Business briefly 11-20

Economist says Nevada will recover

MINDEN (AP) - A regional economist predicts Nevada will begin to recover from the recession next year and in the meantime should consider "cherry picking" businesses from California.

Speaking to a business group in Minden on Tuesday, Jeff Thredgold said California's economy and high taxes is stifling small businesses, many of which would welcome a new place to locate.

He says Nevada should focus on industries such as technology and alternative energy, already a focus of Northern Nevada development agencies.

Thredgold also had advice for young people to stay in school and go to college.

He says education is valued more today than ever before.

Sen. Reid objects to emergency exercise set for Vegas

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada Democratic Sen. Harry Reid has sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asking her to reconsider plans for an emergency exercise in Las Vegas.

Reid says in the letter dated Thursday that the simulation would harm the Southern Nevada economy and hurt or even reverse economic recovery efforts.

Reid's office says the Federal Emergency Management Agency National Level Exercise 2010 is planned for May in Las Vegas and would simulate a national level security threat on The Strip.

While Reid says he understands the need for first responders to conduct preparedness training he says several groups have said they oppose the current proposed scenario.

The Associated Press left messages with the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA seeking comment.

AOL offers buyouts to a third of work force

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The struggling Internet company AOL plans to shed up to 2,500 jobs - more than a third of its work force - as it prepares to separate from Time Warner and finally sever their ill-fated marriage.

Major job cuts had been expected and seemed certain after Time Warner said last week that AOL would take $200 million in charges for severance and other restructuring-related costs. But the magnitude was not known until Thursday.

AOL, which has already pared thousands of workers in recent years and now employs about 6,900, is asking for volunteers to accept buyouts. If it falls short of the 2,500 target, it plans layoffs to reach a payroll cut of up to 2,300 positions, a third of its current total.

Report: Reno home sales up, prices down

RENO (AP) - A new report says sales of existing homes in the Reno-Sparks area jumped 59 percent in October from the same month last year, while prices continue to fall.

The Reno-Sparks Association of Realtors says the median price for an existing home was $180,000, a 22 percent decrease from October 2008 and a 3 percent decline from September.

The median price for condominiums and townhouses was $64,950, down 46 percent.

Association President Kris Layman says the large increase in sales is in indication of how flat the market was last year.

Layman says sales this year have been helped by the first time homebuyer tax credit approved and recently extended by Congress to help the struggling housing industry.

Those with good credit being hit by foreclosures

WASHINGTON (AP) - The foreclosure crisis likely will persist well into next year as high unemployment pushes more people out of homes, pulls down housing prices and raises concerns about the broader economic recovery.

The latest evidence was a report Thursday that a rising proportion of fixed-rate home loans made to people with good credit are sinking into foreclosure. That's a shift from last year, when riskier subprime loans drove the housing crisis.

The report from the Mortgage Bankers Association also found that 14 percent of homeowners with a mortgage were either behind on payments or in foreclosure at the end of September. It was a record-high figure for the ninth straight quarter.

Report: Recover weak into future

WASHINGTON (AP) - A gauge of future economic activity and a report on unemployment benefits signaled Thursday that the recovery likely will remain weak in the coming months.

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators rose less in October than analysts had expected. The index forecasts activity by measuring consumer expectations, building permits and other data.

And the number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits, unchanged last week, remains above the level that would indicate the economy is adding jobs.


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