Business Highlights: Summer jobs, Gulf natural gas

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Red-hot summer job market awaits US teens as employers sweat

WASHINGTON (AP) — This is expected to be the best summer job market for teens in 15 years. Researchers at Drexel University’s Center for Labor Markets and Policy predicted in a report last month that an average of 33% of youths ages 16 to 19 will be employed each month from June through August this year, the highest such rate since 34% in the...

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Red-hot summer job market awaits US teens as employers sweat

WASHINGTON (AP) — This is expected to be the best summer job market for teens in 15 years. Researchers at Drexel University’s Center for Labor Markets and Policy predicted in a report last month that an average of 33% of youths ages 16 to 19 will be employed each month from June through August this year, the highest such rate since 34% in the summer of 2007. And the pay available to them — $15 or $16 an hour for entry-level work — is drawing some back into the job market. Teenage employment has already topped pre-pandemic levels even though the overall job market still hasn’t.

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As natural gas expands in Gulf, residents fear rising damage

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) — There are neighborhoods in Southwest Louisiana that have endured seven federally declared disasters in just two years. Those storms are increasingly amped up by climate change, which is fueled by growing emissions. Those emissions come from burning coal, oil and natural gas and from leaks and deliberate releases of natural gas. Yet these same storm-prone neighborhoods are near a buildout of new plants that supercool natural gas for export. The region provides a contrast between the need to phase out fossil fuels to address climate change and the world’s growing demand for natural gas.

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Stocks shake off a wobbly start on Wall Street, end higher

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market shook off a wobbly start and ended broadly higher Thursday, marking its first gain in this holiday-shortened week. Technology stocks were among the winners as Microsoft erased an early loss. Trading has been choppy in recent days as investors remain worried about inflation and the interest rate increases the Federal Reserve is using to fight it. The S&P 500 rose 1.8%. The benchmark index has risen 7.1% since coming to the edge of a bear market two weeks ago. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.3% and the Nasdaq rose 2.7%. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.91%.

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OPEC+ alliance boosts oil production as energy prices soar

LONDON (AP) — The OPEC oil cartel and allied producing countries including Russia will raise production by 648,000 barrels per day in July and August, offering modest relief for a global economy suffering from soaring energy prices and the resulting inflation. The decision Thursday steps up the pace by the alliance, known as OPEC+, in restoring cuts made during the worst of the pandemic recession. The group had been adding a steady 432,000 barrels per day each month to gradually restore production cuts from 2020. The move to increase production faster than planned comes as rising crude prices have pushed gasoline to a record high in the U.S.

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Ford plans to add 6,200 jobs in Ohio, Michigan and Missouri

AVON LAKE, Ohio (AP) — Ford will add 6,200 factory jobs in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio as it prepares to build more electric vehicles and roll out two redesigned combustion-engine models. The company says it will invest $3.7 billion in the three states, and it will convert about 3,000 temporary workers to full-time status with benefits. A factory near Cleveland will be expanded so it can build an unidentified new electric commercial vehicle, with 1,800 new jobs. A plant in Claycomo, Missouri, near Kansas City, that makes big electric and combustion-engine vans will get a third shift of 1,100 workers. And in Michigan, the company will add 2,000 jobs at three assembly plants as well as another 1,200 at other facilities.

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Go-broke dates pushed back for Social Security, Medicare

WASHINGTON (AP) — A stronger-than-expected economic recovery from the pandemic has pushed back the go-broke dates for Social Security and Medicare, but officials warn that the current economic turbulence is putting additional pressures on the bedrock retirement programs. The annual Social Security and Medicare trustees report released Thursday states that Social Security’s trust fund will be unable to pay full benefits in 2035, instead of last year’s estimation of 2034. The projected depletion date for Medicare’s trust fund for inpatient hospital care moved back two years to 2028 from last year’s forecast of 2026.

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Fewer Americans apply for unemployment benefits last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for jobless aid last week and the number of Americans collecting unemployment remain at historically low levels. Applications for unemployment benefits fell by 11,000 to 200,000 for the week ending May 28, the Labor Department reported Thursday. First-time applications generally track the number of layoffs. The four-week average for claims, which evens out some of the weekly volatility, dipped by 500 from the previous week to 206,500. The total number of Americans collecting jobless benefits for the week ending May 21 fell from the previous week, to 1,309,000, the fewest since Dec. 27, 1969.

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Amazon to close Kindle bookstore in China, halt device sale

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon said Thursday it will shut down its digital Kindle bookstores in China and stop selling the device to retailers in the country. The company said in a WeChat post that the bookstore will stop operating on June 30, 2023. It says customers in China will not be able to buy new e-books after that day and won’t be able to download books they’ve already purchased after a year later. The e-commerce giant’s pullback comes as foreign technology firms have been pulling out or downsizing their operations in mainland China as a strict data privacy law specifying how companies collect and store data takes effect. However, Amazon said its other businesses in China will continue.

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Average long-term US mortgage rates edge down, still over 5%

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged down slightly this week, though interest rates on the key 30-year home loan remain at decade-high levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac reported Thursday that the 30-year rate ticked down to 5.09% from 5.1% last week. By contrast, the average rate stood at 2.99% a year ago. Higher borrowing rates appear to be slowing the housing market, a crucial sector of the economy. In April, sales of both existing homes and new homes showed signs of faltering, worsened by sharply higher home prices and a shrunken supply of available properties.

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The S&P 500 gained 75.59 points, or 1.8%, to 4,176.82. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 435.05 points, or 1.3%, to 33,248.28. The Nasdaq jumped 322.44 points, or 2.7%, to 12,316.90. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies added 42.85 points, or 2.3%, to 1,897.67.

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