Business news in brief

Posted: June 22, 2013

In the Region

Pa., N.J. joblessness down

Pennsylvania and New Jersey joined 23 other states with unemployment rates that decreased in May, the U.S. Labor Department said. Seventeen states, including Delaware, had increases, and 8 states and the District of Columbia had no change, the department reported. The Pennsylvania rate fell to 7.5 percent from April's 7.6 percent. New Jersey's rate fell to 8.6 percent from 8.7 percent. Delaware's unemployment rate rose to 7.2 percent from 7.1 percent in April. The national unemployment rate in May was 7.6 percent. - Reid Kanaley


Skilling prison time reduced

Former Enron Corp. CEO Jeffrey Skilling, who spearheaded the fraud that destroyed the world's largest energy trader, will exit prison as early as 2017 after a judge reduced his sentence to 14 years from 24. U.S. District Judge Sim Lake III in Houston Friday approved the terms of the deal made between prosecutors and Skilling. In exchange for a shorter sentence, Skilling, 59, agreed to forfeit $45 million, drop his bid for a new trial, and end litigation over his 2006 conviction and sentence. - Bloomberg News

FAA device ruling delayed

An industry-labor advisory committee was supposed to make recommendations next month to the Federal Aviation Administration on easing the restrictions on airline passengers using electronic devices during takeoffs and landings. But the agency said Friday that the deadline has been extended to September because committee members asked for extra time to finish assessing whether it is safe to lift restrictions. - AP

Gogo is so-so in IPO

Gogo Inc., which provides in-flight WiFi service on U.S. airlines, had a bumpy debut on the Nasdaq stock market. The shares closed down $1, or 5.9 percent, at $16 after an initial public offering. Gogo dominates the in-flight WiFi market in North America and is seeking to expand but still is not making money. First-quarter revenue grew 30 percent, but the company's loss widened to $32.5 million. - AP

Starbucks to raise prices

Starbucks Corp. said it was hiking prices on average by 1 percent starting Tuesday. The increases come even as coffee costs have been falling. In the last quarter, Starbucks cited lower coffee costs for stronger profitability. The company notes that coffee historically has accounted for less than 10 percent of store expenses. - AP

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