Gore to speak at LIA luncheon
Former Vice President Al Gore will speak at the Long Island Association's biannual luncheon next month. He will participate in a discussion with LIA president Kevin Law at the March 8 event at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Law said he expects to discuss with Gore, a director at Apple Inc., Long Island's recent attempts to build an innovation economy. Gore's activism in addressing climate change also makes him "timely and relevant," Law said, "as we try to figure out . . . converting our environmental and energy challenges into economic opportunities." Previous guests at LIA luncheons have included former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and former Vice President Dick Cheney. -- Lisa Du
Eyeing storm aid for businesses
New York's primary economic development agency wants to direct federal aid to help businesses hurt by superstorm Sandy, its chief executive said Thursday. "We hope that some of the funding will be available for business recovery," Empire State Development Corp. president and CEO Kenneth Adams said at a business forum in Hauppauge. That could include low-cost loans, he said, "and business owners want us to consider some kind of grant program, because the need is just so great." In late January, Congress approved a $50.5-billion package to aid states hit by the storm. The funds that Adams hopes will help businesses would come from $16 billion in Community Development Block Grants that would be distributed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. -- Ted Phillips
Weekly jobless claims increase
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose sharply last week but remained at a level consistent with moderate hiring. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits leaped 38,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The increase comes after applications plummeted in the previous two weeks to five-year lows. Applications fell by a combined 45,000 in the second and third weeks of January. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up to 352,000, just above a four-year low. On Friday, the government is scheduled to issue its January jobs report. Analysts forecast that it will show employers added 155,000 jobs, the same as in December. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 7.8 percent for the third straight month.
Obama's jobs council sunsets
President Barack Obama is letting his jobs council expire, cutting off one source of input from business leaders while unemployment remains stubbornly high. Obama formed the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in January 2011, when U.S. unemployment was about 9 percent; it's now 7.8 percent. Obama's executive order establishing the council said it would go out of business Jan. 31, 2013. White House officials said Thursday that Obama had no plans to renew it and the president would seek input about the economy from business leaders in other ways.
Japan carrier to seek damages
Japan's All Nippon Airways is prepared to recoup from Boeing whatever damages it suffers from flight cancellations and other costs caused by the worldwide grounding of 787 jets, a senior executive said Thursday. ANA chief financial officer Kiyoshi Tonomoto said the airline was focused on investigating the cause of the 787 battery problems and it was not yet in damage negotiations with Boeing Co. "We are now focusing on assuring safety for our customers," he said. ANA, the biggest customer for the Dreamliner with 17 of the jets in its fleet, canceled 459 domestic and international flights this month, causing about $15.4 million in lost revenue. -- AP