Archive for October, 2011

Metro Atlanta’s jobless rate stuck at 10.3 percent

Metro Atlanta’s unemployment rate stayed at 10.3 percent in September  — unchanged from a revised 10.3 percent in August, the state labor department said Thursday.

There has been no improvement from a year ago when the metro area’s jobless rate in September 2010 was also 10.3 percent,  the labor department said.

Among the core metro counties, Clayton had the highest unemployment rate at 12.8 percent. Fulton was next with 10.8 percent, followed by DeKalb (10.5 percent), Cobb (9.5 percent) and Gwinnett (9.2 percent).

The city of Atlanta posted a jobless rate of 11.5 percent in September. That was down from 11.7 percent in August, but up from 11.3 percent a year ago.

Last week, the labor department reported that Georgia’s unemployment rate rose to 10.3 percent in September, up from 10.2 percent in August.

September was the 50th consecutive month Georgia has exceeded the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.1 percent.

Georgia’s rate increased because of a loss of …

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NanoLumens to move to bigger headquarters in Norcross, add up to 175 jobs

Norcross-based manufacturer and marketer NanoLumens plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to a new, larger office center in Norcross and hire as many as 175 more employees in the next  year, the company announced.

The five-year-old, privately-held business makes flexible and non-flexible digital displays. It will consolidate administrative, sales, operations, research, design and assembly in a 32,000 square foot building, more than double the size of its existing facility.

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What should be Netflix’s next script for keeping customers?

Netflix, once the star in video subscription services, is finding out the hard way that it’s still all about the customer – and investor.

When it raised prices by as much as 60 percent in the U.S. on Sept. 1 and then bungled an attempt to spin off its DVD-by-mail rental service, it probably never dreamed it would see such an exodus of customers, or the nightmare on Wall Street that followed.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the company should have done a better job of explaining the price hike. He said the money was needed to pay movie and television studios for rights to stream more content more quickly.

Netflix thought it would lose 600,000 subscribers, but instead lost 800,000, taking its subscriber list down to 23.8 million.

What does Netflix need to do to repair the damage, keep existing customers  and bring others back?

Christopher Seward

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Hailo USA bringing 200 jobs to Elberton

Hailo USA, the American division of a German manufacturing company, will open a headquarters and turbine component manufacturing facility in Elberton, investing $10 million and creating 200 jobs over five  years, Gov. Nathan Deal announced today.

The company produces climbing and service lift systems, platforms, railings, doors and other  mechanical components for wind turbine towers. It is moving to Georgia to expand and add production capacity to meet the needs of its  customers in the wind energy industry.

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Worst U.S. housing markets: Well, at least we’re not Homestead Fla.

Metro Atlantans bemoaning the declining resale value of their homes can take one bit of comfort. We’re not the worst housing market in the country when it comes to falling prices. Heck, we’re not even in the top five.

Check out this list from Bloomberg Businessweek to see the five worst and the five best markets. (Spoiler alert: Atlanta’s not in either list).

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Suburbia’s new reality: Ozzie and Harriet don’t live there anymore

America’s suburbs once were the place poverty didn’t touch.

No more, according to a report in The New York Times.

Research shows that, “For the first time, more than half of the metropolitan poor live in suburban areas.”

The trend has big implications for changing suburban communities.

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Jobs said he was a big fan of Zuckerberg, Facebook

In an interview, Steve Jobs said he admired Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for “not selling out.”

The late Apple Inc. co-founder said he knew Zuckerberg only a little, but lauded him for trying to make a company out of his idea,

He also thought Zuckerberg had done a remarkable job, dominating, he felt, the social network space.

Read more in this post at Bloomberg Businessweek.

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Wahoo! Google pondering play for Yahoo

This should get you out of your chair on a Monday morning.

Internet giants Google and Yahoo might soon be one.

The Wall Street Journal reports there are talks for Google to buy Yahoo.

Can anyone say “antitrust?”

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Banks in Decatur, Jonesboro close

Two metro-Atlanta banks closed on Friday and will reopen this weekend under new ownership, according to federal regulators.

Decatur First Bank in Decatur and Community Capitol Bank of Jonesboro became the latest in a string of bank closings in Georgia since the beginning of the year. They are the 21st and 22nd banks, respectively, to close in the state so far.

Decatur First was acquired by Fidelity Bank of Atlanta, and Decatur First’s five branches will reopen Saturday as branches of Fidelity. Terms of the deal were not disclosed

Decatur First had about $191.5 million in total assets and $179.2 million in total deposits as of June 30. The FDIC, which insures deposits, said closing Decatur First will cost the insurer $32.6 million.

Community Capital was acquired by State Bank and Trust Co. of Macon. Terms of that deal also were not disclosed.

Community Capital’s two branches will reopen Saturday as State Bank branches. As of June 30, Community Capital had about …

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Wells Fargo misprints account information

Wells Fargo is blaming printer error on the distribution of thousands of bank statements to new customers containing the account information of other customers.

The new customers receiving the sensitive information were in Florida and South Carolina. The information included names, addresses, transaction details and balance information, according to published reports.

Spokeswoman Aimee Worsley said PINs were not included, but Social Security numbers may have appeared since some customers use direct deposit for paychecks and government checks, and issuers often use the number to verify payees.

Wells Fargo, which didn’t disclose how many customers were affected, said it is treating the incident as an “information security breach” and said customers are being offered a free year of identity theft protection. The bank believes the risk that customers’ data will be compromised is low.

ConsumerWorld.org founder Edgar Dworsky, however, told Time magazine’s

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