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Briefs for Saturday

June 17, 2022 Updated Fri., June 17, 2022 at 9:34 p.m.

Idaho’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to a historic low of 2.5% in May, according to the Idaho Department of Labor.

The Gem State’s jobless rate last month was down from the previous all-time low of 2.6% in April.

May’s jobless rate marks the fourth consecutive month of historic lows since record keeping began in 1976, according to the department.

Idaho added 6,823 jobs in May, bringing the total number of positions in the state to 919,785, the department reported Friday.

Nonfarm jobs fell short of expectations in May, shedding 1,900 jobs for a total of 813,300.

Industry sectors with the greatest job declines in May were arts, entertainment and recreation; state government; natural resources; and financial activities.

Lewiston saw the largest nonfarm job decrease of 0.7%, followed by Coeur d’Alene with 0.6%.

SpaceX fires letter writers

SpaceX has fired “a number of employees” responsible for an open letter critical of the behavior of Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, according to an internal memo, an unusual clash hinting at growing discord over the billionaire’s controversial comments.

The open letter called Musk’s behavior and tweets “a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks.”

The document, which began circulating among staff in recent days, called on SpaceX leadership to condemn and distance itself from Musk’s “personal brand.”

SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said in the memo, which was seen by Bloomberg, that the company investigated the open letter and terminated the employees involved.

The situation “made employees feel uncomfortable, intimidated and bullied, and/or angry because the letter pressured them to sign onto something that did not reflect their views,” Shotwell said in the email.

SpaceX didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

From wire reportsThe firings were reported earlier by the New York Times. A separate report from Reuters said at least five workers were fired.

The upheaval is unusual for the rocket-launch and satellite-communications company, which Musk has maintained a tight grip over since founding it two decades ago.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp., which has roughly 12,000 employees, serves private customers as well as government agencies including NASA.

Musk, also CEO of electric-vehicle maker Tesla Inc., regularly generates controversy, whether over his stances on overtly political topics, crass tweets or references to drug culture.

Last month, Insider reported that SpaceX had paid an employee $250,000 to settle a claim she was sexually harassed by Musk in 2016.

He has pushed back against the allegations, calling them “utterly untrue.”

Musk also is in a contentious process to acquire Twitter for $44 billion.

He met with employees Thursday for the first time, where he said people should be allowed to say “pretty outrageous things” on the social-media platform.

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