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Last updated: May 16. 2013 11:48PM - 509 Views

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Light travellers board early


If you’re traveling light, you can board earlier on American Airlines.


The airline said Thursday that people carrying only a personal item that fits under the seat — no rolling suitcases — will be allowed to board before most other passengers.


American said that the change will speed up the boarding process and allow flights to take off sooner, helping the airline improve its on-time performance.


Airlines have been seeing a buildup in boarding times since they began charging fees for checked baggage as more people fight for limited space in overhead bins.


Jobless applications rise


The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose 32,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 360,000, the most since late March. The jump came a week after applications had reached a five-year low.


The less volatile four-week average rose only 1,250 to 339,250, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s a level consistent with modest job gains.


“The underlying story in jobless claims continues to be one of gradual improvement,” said Julia Coronado, an economist at BNP Paribas.


Coronado said the small rise in applications “highlight(s) the need to take volatile weekly readings with a grain of salt.”


Weekly applications are a proxy for layoffs. The big increase might mean companies are cutting more jobs, possibly because of steep government spending cuts that kicked in March 1.


Apple apps hit 50 billion


Apple says its customers have downloaded more than 50 billion applications from its App Store since its launch in 2008.


Apple Inc. said Thursday that the 50 billionth download was a game called “Say the Same Thing” by Space Inch.


The App Store had 500 apps when it first opened. It now has more than 850,000 individual apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The store hit the 10 billion downloads mark in early 2011 and 25 billion in March 2012. The 50 billion milestone does not include updates or re-downloads.


Apps range from newspapers and magazines to games, business tools and travel applications.


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