195K jobs added in June, a signal of confidence
WASHINGTON - U.S. employers sent a message of confidence in the economy in recent months - hiring more workers, raising pay and making the job market appear strong enough for the Federal Reserve to slow its bond purchases as early as September.
The economy gained a robust 195,000 jobs in June and many more in April and May than previously thought.
The unemployment rate remained 7.6 percent in June because more people started looking for jobs - a healthy sign - and some didn't find them. The government doesn't count people as unemployed unless they're looking for work.
The Labor Department's report Friday pointed to a U.S. job market that's showing surprising resilience in the face of tax increases, federal spending cuts and economic weakness overseas.
At SFIA, only goats can prevent airport fires
SAN FRANCISCO - Last month, officials at San Francisco International Airport hired a herd of part-time employees to toil on the west side of the property and engage in an unusual - but environmentally friendly - form of fire prevention. Anyone looking down from a plane departing the airport may have wondered, what's with the goats?
For two weeks in June, Mr. Fuzzy, Cookie, Mable, Alice and nearly 400 other goats chomped on the brush in a remote corner of the airport. The area needs to be cleared each spring to protect nearby homes from potential fires. But machines or humans can't be used because two endangered species - the San Francisco garter snake and the California red-legged frog - live there.
It's not exactly the type of job you advertise in the local classifieds. So, for the past five years officials have turned to Goats R Us, a small brush-removal company run by Terri Oyarzun; her husband, Egon; and their son Zephyr.
Chrysler recalls minivans
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Chrysler is recalling 282,000 2013 minivans because the side air bags can deploy on the wrong side in a crash. Side air bags are supposed to deploy on the side of the vehicle that's involved in a crash. Chrysler said a software problem is causing its air bags to deploy on the opposing side of the vehicle.
Affected models are Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town and Country and Ram Cargo Van. The campaign involves 224,000 vehicles in the U.S., 49,300 in Canada, 2,900 in Mexico and 5,300 elsewhere.
Chrysler will notify affected customers. Dealers will reprogram the software for free.
Employers tweak benefits
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court's landmark ruling on same-sex marriage has private employers around the country scrambling to make sure their employee-benefit plans comply with the law.
The impact of the decision striking down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act is clear in the 13 states and the District of Columbia where gay marriage is currently legal or soon will be: Same-sex married couples must be treated the same as other spouses under federal laws governing tax, health care, pensions and other federal benefits.
Employee-benefit experts say the effect of the ruling remains murky in the other 37 states, including Arizona.
Price of oil climbs
NEW YORK - The price of oil marched higher Friday with a positive report on U.S. hiring and ongoing concerns about the crisis in Egypt. Benchmark crude for August delivery rose $1.98, to finish at $103.22 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That's the highest closing price since May 2, 2012.
The Associated Press