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Economy

Obama, facing high unemployment, defends stimulus

President Obama responded to high unemployment figures and criticisms by highlighting new job growth goals and new projects that are part of the $787 billion stimulus plan. At the same time, he said he was not happy with the progress made so far and pressed his Cabinet to keep at it.

Chrysler dealers scramble to unload vehicles

Dealers terminated by Chrysler have been busy clearing their lots. Some are in court arguing that dropping them won't save the company much money.

Ailing health insurers press for individual coverage

With high premiums and the economic downturn pushing customers away, and with many of the nation's baby boomers preparing to switch over to Medicare, the U.S. health insurance industry is looking for new ways to stay profitable.

Columbia's economic development aims at growing existing businesses

City Manager Bill Watkins' presentation on economic development stressed the need for coordination to avoid missing opportunities to attract new jobs.

Some workers work harder with layoffs looming

The increased possibility of being laid off has caused some workers to secure their jobs by taking on more duties and longer hours.

Columbia government bracing for onslaught of retirements

Some city departments could lose almost half of their managers to retirement in the next five years.

Boone County Commission unanimously approves Route Z rezoning

The classification of the area was changed from agricultural to light industrial in the hopes of attracting businesses to the region. While local business leaders, such as the Columbia Area Jobs Foundation, supported the measure, area residents expressed concern over the change for a variety of reasons.

House GOP opposing new line of credit for IMF; bill includes Boeing cargo planes

House Republicans are set to oppose a $98.8 billion war-funding bill that includes money for eight cargo planes, a top priority of the Boeing Co.

Brooks named Columbia's economic development director

J. Mike Brooks was appointed Columbia's first economic development director on Monday; the current president and chief executive of the Indiana Health Industry Forum will officially take the position on July 15.

GM files for bankruptcy, causes local economy concern

Columbia customers and car dealers ponder the economic consequences of GM's recent file for bankruptcy, the fourth-largest in U.S. history.

Divorcing couples confront hard economic times — by staying together

The economic downturn causes couples to re-evaluate the cost of divorce. For some, this means staying under the same roof.

Missouri unemployment rate drops slightly in April

The state unemployment rate decreased six-tenths of a point from March to 8.1. percent, but Missouri still reported less than the usual seasonal gains expected in April.

Columbia legislators weigh in on consumption tax

Dubbed the "fair tax" by one legislator, the consumption tax has garnered criticism from another legislator as being "not sound."

Missouri to use stimulus money for jobs program

Companies in line to take advantage of tax credits

The state will be able to offer an additional $30 million in tax credits once the governor signs the authorizing legislation.

UPDATE: Missouri lawmakers pass economic development bill, end session

The bill expands tax incentives for Missouri businesses, while it imposes new restrictions on some tax credits, letting Republicans and Democrats claim success.

GM eliminating about 1,100 dealerships

Most GM dealers in Columbia say they have yet to hear if they've been cut.

Missouri lawmakers approve jobless benefit extension

The bill, passed Friday, would give unemployed workers an extra 20 weeks of benefits.

Agricultural credit tightened during 1Q, Federal Reserve Bank says

Turbulent agricultural conditions in the Midwest contributed to the tightened farm credit, the agency said.

Wet spring delays Midwest farmers, but corn prices could increase

From Missouri to Ohio, many farmers have had a difficult time planting corn because there haven't been enough consecutive days without rain to dry up the land. Normally by this time of year, 75 percent of Missouri's corn crop has been planted. But only 39 percent has been planted so far.

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