Jobless rate edges higher
The unemployment rate edged up to 5.8 percent last month, a level not seen since the global financial crisis, with the sluggish economy shedding 10,800 jobs as the mining investment boom unwinds. The Bureau of Statistics said the seasonally adjusted rate — up from 5.7 percent in July — was the result of losses in full-time and part-time employment, and is the highest since August 2009. While the headline figure was in line with forecasts, analysts had expected the economy to create 10,000 jobs, while the proportion of the population in or looking for work fell, a sign that people were giving up on job-seeking.
Scientific planning touted
The nation must plan scientifically for “high-quality” urbanization that is human-oriented and energy-saving, a senior official at the nation’s top economic planning agency said in remarks published yesterday. National Development and Reform Commission vice chairman Zhang Xiaoqiang (張曉強) also said China’s urbanization level, at about 52 percent of the population, still has a long way to catch up with that of developed economies and even some other Asian nations. The commission had said it would unveil an urbanization plan in the second half of this year.
Softbank to receive loans
Japanese mobile telecom Softbank Corp is to receive US$3 billion in loans from government-affiliated banks as it takes advantage of a drive to boost international acquisitions and investment, a report said yesterday. The news comes two months after Softbank completed the US$21.6 billion buyout of US telecom Sprint Nextel Corp, the biggest overseas acquisition ever by a Japanese firm. The Bank for International Cooperation and Development Bank of Japan is to offer the ￥300 billion (US$3 billion) of loans, the Nikkei business daily said yesterday, without citing sources.
Vodafone data stolen
Mobile phone and broadband provider Vodafone Deutschland says it was the target of a large-scale data theft affecting the personal details of 2 million German customers. Spokesman Alexander Leinhos said the attack was conducted by an unidentified systems administrator who worked for a company contracted by Vodafone. Vodafone said in a statement yesterday that the stolen data included customers’ name, address, date of birth and bank details. Credit card information and passwords were not stolen, the firm said.
Alabama mill to be closed
International Paper said on Wednesday it would close an Alabama plant amid falling demand as US consumers switch to online alternatives. The leading US global paper and paper products company said it had tried unsuccessfully to avoid closing its Courtland Mill in Alabama. The closure affects 1,100 employees. The mill is to be shut down in stages to be completed by the end of the first quarter of next year, the company said.
Pandora appoints ad star
Internet radio titan Pandora on Wednesday appointed a digital advertising star as its chief executive. Brian McAndrews took the helm of the Oakland, California-based firm as Apple Inc is poised to launch an iTunes Radio service on Wednesday next week. McAndrews succeeds Joe Kennedy, who announced his departure earlier this year after nine years at the helm.