Jobless claims stay below 300,000, Jimmy Johns reports a hack attack, and Los Angeles hotel workers could get $15 an hour. Here is the news of the day for the busy investor on Sept. 25, 2014.
Jobless Claims Rise
The Labor Department Thursday announced that the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose but did not meet economists’’ expectations for rising numbers. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted total of 293,000 for the week ending September 20. Economists had expected the claims to reach the significant mark of 300,000. The four-week moving average of claims actually fell 1,250 to 293,500. The claims are still near pre-recession levels, seen as an indication that the job market is tightening.
L.A. Hotel Workers Could See Big Raise
The Los Angeles City Council has approved a proposal to increase wages at large city hotels to $15.37 per hour for certain workers, a pay raise far above the states’ current minimum wage of $ 9 per hour. The proposal is subject to a final vote next week. Mayor Eric Garcetti says he will sign the measure if it comes to him for a signature. Seattle has already approved a phased-in $15 an hour overall minimum wage and San Francisco voters get to decide on a $15 minimum on voting day in November. While supporters say the workers need the raise to survive financially, some hospitality industry officials say the higher pay rate will cause some hotels to lay off staff.
GSK Tabs RBS Chairman
Philip Hampton, currently the chairman of Royal Bank of Scotland, was been selected to be the new chairman of the drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline. Hampton joins the firm just as it was fined $459 million last week in China for bribing doctors. It has stated that profits for 2014 will be affected by weak sales of its core respiratory drugs. Hampton will leave RBS during 2015, will join the board of GSK in January, become deputy chairman on April 1 and chairman on Sept. 1, 2015. Hampton will replace current chairman Chris Gent, who was in that position for nine years and was set to retire by the end of 2015.
U.S. Pays Navajos $554 Million
The Navajo Nation is set to receive a record $554 million settlement from the Obama administration to finalize a conflict in which the Indian tribe said its funds and natural resources were mishandled by the United States government. The Navajo are the largest Indian tribe in the nation. The claims date back as far as 50 years. The new deal will be signed at a ceremony Friday in Window Rock, Ariz., which is the capital of the Navajo reservation in that state. The U.S. was accused of mishandling Navajo trust accounts and resources on more than 14 million acres of land held in trust for the tribe. That land is leased for farming, energy development, logging and mining.
NutraSweet Exits Aspartame Business
NutraSweet, maker of the artificial sweetener aspartame, is getting out of that end of the business by the end of the year. The company said competition from Europe made the business unprofitable for it. "Low-cost imports now dominate the aspartame market, making it impossible for us to sustain a profitable business," said NutraSweet Chief Executive William DeFer said. Aspartame is used to sweeten many sodas, as well as other sugary items. NutraSweet said it would shut down its aspartame production plant in Augusta, Ga., and would offer severance payments and placement assistance to the 210 people employed at the plane.
Jimmy Johns Hacked
Joining a long list of retailers, sandwich restaurant chain Jimmy John’s said its [payment systems have been hacked at approximately 216 stores, with credit and debit card information was stolen. The company said the hacker stole log-in credentials and the remotely accessed the point-of-sale systems at some corporate and franchised locations between June 16, and Sept. 5, the company said. The Champaign, Ill. -based company says the breach has been contained and the system is safe to use again.