Area unemployment improves

CHICAGO — Unemployment rates in Illinois fell in 12 metro areas from where they were a year ago — including in both Champaign and Danville — according to preliminary data released this week.

The numbers come from the Illinois Department of Employment Security and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nestle confirms labor abuse among its Thai seafood suppliers

MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer

John Roska: Can holiday work be required?

Q: Can an employer make you work on a holiday, like Thanksgiving or Christmas Day? If you do work on a holiday, don't they have to pay you overtime?

And during the holiday season, can an employer prohibit you from taking a day off?

Clifford-Jacobs eliminates 6 positions; lockout continues

CHAMPAIGN — Six salaried positions have been eliminated at Clifford-Jacobs Forging in Champaign, the company announced Friday.

“All reductions were in the salaried ranks and included two due to retirement and a remaining temporary position in the office,” said Jeff Baker, the human resources manager at Clifford-Jacobs. 

U.S. jobless claims fall to 271,000

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Labor Department reported Thursday that fewer Americans sought unemployment aid last week, fresh evidence that companies are confident enough in the economy to hold onto their workers.

Area update: Monticello council to discuss mayor's post

MONTICELLO — The city of Monticello could have a new mayor sometime Wednesday evening.

Scotty's Brewhouse coming to town

CHAMPAIGN — Scotty's Brewhouse, which has a host of restaurants centered around Indianapolis, announced today that it will open its first Illinois location this spring at the Carriage Center in south Champaign.

Updated: All LAS departments facing cuts

URBANA — State budget problems continue to take their toll at the University of Illinois, with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences informing departments today that they must cut spending by about 5 percent mid-year.

The cuts were announced Friday morning at a meeting of department executive officers in the college — the largest on campus — The News-Gazette has learned.

Updated: Some Champaign jobs to be lost in Kraft move of cheese production

CHAMPAIGN — The newly merged Kraft Heinz will eliminate an undisclosed number of jobs at its Champaign plant as it moves cheese production to other facilities.