Meet the new Congress (same as the old Congress?). Read about this and more of the morning's top business news stories.
Private Sector Employment Increased by 230,000 Jobs in October
Private sector employment increased by 230,000 jobs from September to October, according to the ADP National Employment Report released Wednesday. Small business employment gained 102,000 jobs, while medium businesses with between 50-499 employees gained 122,000, well over twice September's increase of 47,000. Large businesses with between 500-999 employees gained 5,000 in October.
Republicans Take Control of House and Senate
President Obama will face a unified GOP-controlled Congress for the final two years of his second term after the Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate Tuesday night. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will become majority leader in January after he handily defeated Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. In races called early in the evening, Republicans took five Democratic-held seats in Arkansas, Colorado, Montana, West Virginia and South Dakota. Thirty-six Senate seats were up for re-election Tuesday.
Burger King Hails the Return of “Chicken Fries”
Burger King’s sales jumped in the U.S. and Canada by the biggest amount in two years, the company announced Tuesday. Global.sales rose 2.4 percent at established locations in the third quarter, including a 3.6 percent increase in the U.S. and Canada, the Miami-based chain reported Tuesday. Among the marketing initiatives the company credits for the sales increase is the return of its popular French fry-shaped “Chicken Fries,” which had been taken off the menu in 2012. Sales
Ford Issues Five Separate Recalls
Ford is recalling more than 202,000 cars, vans and trucks in North America in five separate recalls to fix gas leaks, air bag sensors, stalling and other issues, USA TODAY reports. The company said Tuesday the problems have caused one accident, but it's not aware of injuries in any of the cases. The most extensive of the recalls affects about 135,000 F-150 pickups and Ford Flex family haulers from the 2014 model year. Also covered are some 2009 through 2014 F-150s that were serviced for seat track problems this year. This has been the Year of the Recall, with automakers issuing more than 550 recalls affecting more than 52 million vehicles. That surpassed the former full-year record of 30.8 million recalled vehicles set in 2004. GM alone has issued 75 recalls totaling more than 30 million vehicles this year.
EU Further Cuts Growth Forecasts
The European Union issued a revised forecast lower that its previous projection, the Associated Press reports. The official forecast for growth this year in the 18-country eurozone was cut to 0.8 percent from a prediction of 1.2 percent made in the spring. The EU also reduced its 2015 prediction from 1.7 percent to 1.1 percent, an indication that the global economic recovery will remain stagnant. The broader 28-nation EU, which includes non-euro members like Britain and Sweden, is now expected to grow 1.3 percent this year from a previous 1.6 percent forecast.
Taylor Swift Parties Like It’s 1989
Taylor Swift's "1989" album racked up sales of 1.287 million copies during its first week of release, making Swift the only artist with three albums that have sold more than a million copies in a single week. Industry analysts had to go back to 2002 and “The Eminem Show” to find an album that solder faster in its debut week. No album released this year had reached the platinum sales benchmark, no matter how many weeks or months it had been available. In a July op-ed she wrote for the Wall Street Journal, Swift positioned herself as “an enthusiastic optimist: one of the few living souls in the music industry who still believes that the music industry is not dying . . . it's just coming alive.” This year’s top-selling album thus far is the “Frozen” soundtrack, which was released in 2013 and has sold more than 3.5 million copies.