Job openings continue to rise, but unemployment unaffected

Job openings are rising modestly, a sign that employers may step up hiring soon. But rising openings in the past year haven't reduced unemployment, heightening concerns that the unemployed might lack the skills to fill the jobs that are becoming available. The number of jobs advertised rose by 6.2 percent to 3.04 million in July, according to Labor Department data released Wednesday. That's the highest total since April, but even with the increase, total openings remain far below the 4.4 million that existed in December 2007, when the recession began.

CVS: $5 million in free flu shots

CVS Caremark Corp. said Wednesday that it will give away up to $5 million in seasonal flu vaccinations to people without health insurance. The Woonsocket, R.I., company said vouchers for the vaccines will be available at clinics or community health centers starting Sept. 20. Consumers will be able to redeem the vouchers at any of CVS' 7,100 locations and its retail MinuteClinics. The names of the participating clinics will be announced Sept. 20. Walgreens, based in Deerfield, Ill., also plans to give away vouchers for up to $1 million in free flu shots this year.

Amazon buys Amie Street Inc., seeking to expand its position in the music download market against rivals like Apple Inc.'s iTunes Store, has purchased online music retailer Amie Street for an undisclosed amount. In an e-mail Wednesday, Long Island City-based Amie Street said it has found "a great home" for its Amie site with Amazon, which first invested in the site nearly four years ago. Amie Street has allowed users to buy songs that start off free and become increasingly expensive as they rise in popularity. Users have until Sept. 22 to spend any credit or download songs already purchased.

Hurd's pay package in millions

Oracle Corp. plans to pay newly appointed co-president Mark Hurd a base salary of $950,000 annually and said the ousted Hewlett-Packard Co. chief executive is eligible for a target bonus of $5 million in the current fiscal year. According to a filing Wednesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Hurd's pay package includes stock options totaling 10 million shares. That is in addition to an HP severance payment that could top $40 million. HP has sued to block his appointment.

Brits may fine Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs & Co. is expected to be fined about $30 million by British authorities following an investigation of the Wall Street bank's activities in London, according to news reports yesterday. The investigation by Britain's Financial Services Authority began in April after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil fraud charges against Goldman Sachs for allegedly misleading buyers of complex mortgage-related investments in 2007. Goldman settled the charges in July by agreeing to pay $550 million - the largest penalty against a Wall Street firm in the SEC's history. A Goldman spokesman declined to comment yesterday. The FSA was not immediately available to comment.

From wire reports

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