Weekly jobless claims fall
Initial claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week, indicating the labor market is strengthening.
Applications for jobless benefits fell 14,000 from the prior week to 289,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists had expected new claims to rise.
The low level of claims suggests the labor market has "shifted to a higher gear," Credit Suisse analyst Xiao Cui said in a research note.
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The four-week moving average, which erases some of the volatility in the numbers, dropped 4,000, to 293,500 -- the lowest level since February 2006, well before the Great Recession.
Claims for the week ended July 26 were revised up by 1,000, to 303,000.
The Labor Department numbers follow several positive reports for the economy.
July was the sixth straight month the U.S. added more than 200,000 net new jobs -- a streak not seen since 1997 at the onset of the dot-com boom.
Cannon to build homes on Parrish Island
PARRISH -- John Cannon Homes has started construction on a new model house at The Islands of River Wilderness.
The Baylee, a 3,442- square-foot house will boast three bedrooms, three baths, great room, dining room, kitchen, study, bonus room and three-car garage. The exterior architecture features Mediterranean and Tuscan influences with stone detailing and wood shutters. The model is slated to open in early 2015.
The Islands of River Wilderness is situated on a 225-acre island in Parrish, a gated community with views of nature preserves and the Manatee River.
Google, Barnes & Noble team for deliveries
Google and Barnes & Noble, taking on their mutual rival Amazon.com, have paired up to offer same-day delivery of books purchased online.
The service, initially limited to three communities, launched Thursday as part of Google Shopping Express, which allows customers to purchase products from certain retailers and have them delivered later that day.
Google Shopping Express charges $4.99 for a same-day delivery, but there is no per-delivery charge for subscribers to the service. Subscriptions are free for the first six months, but Google has not said how much they will cost after that. Amazon also offers same-day delivery in certain markets. It charges $9.98 per delivery, or $5.99 for members of Amazon Prime, which costs $99 annually.
Barnes & Noble is hoping its new partnership will help it spur sales and undercut Amazon, the leader in the book retail business.
Barnes & Noble has struggled to compete with Amazon, shutting down several brick-and-mortar stores around the country while also struggling to sell its Nook e-reader tablets.
-- Herald staff and wire reports