- - Sunday, October 9, 2011

UNEMPLOYMENT

103,000 jobs added, but jobless rate unchanged

The jobs crisis isn’t getting worse. But it isn’t getting much better, either.

The economy added just enough jobs last month to ease fears of a new recession. But hiring is still too weak to bring down unemployment, which has been stuck around 9 percent for more than two years.

The nation added 103,000 jobs in September, an improvement from the month before, the Labor Department said Friday. But the total includes 45,000 Verizon workers who were rehired after going on strike and were counted as job gains.

Even setting aside that technicality, the job gains weren’t enough to get the economy out of its soft patch. It takes about 125,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth. For September, the unemployment rate stayed stuck at 9.1 percent.

ENERGY

Survey: Gas prices decline, down 13 cents in two weeks

CAMARILLO, Calif. — The bellwether Lundberg Survey says the average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has dropped 13 cents in the past two weeks.

The survey, which was released, Sunday puts the price of a gallon of regular at $3.42, down 13 cents from two weeks earlier and down 25 cents in the past month.

Costs have seen similar drops in midgrade, now at an average of $3.58 a gallon, and premium at $3.70. Diesel fell seven cents to $3.85 a gallon.

Of the cities surveyed, Albuquerque, N.M., had the nation’s lowest average price for gas at $3.07, and perennial price leader San Francisco had the highest at $3.81. In California, the lowest average price was $3.71 in Fresno.

UNIONS

Atlantic City casino workers fear massive givebacks

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Workers in contract talks with Atlantic City’s casinos fear losing something a lot worse than money: their place in the middle class.

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