gas increased by the largest amount since June 2009. But outside of energy costs, there was little sign of widespread inflation. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File Consumer price index jumps on costlier gas CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON — Consumer prices rose last month as the cost of gas increased by the largest amount since June 2009. But outside of...

  • Unemployment rose to 9.2 percent as hiring stalls

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis Renita Manny Williamson, a former Army reservist listens as Mississippi Department of Employment Security representative Tuskie Sanders. right, suggests ways to improve a job application letter at a state employment center in Jackson, Miss., Thursday. Unemployment rises to 9.2 percent in June, as employers add only 18,000 jobs. WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring slowed to a near-standstill last month. Employers added the fewest jobs in nine months and the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent. The economy ge... Full story

  • Economy added 103,000 jobs in September

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON — The economy added 103,000 jobs in September, a burst of hiring that followed a sluggish summer. The figure at least temporarily calms fears of a new recession that have hung over Wall Street and the nation for weeks. The Labor Department also said Friday that the nation added more jobs than first estimated in July and August. The government's first reading had said the economy added zero jobs in August. AP Photo/Reed Saxon Mechanic Ray Duran changes oil in a car at a Shell station in Los Angeles. Employers...

  • Unemployment rate falls to 9.4 percent, hiring up

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    Unemployment rate falls to 9.4 percent, hiring up CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON — The nation's unemployment rate dropped to 9.4 percent last month, its lowest level in 19 months. That was because more people found jobs, but also because some people gave up on their job searches. The Labor Department says employers added 103,000 jobs in December, an improvement from November but far below most analysts' expectations. Private employers added a net total of 113,000 jobs last month. Government shed...

  • US added 80,000 jobs in October; jobless rate dips

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The American economy added 80,000 jobs in October, and job growth in the two previous months was much stronger than first thought, an encouraging sign as the nation searches for a way out of the jobs crisis. The unemployment rate dropped to 9 percent from 9.1 percent, the first time it has fallen since July, the government said Friday. AP Photo/Jim Mone Clarence Turner of Little Canada, Minn., hands in his resume at the Minneapolis Career Fair held in Bloomington, Minn., where he was looking for a hotel au...

  • Employers added 54K jobs, rate ticks up to 9.1 pct

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER, AP Economics Writer

    WASHINGTON — American employers hired only 54,000 new workers in May, the fewest in eight months, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent. The Labor Department report offered startling evidence that the U.S. economy is slowing, hampered by high gas prices and natural disasters in Japan that have hurt U.S. manufacturers. AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes Job seekers Adriana Miunoz, 20, second from left, and Isha Hawkins 19, register for jobs at the 10th annual Skid Row Career Fair held at the Los Angeles Mission downtown Los...

  • First-time jobless claims drop less than expected

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON

    A drop in new jobless claims came in short of expectations and factory orders rose only slightly, fresh evidence the economy is recovering at a slow, uneven pace. The Labor Department said this morning that first-time jobless claims dropped by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 470,000. Analysts had expected a steeper drop to 450,000, according to Thomson Reuters. The four week average, which smooths out volatility, rose for the second straight week to 456,250. The average had fallen for 19 straight weeks before starting to...

  • Good sign: First-time jobless claims drop

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON

    The number of newly laid-off workers requesting unemployment benefits slipped last week, the latest sign the employment picture is slowly brightening. The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 462,000. That's close to Wall Street analysts' estimates of 460,000, according to Thomson Reuters, and the second straight drop. The figures come after other mildly positive news on employment. Job openings rose in January to their highest level in almost a year, the department said on...

  • Jan. jobless rate dips to 9.7 percent

    CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER AP Economics Writer WASHINGTON

    The outlook for jobs became a bit less bleak with January's unexpected decline in the unemployment rate, which fell to 9.7 percent from 10 percent as more Americans said they had jobs. Still, Today's unemployment report showed just how deep the job crisis remains. The government now estimates 8.4 million jobs vanished in the Great Recession, and economists think the nation would be lucky to get back 1.5 million of them this year. And they say it will take at least three to four years for the job market to return to anything...