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News In Brief

MID-DAY UPDATE: Unemployment rate drops. Sounds good. It isn’t.

Christina Huh Jul 2, 2010

The Mid-Day Update is a five-day-a-week podcast from the Marketplace Morning Report co-hosted by Bill Radke and Steve Chiotakis that wraps up the morning news in a fun little package. Listen here every day at 10 a.m. PT or download it to your iPod by subscribing to the Morning Report Podcast:

  • U.S. employers cut 125,000 jobs last month, driven by 225,000 census jobs going away. They don’t count. Private businesses added 83,000 jobs. If we lost jobs, why did the unemployment rate improve from 9.7 to 9.5 percent? Because 650,000 people officially stopped looking for work, so they’re no longer counted as unemployed. They gave up. That’s not good. Learn how to figure out which numbers count in the jobs reports.

  • President Obama announced the latest stimulus outlay: a nationwide project to expand broadband — high-speed Internet access — to poor and rural areas. He says it will create 5,000 construction jobs in the short term and ultimately benefit tens of millions. Some tech advocates want the president to go one step further: Make broadband web access a legal right, like Finland did.

  • General Motors says in the first half of this year it sold more vehicles in China and the United States. First time that’s ever happened.

  • The Wall Street Journal reports, Habitat for Humanity is now one of the country’s top 10 home builders — also for the first time. New homes aren’t selling; plus, Habitat fills the affordable housing niche.

  • Apple says it is “stunned” to find that its latest iPhone model uses a “completely wrong” formula to show how many bars of signal strength it’s getting. Apple says that’s why users have been reporting big drops in signal strength when they hold the phone in a way that blocks the antenna. The company says the signal drop seems exaggerated because the phone wrongly displays four or five bars of signal strength, when it shouldn’t. Apple says it will fix it so the phone reports signal strength in line with other AT&T phones. Satisfied?

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