Survey: US firms
add 238K jobs
A private survey shows U.S. businesses added the most jobs in a year in December, powered by a big gain in construction. The figures are the latest evidence that the economy gained momentum at the end of 2013.
Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 238,000 jobs in December, up slightly from 229,000 in the previous month. November’s figures were revised higher.
The report showed solid gains in higher-paying jobs.
Construction firms hired 48,000 additional workers in December, the most since 2006. And manufacturers added 19,000 positions. Companies in retail, transportation and utilities also gained 47,000 jobs.
The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the government’s more comprehensive report. But both reports have shown a solid pickup in hiring since the summer.
ups Fisker offer
Chinese auto parts conglomerate Wanxiang Group Corp. has increased its offer for Fisker Automotive, heating up the fight for the failed electric-vehicle maker.
Wanxiang sweetened its bid with an additional $10 million in cash.
An attorney for Fisker’s official committee of unsecured creditors told a Delaware bankruptcy judge Wednesday that Wanxiang may increase its offer even more if the judge approves a competitive auction for Fisker. “They have told us they have considerable room to go,” said William Baldiga, the attorney.
But Fisker wants the judge to approve a private sale to Hybrid Technology LLC, which is owned by Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li. Hybrid became Fisker’s senior secured lender by buying a failed Department of Energy loan for $25 million. That resulted in a loss to U.S. taxpayers of $139 million.
Hybrid is seeking to buy Fisker’s remaining assets in bankruptcy. The proposed sale will be considered at a hearing Friday.
Delta Air installing
some new seats
Delta Air Lines says it will install new seats and bigger overhead bins on many of the planes it flies within the U.S. It’s squeezing more seats onto many of those planes, too.
Delta said on Wednesday that the project will cover 225 planes. Passengers will have electrical power at every seat, and most of them are getting bigger overhead bins and new seats.
Delta will be able to fit more seats onto many of those planes, including about 19 more seats on its Boeing 757-200s, six more on its Airbus A319s, and 10 more on its A320s.
It’s getting the extra space by using so-called “slim-line” seats that have a smaller, lighter-weight frame from front to back. And on the 757s, the new kitchens, called galleys, will take up less space. Also, some of the 757s will have fewer business-class seats, making room for more coach seats.
Legroom on the planes will be about the same as now, Delta Air Lines Inc. spokesman Paul Skrbec said. Seats on the Airbus planes will be slightly wider.
Atlanta-based Delta is also overhauling the interiors on its Boeing 737-800s, but the number of seats will remain the same.
Delta’s 757s include a mix of planes that it has always owned, and planes it got when it bought Northwest Airlines in 2008. The remodeling will make the interiors on those planes the same.