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Skiatook aerospace firm wins contract

A Skiatook company has been awarded a $2 million federal contract for aircraft and airframe structural components.

Hosie Aerospace Services was chosen for the job by the Defense Logistics Agency of Richmond, Virginia.

US consumer borrowing rises again

WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer borrowing rose by a strong $25.8 billion in March, the second month in a row of sizable gains and a further indication that the economic recovery is picking up steam.

The March gain reported Friday by the Federal Reserve followed an even larger $26.1 billion consumer-borrowing rise in February. The two monthly increases were the biggest gains since a $26.8 billion increase in December 2019, before the pandemic hit.

The March borrowing advance reflected a $6.4 billion increase in the category that includes credit cards and a $19.4 billion rise in the category that covers auto loans and student loans.

Consumer borrowing is watched closely for signals it can send about households’ willingness to borrow to finance their spending. Consumer spending accounts for two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.

The February and March increases in the credit card category followed four consecutive months in which credit card borrowing had fallen. Even with the recent gains, total debt in the credit card category of $980 billion is down 9% from the level in March 2020.

Total debt in the Fed’s monthly report stood at a record $4.24 trillion in March.

The Fed’s monthly report does not cover mortgage loans or any other debt secured by real estate such as home equity loans.

Chamber seeks end to extra jobless aid

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is calling for Washington to immediately stop paying out-of-work Americans an extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits, saying the boost in government aid is giving some recipients less incentive to look for work.

The business group said Friday that the supplemental unemployment benefit, part of the Biden administration’s efforts to support the pandemic-ravaged economy, results in about one in four recipients taking home more in unemployment pay than they earned when they were working.

The statement follows the release of surprisingly weak jobs data for April. On Friday, the Labor Department said U.S. employers added just 266,000 jobs last month, a big drop from March and well below the nearly 1 million jobs economists were expecting, according to FactSet.

“The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market,” said Neil Bradley, the Chamber’s executive vice president and chief policy officer. “We need a comprehensive approach to dealing with our workforce issues and the very real threat unfilled positions poses to our economic recovery from the pandemic.”

As more people have begun looking for work, more are being counted among the jobless: The unemployment rate ticked up in April to 6.1% from 6% in March.

— From staff, wire reports

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