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Manpower: More employers plan to hire in 2Q

More U.S. employers said they plan to boost payrolls in the second quarter, and fewer expect to reduce headcounts, a private survey found.

Manpower Inc., the world’s second-largest provider of temporary workers, said today that 16 percent plan to add workers in the April-June period, up from 14 percent in the first quarter. The share of those projecting workforce reductions fell to 6 percent from 10 percent. Get the full story »

W. House: Jobs data shows Obama policies work

White House economist Austan Goolsbee said on Friday the February jobs report showed President Barack Obama’s policies were working to improve the economy, but he said more needed to be done to create jobs.

“We will continue to work with Congress to find ways to reduce spending, but not at the expense of derailing progress in the job market,” Goolsbee said in a statement. Get the full story »

Still little inflation in jobs report

With crude oil at more than $100 a barrel and gold hovering near a record high, many are clearly worried about inflation.

But Friday’s jobs report featured some encouraging news on the inflation front — in the most classic economic textbook sense, it isn’t showing up in the broader economy  yet. Get the full story »

Unemployment rate in U.S. falls below 9%

Job seekers in Chicago speak with recruiters at a career fair at Malcolm X College last summer. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The U.S. jobs market rebounded in February and unemployment fell below 9 percent for the first time in nearly two years, the latest signs of a steadily improving economy.

Nonfarm payrolls rose by 192,000 last month as private-sector employers added 222,000 jobs, the Labor Dept. said Friday in its survey of employers. The January number was revised to show an increase of 63,000 jobs, from a previous estimate of 36,000.

In Illinois, the unemployment rate fell to 9.0 percent in January, the Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

The unemployment rate, which is obtained from a separate household survey, fell to 8.9 percent last month, the first time it dipped below 9 percent since April 2009. About 13.67 million people who would like to work can’t get a job. Get the full story »

Illinois jobless rate continues decline; below 9%

The unemployment rate in Illinois fell below 9 percent in January, according to figures released Thursday morning by the state. Get the full story »

New jobless claims at lowest level in 2.5 years

New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to touch their lowest level in more than 2-1/2 years, the Labor Department said. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the lowest since May 2008. Get the full story »

Planned layoffs at highest level in 11 months

The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms rose in February to its highest level in 11 months as government and non-profit employers let workers go, a report showed Wednesday. Get the full story »

Bank of Montreal says it cut 491 jobs since last fall

Employment in BMO Financial’s U.S. personal and commercial banking operations, which consists mainly of Harris Bank, fell to 3,965 in the first quarter, down from 4,456 jobs in the fourth quarter.

The Canadian bank released its first-quarter financial results on Tuesday. In an afternoon conference call with Wall Street, an analyst asked BMO about the cutting of 491 jobs, or 11 percent of its personal and commercial banking operations in the United States. Get the full story »

Workers sue New Lenox staffing agency

Warehouse workers in New Lenox accused a staffing agency of shorting their wages, denying them overtime pay and, in some cases, paying them below $8.25 an hour, the state’s minimum wage. Get the full story »

Report: Job creation at low end of wage scale

About 86 percent of the more than 1.3 million jobs created in the last year have been in industries that pay wages below $19 per hour, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Employment Law Project, a policy advocacy group.

The report says there is an “striking imbalance” between the jobs lost in the recession and the jobs created in the last 12 months.  For instance, 40 percent of the jobs lost paid $19 to $32 an hour,  but only 14 percent of the jobs created were in this category. Get the full story »

Recession still causing personal finance headaches

The Great Recession might be officially over, but that’s not helping Americans save money, and they’re growing increasingly worried about it, according to survey results released Tuesday.

The portion of people “very concerned” about the impact of the current recession on their personal finances rose from 43 percent last year to 49 percent this year, according to the survey commissioned by the American Savings Education Council and the “America Saves” campaign, with more than 1,000 participating groups.

“The recession clearly has not ended for millions of Americans,” said Stephen Brobeck, executive director of the Consumer Federation of America. High unemployment, consumer and mortgage debt, and the housing crisis help explain why savers haven’t made much progress. Get the full story »

Sun Trading cuts 40, exits options business

Chicago-based Sun Trading LLC this week cut its workforce by nearly one-third and wound down its options-trading arm amid tough conditions in the sector.

About 40 staff were laid off this week and the proprietary trading firm will no longer function as a registered market-maker on major U.S. stock-options markets like the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the International Securities Exchange. Get the full story »

Six Flags to hire 3,200 seasonal workers

Six Flags Great America in Gurnee said it is planning to hire 3,200 seasonal workers this year for positions that can last up to six months. Get the full story »

U.S. cracks down on hiring of illegal immigrants

The federal government is requiring as many as 1,000 companies to turn over their employment records for inspection, part of an expanding crackdown on businesses suspected of hiring illegal immigrants, according to people close to the Department of Homeland Security.

The audits, which the government is expected to make public in the next few days, represent the biggest operation since 2009. At that time, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a DHS unit, conducted an auditing sweep of businesses working in public safety and national security. Get the full story »

Weekly jobless claims tick back above 400,000

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits edged up last week, the government said Thursday. There were 410,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Feb. 12, according to the Labor Department. Get the full story »