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Microsoft layoffs; other business briefs


Microsoft moving 39 area jobs

Microsoft has told 39 employees in its Islandia office it is moving their jobs to Washington State. A spokesman for the Redmond, Wash.-based computer company said employees had until March to decide whether they would move with the jobs. In a filing with the state Labor Department, Microsoft cited "reorganization and restructuring" as the reason for the change. The spokesman declined to say how many employees work in Islandia. New York State law requires that private businesses with more than 50 full-time employees and plans to dismiss workers file a notice 90 days before the actual layoff. -- Lisa Du

Storm-aid forum in Baldwin

Federal and state officials next Monday will discuss aid programs available to small businesses and not-for-profit groups harmed by superstorm Sandy. The event, which begins at 9:15 a.m. at the Baldwin Public Library, 2385 Grand Ave., is to include representatives of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Small Business Administration, Empire State Development Corp. and New York State Small Business Development Centers. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola), organizer of the event, said, "A lot of people don't know what kind of aid is available to their businesses and organizations. And many who do have been too busy getting their property in order to apply." To attend, call 516-739-3008 or email James T. Madore

Optimum West offer possible

Bethpage-based Cablevision Systems Corp., seeking a buyer for its Optimum West unit, may get an offer from Charter Communications Inc. after asking for first-round bids by the end of the week, said a person with knowledge of the matter. Optimum West offers cable service to about 300,000 customers in states including Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Utah. Charter CEO Tom Rutledge, who served as operations chief at Cablevision during its purchase of the unit, then known as Bresnan Broadband Holdings Llc, told CNBC this month he still liked the Optimum West assets. Officials at Charter and Cablevision declined to comment. Cablevision owns Newsday.-- Bloomberg News


U.S. selling its last AIG shares

The U.S. government says it is selling its remaining shares of American International Group stock, moving to close the books on the government's biggest bailout during the 2008 financial crisis. Treasury says it will sell 234.2 million shares of common stock in a public offering. The government's shares represent a 16 percent ownership stake in the insurance company. Treasury has already recovered more on its AIG investment than the original $182.3 billion bailout, the largest government bailout package ever. AIG, based in Manhattan, nearly collapsed at the height of the financial crisis. The company suffered massive losses from exotic financial instruments whose value was based on mortgage securities.


Japan economy in recession

Japan's economy is technically in recession after authorities said revised figures for the April-June quarter showed the economy shrank for two straight quarters. The Cabinet Office said Monday that gross domestic product for the July-September quarter shrank 0.9 percent from the previous quarter, unchanged from the preliminary release. Going back to the April-June quarter, however, GDP was revised to a 0.03 percent decline from the previous quarter, or a 0.1 percent contraction at an annualized pace. Previously, the Cabinet had said second quarter GDP grew 0.1 percent from the previous quarter. A widely accepted definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of economic contraction. -- AP

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