Saturday, January 9, 2010

WSJ Top News - Fri-Saturday Jan 8-9 2010

WSJ Roundup

O'Brien May Jump To Rival Network
Comedian Conan O'Brien and his advisers were mulling career options Friday, including jumping to a rival television network, people familiar with the matter said, leaving the fate of NBC's late-night shake-up in limbo.

California Seeks Billions From U.S.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger asked for $6.9 billion in federal funds in his state-budget proposal Friday and warned that state health and welfare programs would be threatened without the emergency help.

Economy Still Bleeding Jobs
Employers cut another 85,000 jobs last month, dashing hopes of a turnaround in employment, even as the U.S. economy grows. With December's losses, there were 7.2 million fewer jobs than in December 2007, when the recession began. Although the unemployment rate was unchanged at 10% from November, that's only because many workers stopped looking for work and weren't counted in the numbers. A broader measure of unemployment, including those who have quit job hunting as well as those working part time because they can't find full-time work, remained about the same at 17.3% in December from 17.2% in November.

Wages Still Under Pressure
Wages of U.S. employees are generally stagnant and likely to remain so as the pool of unemployed workers helps employers keep wages from rising even as productivity, or output per hour of work, soars.

UPS Lifts Forecast, Still Cuts Jobs
United Parcel Service Inc. boosted its fourth-quarter profit projections by more than 15% Friday, signaling the economy is improving, but the package-delivery giant also announced 1,800 job cuts and said it still expects the recovery to be gradual.

Big Deficits Cloud Britain's Future
BIRMINGHAM, England -- John Murray's electrical engineering firm here has made it through the recession thanks in part to work generated by local government contracts on projects like schools. Yet as the financial crisis winds down, Mr. Murray is "kept awake" by the idea that his prospects may get worse, not better.


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