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Sears' holiday hiring to be flat from last year

Oct. 05, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- Sears Holdings Corp. said that its hiring of seasonal workers for the crucial winter holidays will be unchanged from a year ago.

During a holiday press event Thursday, the company, which operates Kmart and Sears, Roebuck and Co. stores, said that its hiring plans come as it has worked hard to make its associates more productive with strategies like using mobile checkout.

Sears, based in Hoffman Estates, Ill., declined to say how many holiday workers it plans to hire but said that the overall company's workforce is about 260,000. The holiday shopping season is the busiest period of the year for retailers.

Friends of Coal group sponsors UK game

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The group Friends of Coal will continue its public relations campaign this weekend by serving as signature sponsor for the upcoming University of Kentucky vs. Mississippi State football game.

The organization has been trying to improve the image of the state's mining industry through such public outreach efforts.

Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett said the campaign is aimed at educating people about the importance of coal in maintaining an affordable supply of electricity.

Boone hospital getting $31.8M federal loan

MADISON, W.Va. -- Boone Memorial Hospital is getting a $31.8 million federal loan to build a new hospital and clinic.

Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin and Congressman Nick Rahall announced the funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday.

A news release from Rahall's office says the 78,700 square feet of new construction is needed because the current facility in Boone County was designed for medical practice in the 1960s and would be extremely expensive to renovate or remodel. It also says the hospital is energy inefficient, lacks needed storage, has inadequate environmental controls and outdated safety and security systems.

Job market in the U.S. steadying, remains weak

WASHINGTON -- The September jobs report that arrives Friday, a month before the presidential election, will likely sketch a dual picture: The job market continues to heal. Yet it's far from full health.

No incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt has faced re-election with unemployment so high. The rate was 8.1 percent in August, up from 7.8 percent when President Barack Obama took office in January 2009. Economists predict that the rate reached 8.2 percent in September, according to a survey by FactSet.