Business

California’s Economy Pinched by Unemployment
Business

California’s Economy Pinched by Unemployment

For decades, California’s behemoth economy has outpaced those of most nations, holding an outsize role in shaping global trends in tech, entertainment and agriculture.While that reputation remains, the state has a less enviable distinction: one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.Nationwide, the rate is 3.7 percent, and in January, the country added 353,000 jobs. California’s job growth has been slower than the nationwide average over the last year, and the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high — 5.1 percent in the latest data, a percentage point higher than a year earlier and outpaced only by Nevada’s 5.4 percent.With layoffs in the tech-centered Bay Area, a slow rebound in Southern California from prolonged strikes in the entertainment industry and varying demand for agricultu...
Auto Insurance Spike Hampers the Inflation Fight
Business

Auto Insurance Spike Hampers the Inflation Fight

Job growth, wage growth and business growth are all lively, and inflation has steeply fallen from its 2022 highs. But consumer sentiment, while improving, is still sour.One reason may be sticker shock from some highly visible prices — even as overall inflation has calmed. The cost of car insurance is a key example.Motor vehicle insurance rose 1.4 percent on a monthly basis in January alone and has risen 20.6 percent over the past year, the largest jump since 1976. It has been a huge hit for those driving the roughly 272 million private and commercial vehicles registered in the country. And it has played a part in dampening the “mission accomplished” mood on inflation that was bubbling up in markets at the beginning of the year.According to a recent private-sector estimate, the average annu...
Yellen Urges Israel to Restore Economic Ties to West Bank
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Yellen Urges Israel to Restore Economic Ties to West Bank

Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said on Tuesday that she had personally urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to increase commercial engagement with the West Bank, contending that doing so was important for the economic welfare of both Israelis and Palestinians.Ms. Yellen’s plea was outlined in a letter that she sent to Mr. Netanyahu on Sunday. It represented her most explicit public expression of concern about the economic consequences of the war between Israel and Hamas. In the letter, Ms. Yellen said, she warned about the consequences of the erosion of basic services in the West Bank and called for Israel to reinstate work permits for Palestinians and reduce barriers to commerce within the West Bank.“These actions are vital for the economic well-being of Palestinians and ...
AT&T Offers $5 Credit After Widespread Service Outage
Business

AT&T Offers $5 Credit After Widespread Service Outage

AT&T will offer a $5 credit to customers affected by a widespread outage on Thursday that was caused by technical issues the company encountered while trying to expand its network, its chief executive said on Sunday.The outage, which started around 3:30 a.m. Eastern time, temporarily cut off connections for users across the United States.Some of the affected cities included Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York, according to Downdetector.com, which tracks user reports of telecommunication and internet disruptions.At its peak, the site had received about 70,000 reports of disrupted service for AT&T. Service was fully restored after about seven hours.“No matter the timing, one thing is clear — we let down many of our customers, including many of you and your families,” the chief executiv...
What Is Your Housing Situation? We Want to Hear From You.
Business

What Is Your Housing Situation? We Want to Hear From You.

“No society can be fully understood apart from the residences of its members.”I have that quote (from “Crabgrass Frontier,” the seminal history of America’s suburbs) taped to a wall behind my desk. It summarizes why I love covering housing for The New York Times and seem never to run out of things to write about. Housing is everything. It’s where we live and raise our families. It is most people’s largest store of wealth. Whether you own, you rent, or you sleep outside, where you hang your head defines much of your existence.Over the past few decades, and especially since the pandemic, housing has gone from a symbol of American strength to an everyday crisis. Aspiring homeowners are becoming forever renters. People live in increasingly crowded households, the supply of illegal housing has ...
China’s Hacker Network: What to Know About the I-Soon Document Leak
Business

China’s Hacker Network: What to Know About the I-Soon Document Leak

Leaked documents posted online last week show how the Chinese government is working with private hackers to obtain sensitive information from foreign governments and companies.The hackers worked for a security firm called I-Soon, part of a network of spies for hire working closely with Beijing.The leak showed how China’s top surveillance agency, the Ministry of Public Security, has increasingly recruited contractors to attack government targets and private companies as part of a cyberespionage campaign in Asia. The leak is likely to stoke fears among leaders in Washington who have warned against such attacks in the United States.What information was revealed?I-Soon targeted telecommunications firms, online gambling companies and local governments throughout Asia. Its hackers were able to g...
For Michigan’s Economy, Electric Vehicles Are Promising and Scary
Business

For Michigan’s Economy, Electric Vehicles Are Promising and Scary

Last fall, Tiffanie Simmons, a second-generation autoworker, endured a six-week strike at the Ford Motor factory just west of Detroit where she builds Bronco S.U.V.s. That yielded a pay raise of 25 percent over the next four years, easing the pain of reductions that she and other union workers swallowed more than a decade ago.But as Ms. Simmons, 38, contemplates prospects for the American auto industry in the state that invented it, she worries about a new force: the shift toward electric vehicles. She is dismayed that the transition has been championed by President Biden, whose pro-labor credentials are at the heart of his bid for re-election, and who recently gained the endorsement of her union, the United Automobile Workers.The Biden administration has embraced electric vehicles as a me...
William Beecher, Who Revealed Secret Cambodia Bombing, Dies at 90
Business

William Beecher, Who Revealed Secret Cambodia Bombing, Dies at 90

William Beecher, who as a reporter for The New York Times revealed President Richard M. Nixon’s secret bombing campaign over Cambodia during the Vietnam War, and who later won a Pulitzer Prize at The Boston Globe, died on Feb. 9 at his home in Wilmington, N.C. He was 90.His daughter, Lori Beecher, and son-in-law, Marc Burstein, confirmed the death.President Nixon ordered the bombings, code-named Operation Menu, in March 1969 in response to stepped-up attacks by the North Vietnamese Army and South Vietnamese guerrillas based in Cambodia, a neutral country. The campaign was so secret that even William P. Rogers, the secretary of state, was unaware of it.Mr. Beecher’s article about the bombings, which appeared on the front page of The Times on May 9, 1969, noted that in the previous two weeks...
The Great Compression – The New York Times
Business

The Great Compression – The New York Times

Robert Lanter lives in a 600-square-foot house that can be traversed in five seconds and vacuumed from a single outlet. He doesn’t have a coffee table in the living room because it would obstruct the front door. When relatives come to visit, Mr. Lanter says jokingly, but only partly, they have to tour one at time.Each of these details amounts to something bigger, for Mr. Lanter’s life and the U.S. housing market: a house under $300,000, something increasingly hard to find. That price allowed Mr. Lanter, a 63-year-old retired nurse, to buy a new single-family home in a subdivision in Redmond, Ore., about 30 minutes outside Bend, where he is from and which is, along with its surrounding area, one of Oregon’s most expensive housing markets.Mr. Lanter’s house could easily fit on a flatbed truc...
Biden Faces More Pressure From Environmentalists to Block Steel Merger
Business

Biden Faces More Pressure From Environmentalists to Block Steel Merger

President Biden is facing new pressure to block Nippon Steel’s acquisition of the iconic manufacturer U.S. Steel, this time from environmental groups that say the tie-up would set back America’s efforts to curb climate change.In interviews, environmental activists working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions say the merger would bring together two steel giants that are laggards on transitioning away from fossil fuels.Researchers at Industrious Labs, a nonprofit pushing to decarbonize steel and other heavy industries, drew on both companies’ public disclosures to calculate that Nippon and U.S. Steel are relatively high emitters of heat-trapping gases from steel production. Both companies rely heavily on coal-powered blast furnaces and are on a slower path to transition to cleaner fuels than s...