- - Tuesday, February 7, 2012

LABOR

Job openings jump to near a 3-year high

The number of available jobs in the United States jumped in December to near a three-year high, supporting other data that show a brighter outlook for hiring.

Companies and governments posted 3.38 million jobs in December, the Labor Department said Tuesday. That’s up from the 3.12 million advertised in the previous month and nearly matches the three-year high reached in September.

Job openings in the private sector reached the highest point in almost 3 1/2 years.

Still, overall hiring slipped, and the number of people who quit their jobs also declined. That suggests the job market still isn’t as dynamic as it was before the recession.

NEW YORK

Oracle rejects $272M SAP award, wants new trial

NEW YORK — The database software maker Oracle Corp. has formally rejected a court-ordered award of $272 million from German rival SAP AG, saying it would rather have another trial over SAP’s theft of software and customer-support documents.

A jury awarded Oracle $1.3 billion in the case in November 2010, but a federal judge cut that amount in September 2011. Oracle, which is based in Redwood City, Calif., said then that it would seek a new trial.

In a Monday filing in a federal court in Oakland, Calif., Oracle confirmed its earlier decision and rejected the award.

SAP admitted that a now-closed subsidiary, TomorrowNow, pilfered Oracle’s intellectual property. Oracle argued that this helped SAP undercut Oracle by selling similar services for lower prices. SAP said it didn’t make much use of the documents and should have to pay just $40 million.

MEDIA

Magazine sales down 10 percent

NEW YORK — U.S. magazine sales at newsstands and other retailers dropped 10 percent in the second half of 2011, a sign that Americans are still careful about discretionary spending and impulse purchases.

The Audit Bureau of Circulations said Tuesday that overall circulation, including subscriptions, was down just 1 percent. But the decline in single-copy sales is a troubling sign for publishers. That’s because they make more money from retail sales than from subscriptions, which are sold at a discount so publishers can increase circulation and attract advertisers.

The industry group said single-copy magazine sales totaled 28.9 million in the past six months of 2011. That’s down from 32.1 million in the same period in 2010. It’s slightly bigger than the 9 percent decline seen in the first half of the year.

Total circulation, which includes digital sales such as issues sold on the iPad, was 302 million, down from 306 million in the second half of 2010.

Paid subscriptions grew less than 1 percent to 262 million from 261 million.

FRANCE

Strike grounds hundreds of flights

PARIS — Hundreds of Air France flights were canceled Tuesday, including 40 percent out of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, and the disruption is expected to get worse during a union strike over labor rights.

Air France forecast it could guarantee just 60 percent of its long-distance flights on Wednesday - the third day of the strike - after running about 70 percent of them on Tuesday.

The airline, among the world’s biggest, said 70 percent of its short- and medium-range flights would be maintained.

Unions representing pilots, cabin and ground crews and others called the walkout to protest a proposed law that would require air transport workers to give 48 hours notice before striking.

At Paris’ Orly Airport, about 15 percent of flights were canceled, the spokesman said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports