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Shutdown delays state jobless rate report

Sat., Oct. 12, 2013, midnight

SEATTLE – Washington state’s Employment Security Department said Friday that because of the federal shutdown, it will not be able to report the September jobless rate next week.

“The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics is closed and hasn’t been able to transfer the necessary data to the states,” the department said in a statement.

Also, the agency noted that nearly all of its labor-market information staff is on furlough due to a halt in federal funds.

State officials had planned to report Washington’s September unemployment rate on Wednesday. The department said the report is delayed indefinitely, adding that once the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is open again, “we will learn if and when there will be a September report.”

The state’s unemployment rate was 7 percent in August, up from 6.9 percent in July.

JPMorgan experiences loss in third quarter

NEW YORK – Mounting legal costs pushed JPMorgan Chase to a rare loss in the third quarter, the first under the leadership of Jamie Dimon.

The largest U.S. bank by assets set aside $9.2 billion in the quarter to cover a string of litigation stemming from the housing crisis and the bank’s “London Whale” trading debacle.

JPMorgan said it has placed a total of $23 billion in reserve to cover potential legal costs, including the $9.2 billion.

In a conference call with reporters, CEO Dimon called the costs “painful” but said they reflected “the reality we have to deal with.”

The overall quarterly loss was the bank’s first since the second quarter of 2004, before the global financial crisis and the start of Dimon’s tenure as CEO in December 2005.

Del Monte selling fruit, vegetable business

SAN FRANCISCO – Del Monte Foods is selling off its fruit and vegetable business to focus instead on tasty vittles for pets.

The San Francisco-based company said Friday that it is selling its consumer products business, which includes canned Del Monte pineapple and Contadina tomatoes, to Del Monte Pacific Ltd. in Asia for $1.68 billion. It will then begin catering solely to the tastes of furrier consumers through its pets business, which includes brands such as Pup-Peroni, Meow Mix and Milk-Bones.

Del Monte Pacific, which is publicly traded in Singapore and the Philippines, said the deal will add about $1.8 billion to its annual sales and $178 million to operating earnings. The Asia-based company already owns one of the world’s largest pineapple plantations and said it would benefit from owning brands that have significant market share in canned fruit, vegetables and broth in the U.S.

Del Monte Foods said that it will change its name once the deal is complete, which is expected in early 2014.

Alaska salmon harvest valued at $691 million

JUNEAU, Alaska – This year saw the second most valuable salmon harvest on record in Alaska.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game said in a release that the harvest was valued at $691 million, second only to the 1988 harvest of $724 million.

The pink salmon harvest set a record with 219 million fish caught, leading to a record for all salmon caught at 272 million fish.

The state also reports that Bristol Bay, perennially the most valuable fishery in the state, fell to third place this year.

Southeast Alaska led with the all-species harvest value of $219 million. Second was Prince William Sound at $162 million, and Bristol Bay was third at $140 million.


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