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  • Stocks close mostly flat; Ralph Lauren drops 12%

    Stocks close mostly flat; Ralph Lauren drops 12%

    Stocks ended Thursday's trading mostly unchanged as cautious investors focused on a large batch of earnings reports from U.S. companies, including Facebook and Merck. Ryder System, a truck leasing company, fell 8% after reporting earnings that fell far short of what Wall Street analysts expected....

  • This small, animal-free circus in California is doing what Ringling Bros. couldn’t

    This small, animal-free circus in California is doing what Ringling Bros. couldn’t

    Circus Vargas trapeze artist Yasmin Rivera had donned her red, white and blue leotard and applied her heavy, glittery makeup. Soon she would be dangling from a cable under the big top, more than 20 feet in the air. But as showtime neared on a recent Sunday night in Del Mar, Rivera had a task to...

  • U.S. businesses add most jobs in seven months, ADP says

    U.S. businesses add most jobs in seven months, ADP says

    Private employers added a surprisingly strong 246,000 net new jobs in January, the most in seven months, payroll firm Automatic Data Processing said Wednesday. The job growth was well above the 151,000 figure from December, which was revised down slightly. Economists had anticipated a smaller increase...

  • Fitbit shares dive 16% after holiday sales disappoint; layoffs coming

    Fitbit shares dive 16% after holiday sales disappoint; layoffs coming

    Fitbit Inc. shares dropped 16% on Monday after the maker of fitness trackers said its holiday sales were lower than expected and announced layoffs and other steps to cut costs. Weeks after the announcements of two smartwatch-related acquisitions, Fitbit said it would cut about 110 of its employees...

  • California Inc.: Is it safe to reopen Aliso Canyon gas storage field?

    California Inc.: Is it safe to reopen Aliso Canyon gas storage field?

    Welcome to California Inc., the weekly newsletter of the L.A. Times Business Section. I’m Business columnist David Lazarus, and here’s a rundown of upcoming stories this week and the highlights of last week. Traders get back to business Monday after a week in which the Dow Jones industrial average...

  • California gains 3,700 jobs in December, pushing unemployment down to 5.2%

    California gains 3,700 jobs in December, pushing unemployment down to 5.2%

    California employers capped off a solid year of job growth in 2016 by adding a net 3,700 jobs during the month of December, the Employment Development Department reported Friday.  The unemployment rate was 5.2%, down from 5.3% in November. The national jobless rate was 5% in December.  “An unemployment...

  • American Apparel starts mass layoffs as company winds down operations

    American Apparel starts mass layoffs as company winds down operations

    American Apparel was once a fashion industry trailblazer with its colorful basics, provocative marketing and commitment to U.S. manufacturing. But after years of financial strife and corporate intrigue, the company began laying off 2,400 workers in Southern California on Monday — kicking off its...

  • California Inc.: A lucrative 'Joshua Tree' to grow in Pasadena

    California Inc.: A lucrative 'Joshua Tree' to grow in Pasadena

    Welcome to California Inc., the weekly newsletter of the L.A. Times Business Section. I’m Business columnist David Lazarus, and here’s a rundown of upcoming stories this week and the highlights of last week. On Friday, we learned that auto buying and online shopping rose in December. The spending...

  • Weinstein Co. serves up 'The Founder' amid smaller film slate and shift to TV

    Weinstein Co. serves up 'The Founder' amid smaller film slate and shift to TV

    In Weinstein Co.'s "The Founder," opening nationwide this week, McDonald's executive Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton) uses strong-arm tactics to wring gold from the golden arches, turning them into a ubiquitous symbol of American success. But in the process, he alienates associates and burns his share...

  • What to expect in the workplace in 2017

    What to expect in the workplace in 2017

    Like so many things for the year ahead, changes probably are coming to the workplace. We asked several human resources experts and employment lawyers what they think we'll be talking about regarding compensation, benefits and how bosses manage their people. Some predictions: More companies will...

  • Disney CEO Robert Iger's compensation dropped slightly to $43.9 million in 2016

    Disney CEO Robert Iger's compensation dropped slightly to $43.9 million in 2016

    Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive and Chairman Robert Iger’s total compensation was $43.9 million during the company’s most recent fiscal year, according to a Securities Exchange Commission filing. His compensation during fiscal 2016, which ended Oct. 1, was down 2.3% from $44.9 million a year earlier...

  • Boeing plans buyouts and layoffs for engineers

    Boeing plans buyouts and layoffs for engineers

    Boeing Co. has internally announced a new round of employee buyouts for engineers companywide, including in Southern California, and warned that layoff notices will follow later this month to engineers in Washington state, where the company has a large presence. Management did not cite a target...

  • Job growth slows in 2016, but wages are rising

    Job growth slows in 2016, but wages are rising

    The U.S. economy finished 2016 with a slowdown in job growth but a surge in wage gains, a mixed picture that has come to mark President Obama’s stewardship of the nation’s long but relatively weak recovery from the Great Recession.   Employers added 156,000 jobs in December — the 75th straight...

  • Stocks mostly slip as banks slump and retailers dive

    Stocks mostly slip as banks slump and retailers dive

    Stocks slipped Thursday as interest rates dropped and banks took sharp losses. Department stores tumbled as Macy's and Kohl's plunged following weak holiday-season reports that led the chains to cut their profit forecasts. After a solid but uninspiring report on private hiring in December, bond...

  • Private-sector job growth slows, jobless claims plunge in mixed labor market data

    Private-sector job growth slows, jobless claims plunge in mixed labor market data

    Private-sector employers unexpectedly slowed their hiring in December, but jobless claims fell to near a four-decade low as new data sent mixed signals about the labor market ahead of Friday’s jobs report. U.S. companies added 153,000 net new jobs last month, down significantly from 215,000 in...

  • Macy's to close stores and cut more than 10,000 jobs

    Macy's to close stores and cut more than 10,000 jobs

    After a disappointing holiday season, Macy’s said it is cutting more than 10,000 jobs and going ahead with plans to close 68 stores — including locations in San Diego and Santa Barbara. The department store chain reported Wednesday that same-store sales in November and December dropped 2.1% compared...

  • Relativity and EuropaCorp's joint venture laying off most of its staff, insider says

    Relativity and EuropaCorp's joint venture laying off most of its staff, insider says

    Relativity Media and EuropaCorp’s film-distribution joint venture, known as RED, is laying off most of its 40-person staff, according to a person familiar with the matter, representing another blow to Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media. The job cuts come after Relativity failed for months to financially...

  • Pebble smartwatch maker calls it quits, proving that being first doesn't guarantee success

    Pebble smartwatch maker calls it quits, proving that being first doesn't guarantee success

    When smartwatch maker Pebble Technology Corp. went up against Apple and Google last year, industry insiders described it as a battle between David and Goliath.  On Wednesday, David lost. Pebble, one of the first companies to manufacture smartwatches, announced on its website that it would shut...

  • On Obamacare repeal, GOP ideology is colliding with reality

    On Obamacare repeal, GOP ideology is colliding with reality

    If there weren’t so much at stake, one would be amused at the spectacle of Republican politicians writhing as they try to make good on their ideological promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare without ruining the lives of millions of their own constituents. In the few short weeks since the GOP...

  • SeaWorld eliminates hundreds of jobs

    SeaWorld eliminates hundreds of jobs

    SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. announced Tuesday that it is eliminating 320 jobs, part of an ongoing effort to sharply cut its costs. In Southern California, about 60 employees will be laid off, according to a notice filed Tuesday with the California Employment Development Department. The affected...

  • American Apparel warns 3,500 Southern California workers of possible layoffs

    American Apparel warns 3,500 Southern California workers of possible layoffs

    American Apparel has told nearly 3,500 employees in Southern California that they may lose their jobs in January depending on the outcome of a likely sale to Canadian clothing maker Gildan Activewear. The maker of colorful basics, which in November filed for bankruptcy for the second time, has...

  • Warehouses promised lots of jobs, but robots are invading the workforce

    Warehouses promised lots of jobs, but robots are invading the workforce

    When Skechers started building a colossal distribution center in Moreno Valley six years ago, backers promised a wave of new jobs. Instead, by the time the company moved operations to the Moreno Valley, the company had closed five facilities in Ontario that employed 1,200 people and cut its workforce...

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