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Want a sign that business is hiring? For the first time since 2008, federal officials expect the 85,000 visas for foreign skilled workers will be snapped up in just a few days -- many for science and engineering jobs. - 

The "big three" automakers -- Chrysler, GM, and Ford -- are reporting sharp gains in sales for the month of March. Chrysler says the latest month was their best since 2007.

There's been a lot of attention paid to furloughs of government workers because of the sequestration -- those across-the-board cuts to the federal budget that went into effect March 1. But what about all the contractors the government does business with? Some have indeed taken a hit, while others are sitting pretty.

Want a sign that business is hiring? For the first time since 2008, federal officials expect the 85,000 visas for foreign skilled workers will be snapped up in just a few days.

Follow Jeremy Hobson at @jeremyhobson