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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Employers added a healthy 255,000 jobs last month, a sign of confidence amid sluggish growth that points to a resilient U.S. economy. The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate remained a low 4.9 percent in July. More Americans launched job searches, and nearly all were hired. But the influx of job seekers meant that the number of unemployed fell only slightly. The figures suggest that U.S. employers shook off concerns about Britain’s late-June vote to quit the European Union. Nor were they apparently discouraged by tepid growth in the first half of the year of just 1 percent at an annual rate. Read more
SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle-based Amazon is unveiling its first branded cargo plane, one of 40 jetliners that will make up the e-commerce giant’s own air transportation network as it takes more control of its delivery process. The latest push to speed delivery of its products comes as the company ships an increasing number of packages worldwide. Amazon’s parcel volume was an estimated 1 billion packages in 2015 – the same number that FedEx delivered three years earlier for hundreds of thousands of customers. Analysts say it makes sense for Amazon to use an air fleet it controls as another way to get its products to online shoppers drawn to fast, no-extra-cost delivery. Read more
NEW YORK (AP) — A new law that requires food makers to label the packaging of any products that contain genetically modified ingredients has small and medium-sized manufacturers facing some big decisions. Should they try to provide the information on the label itself, or invest in the technology to add scannable codes? Should they change their ingredients to steer clear of such products, and is it worth getting certified as being GMO-free? These are tough questions for companies that may not have financial cushions like bigger businesses to absorb the cost of such changes, which can run into the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars – a considerable amount for a small enterprise. Read more
BOSTON (AP) — Now you see them; now you don’t. Pop-up storefronts and eateries have been around for years, but entrepreneurs increasingly are taking the concept in new and unexpected directions. Last week, New York welcomed the Museum of Ice Cream, an interactive pop-up honoring the frozen treat. In Chicago, a short-term diner this month replicates “The Max,” the fictitious Southern California hangout from the 1990s-era high school sitcom “Saved by the Bell.” In some ways, the idea of a pop-up has always been around, from seasonal stores selling Halloween costumes to produce stands and pushcart vendors. But the more recent versions of pop-ups took form around the 2008 recession. Read more
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. trade deficit increased to the highest point in 10 months, driven up by a big rise in imports of oil and Chinese-made computers, cell phones and clothing. The deficit rose to $44.5 billion in June, 8.7 percent higher than a revised May deficit of $41 billion, the Commerce Department reported Friday. It was the biggest gap between what America sells abroad and what the country imports since a $44.6 billion deficit last August. Exports, which have struggled this year because of the strong dollar and global weakness, edged up 0.3 percent to $183.2 billion. Imports rose a faster 1.9 percent to $227.7 billion, led by a 19.4 percent jump in petroleum imports. Read more
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