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Business nation briefs
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HOME DEPOT TO HIRE 70K WORKERS FOR SPRING: ATLANTA (AP) — Home improvement retailer Home Depot Inc. said Thursday that it will hire 70,000 seasonal workers for the spring season, its biggest season.
The number is about the same as last year, company spokesman Stephen Holmes said.
Spring is the biggest season for home improvement projects as homeowners work on projects for their homes, gardens and lawns.
Last year, about half of the seasonal workers were hired permanently as cashiers, sales, lot and garden staffers. Home Depot employs about 300,000 workers overall.
Home-goods sellers are facing cautious consumer spending and a prolonged weak housing market. They've had to adjust to fewer consumers making large-scale home renovations by cutting costs and improving services such as online shopping and customer service.
But results are slowly improving. Home Depot Inc.'s net income for the third-quarter ended Oct. 30 rose 12 percent while revenue edged up 4 percent to $17.33 billion from $16.6 billion last year.
DOCUMENTS SHOW HOW FED MISSED HOUSING BUST: WASHINGTON (AP) — Ben Bernanke presided over his first meeting as Federal Reserve chairman in March 2006 believing the nation could achieve a "soft landing" from falling home prices. Three months later, Bernanke had begun to grasp that he and others might have underestimated the risk housing posed to the economy.
Newly released transcripts of Fed meetings during Bernanke's first year as chairman show that, among Fed officials, he often expressed the most concern about housing. But no official, according to the transcripts, recognized the extent of the damage a housing bubble would cause. A year later, its collapse helped send the nation into the worst recession since the Great Depression.
In fact, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, then a Fed official, expressed confidence in September that "collateral damage" from housing could be avoided.
COCA-COLA SAYS IT TOLD US ABOUT FUNGICIDE IN JUICE: WASHINGTON (AP) — Coca-Cola Co. acknowledged Thursday it was the company that alerted federal regulators about low levels of fungicide in its own orange juice and in competitors' juice, prompting juice prices to rise and increased government testing for the residue.
The Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have said orange juice is safe to drink and the levels found are below levels of concern.
Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, which makes the Minute Maid and Simply Orange brands of orange juice, said Thursday it had notified FDA of the low levels of the fungicide carbendazim in the company's orange juice and in competitors' juice.