Business

NC jobless rate falls to 5.5%

January 28, 2015

(StarNews, Wilmington)

North Carolina's unemployment rate fell for the fourth straight month, to 5.5% in December compared with November's adjusted rate of 5.9%. The rate was lower than the national rate (5.6%) for the first time since last April.

Shareholders to vote on tobacco merger

January 28, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Shareholders of Reynolds American and Lorillard are scheduled to vote Wednesday on their proposed $25 billion merger. The tobacco companies announced in July plans for Winston-Salem-based Reynolds to acquire Greensboro-based Lorillard and sell some of the companies' brands to Imperial Tobacco Group for $7.1 billion ("Buying a Brand," August 2014).

Google announcements met with fanfare

January 28, 2015

(The News & Observer, Raleigh)

Now that Google is officially bringing its high-speed Internet network to Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company must complete a design process before it can begin the massive construction project of laying fiber. Google declined to provide a start date for either project.

NC has lowest union membership rate in the US

January 28, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Only 1.9% of workers in the North Carolina were union members in 2014, compared with 3% in 2013. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor, the national level was 11.1%, down slightly from the previous year. New York had the highest union membership rate at 24.6%. 

Belhaven, Vidant approve plans for 24-hour clinic

January 28, 2015

(The Daily Reflector, Greenville)

The town of Belhaven reached an agreement with Vidant Health that will allow the Greenville-based health system to begin construction of a $4.2 million, 24-hour clinic that will serve Hyde and Beaufort counties. The town and the NAACP are still awaiting a decision from a federal complaint they filed over Vidant's decision last year to close Vidant Pungo Hospital.

Hickory-based CommScope buying TE Connectivity units

January 28, 2015

(Winston-Salem Journal)

CommScope Holding will pay about $3 billion for TE Connectivity's telecommunications, enterprise and wireless businesses. The deal, expected to close by year-end, will allow the Hickory-based company to expand its geographic footprint.

Hedge fund sells Family Dollar shares

January 28, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Trian Fund Management sold about 6 million shares of Matthews-based Family Dollar Stores, reducing its ownership stake from 8% to about 2%, according to a securities filing Tuesday. A separate SEC filing showed that 89% of the discount retailer's shares who voted approved its pending $8.5 billion sale to Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree.

IBM union reports job cuts to begin Wednesday

January 28, 2015

(WRAL TechWire)

Many IBM employees have told a workers' union that layoffs related to a restructuring will begin Wednesday. The Armonk, N.Y.-based technology company confirmed Monday it plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide, though it is unknown how many will be in the United States.

Carolinas HealthCare's contract with insurer set to expire

January 28, 2015

(The Charlotte Observer)

Carollinas HealthCare System's contract with insurer UnitedHealthcare will expire Feb. 28 if the two companies are unable to strike a deal. Negotiations began last fall, but the insurance company says there are still two points of disagreement.

Eden says rivers 'thriving'

January 28, 2015

(News & Record, Greensboro)

Nearly a year after coal ash spilled into the Dan River from a nearby Duke Energy steam station (cover story, April 2014), officials from Eden say their rivers are "thriving."