Unemployment rate holds steady in state
Preliminary figures show that Washington gained an unexpectedly strong 24,100 payroll jobs in January, but state economists are skeptical job growth was really that strong.
The jobs figure likely will be revised lower in coming months, state labor economist Joe Elling said Wednesday.
Washington’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January held steady at 7.5 percent, as December’s rate was revised downward by a tenth of a percentage point.
Elling noted that it’s been more than 17 years since the state gained 24,000 jobs in one month, and that average monthly growth has been more in the 5,000-job range for the past year.
January data are especially prone to large revisions, he said. Workers who have the holidays off can get missed in the November and December surveys, then reappear in January. And college students who are on break in December return to campus jobs after the New Year.
Time Warner spinning off Time Inc. magazines
LOS ANGELES – Time Warner Inc. said Wednesday that it will spin off the magazine unit behind Time, Sports Illustrated and People into a separate, publicly traded company by the end of the year, ending a media marriage that has lasted more than two decades.
CEO Jeff Bewkes said in a statement that the decision to split off the Time Inc. magazine company will give Time Warner “strategic clarity” and enable it to focus on its TV networks including TNT, HBO and CNN, and its Warner Bros. studio, which produces movies and TV shows.
Czech bank websites targeted by hackers
PRAGUE – Hackers are targeting major commercial banks in the Czech Republic, bringing down their websites and affecting their online banking.
The websites of the country’s central bank and the Prague’s Stock Exchange were also not accessible Wednesday morning.
Pavla Havova, spokeswoman for the CSOB bank, which belongs to Belgium’s KBC, said the bank’s website and its Internet banking were affected by Wednesday’s attack.
The other major banks, including the Czech branches of Austria’s Erste Group and France’s Societe Generale, say they have also been affected by the denial-of-service attacks, a technique that works by overloading a website with online traffic.
The banks say their clients’ data and deposits are safe.
Samsung to invest in Sharp to secure panels
SEOUL, South Korea – Samsung Electronics Co. said Wednesday it will invest $111.5 million in Sharp Corp. to secure a supply of large LCD panels.
The agreement gives Samsung a 3 percent stake in Osaka-based Sharp and a supply of large LCD panels for televisions.
• Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer received a $1.1 million bonus for her first five-and-a-half months running the Internet company.
• Toyota has tapped a former executive at U.S. rival General Motors, Mark Hogan, to join its board, the first time in the Japanese automaker’s 76-year history it is appointing directors from outside the company.
• Facebook says the chancellor of the University of California at San Francisco, Susan Desmond-Hellmann, will join its board of directors.