US employers added 215000 in July likely moving Fed closer to raising

Filed under: xweixnsa — Tags: , , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:10 am October 3, 2019

US employers added 215,000 in July, likely moving Fed closer to raising rates in September by Josh Boak, The Associated Press Posted Aug 7, 2015 6:47 am MDT Last Updated Aug 7, 2015 at 8:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – U.S. employers added a solid 215,000 jobs in July, signalling a steadily rising job market and likely nudging the Federal Reserve closer to raising interest rates in September.The Labor Department also said Friday that the unemployment rate held at a relatively low 5.3 per cent for a second straight month.Monthly job growth has averaged 211,286 so far this year, indicating that employers are confident that the six-year recovery from the Great Recession will sustain strong consumer demand and require more workers.July’s job growth roughly matched expectations, and the early reaction on Wall Street before trading opened was muted. The Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index slipped 0.2 per cent in morning trading, and U.S. government bond yields fell slightly after an initial spike.“Another solid jobs report suggests the economy is gaining strength and keeps the Fed on track to raise rates as early as the next meeting” in September, Sal Guatieri, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said in a research note.Hiring has remained robust even though the economy’s overall growth rate has been subpar and pay raises have been modest for many workers. Average hourly earnings in July increased just 2.1 per cent from a year earlier.The Fed has held its key short-term rate near zero since late 2008, a policy introduced after the financial crisis to try to energize the economy through stronger borrowing, investing and spending. Now, more than a half-dozen years into the recovery, Fed Chair Janet Yellen has suggested that the economy not only can tolerate but needs higher rates.Even as the Fed has nearly concluded that the economy is strong enough to withstand higher borrowing rates, many Americans remain anxious about a recovery defined by modest economic growth and meagre pay raises.The misgivings about the economy were on display Thursday night at the first Republican presidential debate, where 10 candidates in Cleveland discussed the challenges of an unwieldy tax code and the pressures on American workers resulting from immigration and global trade.The economy grew at an anemic 1.5 per cent annual rate in the first half of 2015 — nearly half a percentage point weaker than the average of the past three years.Companies are laying off fewer and fewer workers: The monthly average of people seeking unemployment benefits remains nears a 15-year low, the government said Thursday. But average hourly wage growth of 2.1 over the past year has barely exceeded low inflation.The pace of hiring has managed to help revive housing and auto sales, according to industry reports. Still, the absence of significant pay raises has limited the consumer spending that accounts for a majority of economic activity.Still, the jobs report indicated that companies are anticipating higher consumer spending. Retailers added 35,900 workers last month and restaurants 29,300.Rising home sales helped boost construction jobs by 6,000. Manufacturers added 15,000 employees, with food, plastics and rubber factories accounting for most of the increase.Job security also appears to be improving. The business services sector — which embraces everything from lawyers to accountants to engineers — added 40,000 workers, even though the number of temporary employees on short-term contracts fell 8,900.Lower gasoline and oil prices have yet to provide the kind of boost they have in the past. Energy companies responded to oil of less than $50 a barrel by cutting orders for equipment and pipelines, causing many manufacturers to slow their hiring. And instead of spending their savings at the gasoline pump, consumers have mostly pocketed the additional cash.A strong dollar has also weighed on economic growth. The dollar has risen about 14 per cent in value against overseas currencies in the past year, thereby cutting into exports by making U.S. goods costlier overseas.Falling unemployment usually reduces the number of people available to hire, which then forces employers to boost wages. But many frustrated job seekers have stopped looking for work, perhaps only temporarily. This has made it hard to assess just how healthy the job market is and when pay might rise at a faster rate.Roughly 8.3 million Americans are still looking for jobs. An additional 14.4 million people have left the job market — either abandoning their job searches or choosing to retire — since the recession officially began in late 2007. The result is that the share of adults working has fallen to 59.3 per cent from 62.7 per cent eight years ago.One challenge is that workers have become less productive for each hour worked. This limits the willingness and ability of many companies to raise pay significantly, which can then prevent people sidelined by the recession from returning to the job market.Productivity fell at a 3.1 per cent annual rate in the first three months of 2015. read more

State tells allnatural dairy to label its skim milk imitation because no

Filed under: xgvjeaaa — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:09 am

State tells all-natural dairy to label its skim milk ‘imitation’ because no vitamins are added TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Ocheesee Creamery in the Florida Panhandle produces all-natural skim milk from grass-fed cows with absolutely nothing added, yet the state says they have to call it “imitation.”And while they argue about it, the dairy is dumping hundreds of gallons of skim milk down the drain each week.Creamery owners Paul and Mary Lou Wesselhoeft were in federal court Wednesday as part of their nearly three-year-old battle with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which argues that skim milk can’t be sold as skim milk unless vitamins are added to it.But that goes against the all-natural philosophy at the creamery located about 50 miles west of the state capital.“Our customers want an all-natural product. If we call it imitation, they will not buy our product,” Mary Lou Wesselhoeft said after the court hearing. “To me it’s degrading and a slap in the face because it’s pure, unadulterated skim milk.”Webster’s dictionary defines skim milk as simply “milk from which cream has been removed,” with no mention of added vitamins. But Department lawyer Ashley Davis told a judge consumers expect whole milk and skim milk to have the same nutritional value and that the Wesselhoefts’ skim milk is nutritionally inferior because vitamins are removed when the milk fat is removed.“Ocheessee’s product is imitating — literally imitating — skim milk,” Davis said.Judge Robert Hinkle said he’s not so sure consumers expect skim milk to have the same nutritional value as whole milk.“You know something’s been removed in order to make it skim milk,” he said.Hinkle also seemed to have problems with the word imitation.“It’s hard to call this imitation milk. It came right out of the cow,” Hinkle said. “Anyone who reads imitation skim milk would think it didn’t come out of a cow.”The creamery needs to remove the milk fat to produce cream and butter, and skim milk is the result. Some people, especially those on low-cholesterol diets, prefer skim milk because it has little fat. When the couple bought the dairy six years ago, the state tested the product for fat content, Paul Wesselhoeft said.“They told us we had to call it skim milk,” he said. Then three years later they ordered them to stop selling the skim milk unless they labeled it imitation.And that’s hurt the couple’s business plan. The dairy was selling 200 to 300 gallons of skim milk a week at $5 a gallon before the state ordered them to relabel it or stop selling it.The Institute for Justice is suing the state on behalf of the couple.“The creamery sold its skim milk for three years without anyone being confused or harmed,” said lawyer Justin Pearson.Both sides asked Hinkle to rule on the case before a trial, currently scheduled for November. Hinkle has not decided whether to do so.Davis and other lawyers representing the state refused to comment after the hearing.___This story has been corrected to include the correct name of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, not the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs. by Brendan Farrington, The Associated Press Posted Aug 19, 2015 1:50 pm MDT Last Updated Aug 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

NEB delaying review of Kinder Morgans pipeline expansion project

Filed under: eevglmes — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:08 am

NEB delaying review of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion project by The Canadian Press Posted Sep 25, 2015 2:00 am MDT Last Updated Sep 25, 2015 at 2:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email CALGARY – The National Energy Board says it needs more information before proceeding with a review of Kinder Morgan Canada’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.The board says in a news release that it is going to implement an “excluded period” for the review, beginning last week and lasting until Jan. 8, 2016.Its recommendations were to have been handed down on Jan. 26 but the delay means a new deadline of May 20 next year.The board did not specify what additional information it was seeking.The NEB notes it is the second excluded period for the Trans Mountain project — the first came from July 2014 to early February this year to allow the company to file additional studies related to a new preferred corridor through Burnaby Mountain.In late August, Kinder Morgan said it would take less than a month to replace evidence that was struck from the NEB review, saying it would file amendments by Friday to two reports that relied on the evidence.The board struck from the record all evidence prepared by Steven Kelly, a consultant who will soon work for the regulator.At the time, Kinder Morgan asked the board to expedite the conclusion of the review, saying it was not responsible for the delay and was only refiling evidence related to a “narrow” issue.The proposed project would expand the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C., adding nearly 1,000 kilometres of new pipeline. read more

Pennsylvania families win 424M verdict against gas driller

Filed under: pcvlfqhw — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:01 am

Pennsylvania families win $4.24M verdict against gas driller by Michael Rubinkam, The Associated Press Posted Mar 10, 2016 11:16 am MDT Last Updated Mar 10, 2016 at 5:47 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Two couples were awarded nearly $4.25 million on Thursday after a federal jury found one of the largest natural gas producers in Pennsylvania was responsible for the contamination of their well water, capping a six-year odyssey that turned their sleepy village into a battleground over the nation’s shale drilling and hydraulic fracturing boom.The verdict in Scranton came at the end of a bitter lawsuit pitting homeowners in Dimock against Houston-based Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. The company, a prolific driller in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale formation, said it will appeal, accusing the jury of ignoring “overwhelming scientific and factual evidence that Cabot acted as a prudent operator in conducting its operations.”Dimock was the scene of the most highly publicized case of methane contamination to emerge from the early days of Pennsylvania’s natural-gas drilling boom. State regulators blamed faulty gas wells drilled by Cabot for leaking combustible methane into Dimock’s groundwater. Cabot claimed the methane was naturally occurring and said the problems in the water wells predated Cabot’s arrival.Dozens of plaintiffs settled with Cabot in 2012, but two families opted to take their claims to trial.“They did something wrong. That was the whole point of getting it into the courtroom,” one of the plaintiffs, Scott Ely, told reporters outside the courthouse.Residents first reported problems in the wells in 2008. The water that came out of their faucets turned cloudy, foamy and discolored, and it smelled and tasted foul. Homeowners, all of whom had leased their land to Cabot, said the water made them sick with symptoms that included vomiting, dizziness and skin rashes.A state investigation found that Cabot had allowed gas to escape into the region’s groundwater supplies, contaminating at least 18 residential wells.The plaintiffs’ attorney called the verdict a warning shot that will resonate beyond the courtroom.“Cabot doesn’t care. Industry doesn’t care. They’re the big bucks. Their influence is wide and far. … It’s fine with me if industry takes a big fat hit,” Leslie Lewis said. read more

Uberlike car repair business sees growth despite economy

Filed under: mzclfnje — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 6:01 am

Uber-like car repair business sees growth despite economy AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Kaitlin Lee Posted Mar 17, 2016 1:38 pm MDT An Alberta-based auto mechanic business that operates a lot like Uber is seeing its customer base grow despite tough economic times. The business, called instaMek, sends a mechanic to your door and repairs on your vehicle are done right in the driveway. The service launched last year in Edmonton and while it might seem like a bad time to have started a business, founder Uzair Ahmed told 660 NEWS things have been steady since cars will break down no matter what the price of oil is at.“Our repair prices are up to 30 per cent cheaper than dealerships, because of the low overhead model,” he said. “Mechanics can make more money by using us, and there are a lot of mechanics available.”However unlike Uber, not just anyone can sign up to be one of the company’s mechanics and Ahmed said the company favours quality over quantity. “Uber will take anybody,” he said. “We have to make sure we only take the top five per cent of the mechanics out there, we make them go through a rigorous training program, and they have to get trained by one of our main guys.”Right now people who need to use the service can call, text or use an online form to submit a request and instaMek will be launching a new app for iPhones on April 1st. The company currently operates in Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto, and will soon start servicing Vancouver residents as well. read more

Agriculture Min commits 64 million for Canadian beef promotion abroad

Filed under: wztsorsa — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 5:55 am

Agriculture Min. commits $6.4 million for Canadian beef promotion abroad CALGARY – Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay says the government has committed up to $6.4 million over three years to help promote Canadian beef abroad.Speaking in Calgary Wednesday, MacAulay said the investment will help strengthen the Canadian beef brand globally and lead to greater returns for farmers.The government says the strategic initiative will support a three-year plan to promote and develop markets for Canadian beef in Asia, Europe, North America and Latin America.The funding announcement comes after Canada recently reopened or expanded export markets after the fallout from a mad-cow disease scare in 2003.Earlier this month Taiwan lifted its ban on Canadian beef, while, in June, Mexico committed to lifting a restriction on cattle over 30 months later this year.In 2015, the Canadian beef industry exported $2.2-billion worth of meat to 58 countries. by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 20, 2016 12:48 pm MDT Last Updated Jul 20, 2016 at 1:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

Trump has taken few steps to disentangle from private empire

Filed under: pcvlfqhw — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 5:47 am

Ivanka Trump, daughter of President-elect Donald Trump departs Trump Tower, in New York, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Trump has taken few steps to disentangle from private empire by Julie Bykowicz And Chad Day, The Associated Press Posted Jan 8, 2017 10:30 am MDT Last Updated Jan 9, 2017 at 7:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald Trump pledged to step away from his family-owned international real estate development, property management and licensing business before taking office Jan. 20. With less than two weeks until his inauguration, he hasn’t stepped very far.Trump has cancelled a handful of international deals and dissolved a few shell companies created for prospective investments. Still, he continues to own or control some 500 companies that make up the Trump Organization, creating a tangle of potential conflicts of interest without precedent in modern U.S. history.The president-elect is expected to give an update on his effort to distance himself from his business at a Wednesday news conference. He told The Associated Press on Friday that he would be announcing a “very simple solution.”Ethics experts have called for Trump to sell off his assets and place his investments in a blind trust, which means something his family would not control. That’s what previous presidents have done.Trump has given no indication he will go that far. He has said he will not be involved in day-to-day company operations and will leave that duty to his adult sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr. The president-elect has not addressed the ethical minefield of whether he would retain a financial interest in his Trump Organization.A look at what’s known about what Trump has and hasn’t tried to resolve his business entanglement before his swearing-in:FOREIGN INVESTMENTSTrump has abandoned planned business ventures in Azerbaijan, Brazil, Georgia, India and Argentina. The Associated Press found he has dissolved shell companies tied to a possible business venture in Saudi Arabia.It’s unclear whether those moves are signs that Trump is dismantling the web of companies that make up his business. Trump Organization general counsel Alan Garten has insisted none of the closures is related to Trump’s election. He calls them “normal housecleaning.”The Trump Organization still has an expanding reach across the globe: The Trump International Golf Club in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, is set to open next month.Trump has said there will be “no new deals” while he’s in office. But Eric Trump, an executive vice-president at the Trump Organization, told Argentinian newspapers last week that the company was open to another business venture in the country.“We would like to find something,” Eric Trump told Clarin, as he toured a Trump building construction site. “We’ll find a project.”The younger Trump did rule out expansion in Russia, at least any time soon.“Is there a possibility sometime in the next 20, 30 years we end up in Russia? Absolutely. Is it right for us right now? Probably not,” Eric Trump said, in a video interview with La Nacion posted on the newspaper’s website.Asked about the potential for conflicts of interest if the business continues to operate, Eric Trump compared the separation between the Trump-led government and Trump-led company to the separation between church and state. “These two things will be unfailingly separate,” he said, adding, “we will not share functions.”___DOMESTIC BUSINESSESOf Trump’s U.S. portfolio, no venture has become more emblematic of the potential conflicts of interest facing Trump than his hotel at the Old Post Office in the nation’s capital. The federal government, which he soon will oversee, holds the lease on the building he turned into a sparkling luxury hotel that opened shortly before Election Day.The terms of Trump’s contract with the government expressly prohibit elected officials from having a financial interest in the property. Democratic senators said the General Services Administration told them that the moment Trump takes office, he would violate the terms of his contractNeither GSA nor Trump transition officials responded to inquiries about what steps, if any, Trump has taken with regard to that contract provision.Trump is still listed as a producer for the reality TV show, “Celebrity Apprentice.” He has said he will not spend time working on the show. Financial disclosures he filed during the campaign show his company, Trump Productions, earned about $5.9 million from “The Apprentice” shows in 2015.Trump has a considerable amount of business debt that could put creditors in the position of having leverage over an enterprise with close ties to the U.S. president and his family. Last May, Trump reported on his financial disclosure that he had at least $315 million in debt related to his companies. The disclosed debt, mostly mortgages for his properties, is held by banks, including Deutsche Bank and investors who bought chunks of the debt from the original creditors.___CHARITIESLast month, Trump announced that he would shutter his charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, to avoid conflicts of interest.The decision came after the foundation admitted in a tax filing that in 2015 and an unspecified number of previous years it violated IRS prohibitions against self-dealing, broadly defined as using charity money or assets to benefit Trump, his family, his companies or substantial contributors to the foundation.The New York attorney general’s office has said the foundation cannot dissolve until it completes its investigation into whether Trump used the foundation for personal gain. The attorney general’s office has not said whether the investigation will be wrapped up by Trump inauguration.Eric Trump has decided to shut down his charity, which primarily raised money for St. Jude’s children’s hospital, to pre-empt conflicts of interest. That move came after the younger Trump was found to be offering in a charity auction a coffee date with his sister, Ivanka Trump, who is expected to take a position in the White House.___FAMILYQuestions remain about how Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, who is planning to advise the president, will separate from their own businesses.On Saturday, representatives for Kushner told the AP that he has been talking with the Office of Government Ethics and is exploring taking steps to disentangle himself from his business, The Kushner Companies, in preparation for taking a White House role.Under those plans, Kushner representatives say he would resign as CEO of the real-estate development business, which has been involved in some $7 billion in acquisitions in the past 10 years.Kushner would divest “substantial” assets including his stake in a New York City skyscraper that has been the subject of months of negotiations between Kushner and Anbang Insurance Group, a real estate giant with close ties to the Chinese government. Kushner’s negotiations with the company were first reported by The New York Times.Ivanka Trump, in addition to serving as an executive at her father’s company, has developed a lifestyle brand selling shoes, jewelry and other products. She caught heat after her fine jewelry company marketed the $10,800 bracelet she wore during a postelection “60 Minutes” interview with her father.Representatives for Ivanka Trump’s brand declined comment.In order to take posts in the administration, both Kushner and Ivanka Trump would need to argue that a federal anti-nepotism law that bar officials from appointing relatives to government positions does not apply to them.___LAWSUITSTrump also is set to take office while battling a number of lawsuits. The president-elect sat for a videotaped deposition on Thursday involving a dispute with a celebrity chef who pulled out of a deal to open a restaurant at his new hotel in the Old Post Office building. When Jose Andres scuttled his plans for the restaurant citing Trump’s campaign comments about some Mexican immigrants being rapists and criminals, The Trump Organization sued him for breach of contract.Trump also sued another celebrity chef, Geoffrey Zakarian, for similar reasons.Trump did act to close out one of the highest-profile disputes, over his now-defunct Trump University real estate school. After his election in November, he agreed to pay $25 million to settle two class-action suits and one by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that alleged the school misled and defrauded students. Trump admitted no wrongdoing and has yet to pay the fine, according to court records.___AP Business Writer Bernard Condon and Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemire in New York, AP writer Catherine Lucey in Des Moines, Iowa, and AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace contributed to this report. read more

Breweries make case that Albertas beer tax system is unconstitutional

Filed under: uinqbywb — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — admin @ 5:38 am

by Ian Bickis, The Canadian Press Posted Jun 22, 2017 12:55 pm MDT Last Updated Jun 23, 2017 at 7:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Breweries make case that Alberta’s beer tax system is unconstitutional CALGARY – Lawyers for two breweries challenged the constitutionality of Alberta’s tax system on small breweries Thursday, arguing the system unfairly favours producers in the province.Toronto-based Steam Whistle Brewing and Saskatoon-based Great Western Brewing Co. say the system, which charges all small breweries $1.25 per litre sold but returns much of that to Alberta producers in the form of a grant, effectively provides an unconstitutional trade barrier.The system replaced an earlier tax regime, the New West Partnership Trade Agreement, that gave brewers in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan a more direct tax advantage over those in the rest of Canada. Steam Whistle secured an injunction against the old system in January last year.Andrew Stead, lawyer for Steam Whistle, said the NWPTA imposed in October 2015 was an obvious barrier to interprovincial trade.“Small brewers, outside of the New West Partnership, cannot bring their beer free into Alberta. The only reason why they can’t is because of their geographic location. That’s unconstitutional,” he said.But the new system introduced in August 2016, Stead added, provides a rebate to the penny for what Alberta breweries pay in the current markup — making it no different than the old system, outside of making breweries in B.C. and Saskatchewan pay more.“The August markup, aside from poking Saskatchewan and B.C. from the right side of the wall to the wrong side, is otherwise a clumsy attempt to distract and camouflage the fact that it’s the October markup wearing funny glasses and a fake nose,” he said.Stead said there are ways the Alberta government could support its small breweries through grants on marketing or hiring or supporting training programs. But a grant to refund a direct charge on sales is an effective tariff, he said.Great Western CEO Michael Micovcin said the changed tax system adds almost $7 per 24-case of beer that they have to pass on to consumers, since they don’t get the grant that Alberta producers do.“It’s rendered us uncompetitive. We’re seeing a significant reduction in overall sales (and) it’s going to impact the future viability of our company. So this is a matter of survival for us,” Micovcin said outside the courtroom.The defendants, which include the Alberta government and the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, are expected to present their case Friday. The Alberta government did not respond to a request for comment. read more