Business in brief: Jobless rate up a bit in Panhandle
Unemployment rates rose slightly across the Idaho Panhandle in September, but still remain near record lows.
Kootenai County posted a 2.7 percent unemployment rate last month, up from a record low of 2.3 percent in August.
For other counties, September’s unemployment rates were: Bonner, 2.7 percent; Shoshone, 3.9 percent; Boundary, 4.3 percent; and Benewah, 4.6 percent.
Idaho’s unemployment rate was 2.3 percent. September marked the eighth straight month that the state’s unemployment rate has been below 3 percent.
Idaho’s labor force has been growing by an average of 2,000 individuals per month. However, the numbers of people moving into jobs is growing by 2,500 per month, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.
‘Halo 3’ brings in $300 million
Gamers around the globe dropped nearly $300 million on “Halo 3” in the week since the first-person shooter for Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox 360 console debuted, the company said Thursday.
Microsoft also said that in the week after the Sept. 25 launch, Xbox 360 console sales “nearly tripled” from the weekly average reported before the game hit store shelves, according to initial reports from retailers worldwide.
More than 2.7 million people have logged on to Microsoft’s online service, Xbox Live, to collectively play 40 million hours of “Halo 3” with other gamers, Microsoft said.
Microsoft said sales hit $170 million in the game’s first 24 hours on sale in the U.S., surpassing “Spider-Man 3,” which grossed $151 million in its opening weekend. “Halo 3” sells for at least $60 a copy.
Jury rules against McDonald’s
A jury awarded $6.1 million Friday to a woman who said she was forced to strip in a McDonald’s back office after someone called the restaurant posing as a police officer.
Louise Ogborn, 21, had sued McDonald’s Corp., claiming the fast-food giant failed to warn her and other employees about the caller who already struck other McDonald’s stores and other fast-food restaurants across the country. Ogborn had been seeking $200 million.