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In brief: Pitney Bowes reducing its Spokane staff by 36

Fri., Dec. 7, 2012

Spokane’s Pitney Bowes call center is losing 36 jobs, the company announced on Thursday.

Of those, 24 are relocating to another call center Pitney Bowes operates in Appleton, Wis.

The Spokane site, at 1313 N. Atlantic St. in the Rock Pointe Corporate Center, will have a few more than 300 remaining workers. It’s one of three major call centers that serve Pitney Bowes customers who buy mailing and document management equipment.

In addition to Spokane and Appleton, Pitney Bowes has a service center in Norfolk, Va.

Spokesman Matt Broder said the Spokane operation continues as one of the company’s main service locations.

The relocation is being done to help the company align workers who do the same work to be based in the same building, which Broder said is “more efficient for us as a company.”

PAML buys minority stake in Seattle-based CellNetix

PAML, the large Spokane laboratory company owned by Providence Health and Services, has purchased a minority ownership stake in Seattle-based CellNetix Pathology.

The two companies announced the transaction this week and said it was prompted by rapid consolidation among health care providers and the growing needs of integrated care organizations.

PAML serves the laboratory needs of its Spokane sister institutions within Providence, including Sacred Heart Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital.

CellNetix last month signed a contract to provide lab services to Deaconess Hospital in Spokane after taking over Pathology Services PS.

Jobless claims drop sharply as hiring continues to rise

WASHINGTON – The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid fell sharply last week as a temporary spike caused by Superstorm Sandy has faded. Weekly applications have fallen back to a level consistent with modest hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications dropped 25,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 370,000.

Unemployment aid applications spiked a month ago after Sandy shuttered businesses in the Northeast. Applications jumped to 451,000 in the week that ended Nov. 10. People can claim unemployment benefits if their workplaces are forced to close and they aren’t paid.

Economists expect employers added 110,000 jobs in November, according to FactSet. And they think the unemployment rate will remain at 7.9 percent.

Some analysts expect much lower job gains, roughly 25,000 to 50,000, because of Sandy and anxiety over the fiscal cliff.

The number of people continuing to receive unemployment aid also fell. Total recipients dropped almost 225,000 to just under 5 million in the week ended Nov. 17.

Judge may reduce Apple’s patent award of $1.05 billion

SAN JOSE – A federal judge on Thursday appeared ready to reduce a $1.05 billion jury verdict Apple Inc. won over Samsung Electronics.

During a hearing in a San Jose federal courtroom, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh told lawyers for both companies that jurors appeared to miscalculate damages and she was inclined to trim the award.

Koh didn’t specify how much of the award she might cut, saying she would rule later on a host of legal demands made by both companies.

Samsung wants to overturn an Aug. 24 jury verdict that found the South Korean tech titan ripped off Apple Inc.’s designs for its iPhone and iPad. The jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1 billion after finding about two dozen products used technology controlled by Apple.


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