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Wood products jobs down 10 percent

The wood products manufacturing industry in north-central Idaho has seen employment slip more than 10 percent since last year as a lackluster economy and collapsing home construction industry forced layoffs.

Kathryn Tacke, a regional economist with the Idaho Department of Labor in Coeur d’Alene, says 988 people are working in the sector, according to her agency’s figures.

That compares with more than 1,100 in 2007.

The trend means there’s less money flowing to other businesses in the community as well.

Wood products manufacturing jobs have some of the best wages in the region, paying on average $47,470 per year, not counting benefits.

That compares to $29,560 annually for all other industries, the Lewiston Tribune reported.

New York

Apple shares fall to 52-week low

Shares of Apple Inc. plunged to a 52-week low Monday and flirted with the $100 line after analysts downgraded the stock because of slowing consumer spending.

The downgrades compounded losses in the general market due to the continuing credit drama. The stock fell $20.74, or 16 percent, to $107.50 in afternoon trading. Morgan Stanley analyst Kathryn Huberty downgraded Apple to “Equal-weight” from “Overweight,” saying she was concerned growth in the Macintosh unit is slowing down. The PC market is feeling the weakness in consumer spending, and Morgan Stanley’s analysis indicates that growth will shift to the low end of the market, where Apple doesn’t really play, Huberty said.

Huberty also said that even in the best of cases, Apple’s earnings growth will slow from the quarter that ended in June.

She cut her earnings estimate for fiscal 2009, which just started, to $5.47 from $5.91 per share.

Hong Kong

Cadbury recalling China-made candy

British candy maker Cadbury said Monday it is recalling 11 types of Chinese-made chocolates found to contain melamine, as police in northern China raided a network accused of adding the banned chemical to milk.

A spokesman said it was too early to say how much of the chemical was in chocolates made at its Beijing plant.

Another official said the factory was responsible for only 0.5 percent of global sales and supplies Australia, Taiwan, Nauru, Hong Kong and Christmas Island.

From wire reports