Jobs

Autumn Weese thinks she was fired last month, but she isn't entirely sure. Weese told her boss at an Arkansas coffee shop she needed to cut back her hours as she pursued her master's degree.

"The last email I got from her said that she ... 'totally understood the situation,' " Weese says. But then colleagues started telling her how sorry they were to hear she was leaving in two weeks. That was when Weese started suspecting she had been fired.

Updated at 10:40 a.m. ET

The U.S. added a hefty 313,000 jobs in February — the biggest increase in 1 1/2 years — while wages rose more modestly than the previous month. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate held steady at 4.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

The Labor Department also reported strong upward revisions for both December and January. January's figure was revised to 239,000 from 200,000 previously and December was pegged at 175,000, up from 160,000.

On Tuesday, President Trump painted a rosy picture of the economy during his first State of the Union speech: rising wages, a boom in manufacturing jobs, jobless claims were at their lowest in nearly half a century.

The wheels of a tall, metal cart squeak as Chris Beatty, 26, pulls it through a maze of aisles inside a cosmetics warehouse in Burlington, N.J.

A hand-held scanner helps Beatty find specific items, such as face cream or lipstick — to be sorted, packed and shipped to online customers. In his industry, this is called picking.

Asked if a robot could do his job, Beatty responds with a long pause. "That's a tough one," he says eventually, "but I don't think a robot could do this."

A new NPR/Marist poll finds that 1 in 5 jobs in America is held by a worker under contract. Within a decade, contractors and freelancers could make up half of the American workforce. In a weeklong series, NPR explores many aspects of this change.

For Tom Hansen and his family, the past few weeks have been a time of feast or famine.

The U.S. economy added 148,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department says, issuing the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent, unchanged from November.

Analysts had predicted the Labor Department report would show another month of solid job gains. But it's a sharp dropoff from the revised November result of more than 250,000 jobs.

United Van Lines

  A new survey shows more people moved out of Kentucky last year than moved into the state.

gstockstudio, 123rf Stock Photo

Unemployment rates fell in two-thirds of Kentucky’s counties in November 2017, from the previous year. 

Enerblu Facebook Page

West Coast Battery Company EnerBlu plans to invest $372 million in a manufacturing plant in Pikeville.  The formal announcement came this morning in eastern Kentucky. 

The U.S. economy added 228,000 jobs in November, according to the monthly jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1 percent, unchanged from October.

"Employment growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly gain of 187,000 in 2016," the agency's acting Commissioner William J. Wiatrowski said of the report.

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