Make us your home page
Instagram

Jobless claims, trade gap grow

A trio of U.S. economic reports brought a mixed bag of data:

Jobless numbers

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 16,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 326,000. Despite the increase, the number remains close to pre­recession levels and points to stable hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, inched up 250 to 319,500.

In Florida, the number rose 1,698, due to layoffs in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retailing and services.

Service-sector index

U.S. service firms expanded more quickly last month as new orders rose and hiring increased, a positive sign the economy is rebounding after an unusually cold winter.

The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its service-sector index rose to 53.1 in March from 51.6 in February. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Trade gap

The U.S. trade deficit climbed to the highest level in five months in February as demand for U.S. exports fell and imports increased slightly.

The deficit increased to $42.3 billion, which was 7.7 percent above the January imbalance of $39.3 billion, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

U.S. exports slipped 1.1 percent to $190.4 billion as sales of commercial aircraft, computers and farm goods fell.

Jobless claims, trade gap grow 04/03/14 [Last modified: Thursday, April 3, 2014 9:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida turns over voter-roll data to Trump election commission

    State Roundup

    Florida provided voter-roll data to President Donald Trump's election fraud commission Friday despite a lawsuit by the ACLU of Florida attempting to prevent the state from providing the information.

    Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, left, and Vice President Mike Pence, right, lead the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which is seeking voter data from every state.
  2. Wells Fargo charged 800,000 for unnecessary auto insurance, internal report says

    Banking

    Wells Fargo incorrectly charged 800,000 of its auto loan customers for unnecessary auto insurance, according to an internal report obtained by The New York Times. According to the report, about 274,000 of those customers were forced into delinquency on their loans, which resulted in 25,000 repossessions. …

    An internal Wells Fargo report obtained by The New York Times said the bank charged more than 800,000 people for auto insurance they did not need.  | [Los Angeles Times]
  3. Trigaux: Do we all need PhDs to fight scams, frauds and rip-offs?

    Business

    There are days when it feels like our school priorities are all wrong. Literature? Math? Computers? Nah. What everyone really needs to survive in the 21st century is a PhD in fighting the rise of increasingly creative consumer scams, frauds and rip-offs.

    As solar panels become cheaper and more popular, consumer agencies are starting to see a rise in consumer complaints about misleading and deceptive solar offerings. Solar scams are noted in a national report on major consumer complaints issued this week by the Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators. [William Levesque, Times]
  4. Starbucks to close all Teavana locations, including five in Tampa Bay

    Retail

    Local Teavana locations include Tyrone Square in St. Petersburg, International Plaza and Westfield Citrus Park in Tampa, Brandon and Clearwater.

    Starbucks announced Thursday plans to shut down all 379 Teavana stores, citing "underperformance." Starbucks acquired the mall-based tea chain for $620 million in 2012. [ CANDICE CHOI | AP file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Closing Iron Yard coding school hits area tech hard but leaders talk of options

    Business

    The coming shutdown this fall of the Iron Yard software coding school in downtown St. Petersburg — announced this month as part of a national closing of all 15 Iron Yard locations — remains a shocking event to a Tampa Bay technology community that dreams big of becoming a major player in the Southeast if not …

    In better days last fall, friends and family of graduates at The Iron Yard, based in the Station House in downtown St. Petersburg, applaud during "Demo Day" when grads of the coding school show off their skills. Despite the local success and strong job placement by the coding school, The Iron Yard is closing all of its 15 locations across the country this summer. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]