Survey: Companies added fewest jobs in 9 years in May

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. companies added the fewest jobs in nine years, a private survey found, as manufacturers, construction firms and mining companies cut workers.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added just 27,000 jobs in May, the fewest since March 2010. Jobs in construction fell 36,000 and in manufacturing by 3,000.

Walmart extends debt-free college benefits to high schoolers

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart is extending its debt-free college benefits to high schoolers as a way to attract and retain workers in a tight labor market.

For many in Champaign County, one full-time job just isn't enough

CHAMPAIGN — Kartila Brooks has no wiggle room.

After providing for her four teenage children and paying the bills, the 34-year-old Champaign woman is left with about $120 from the two paychecks she gets every two weeks.

Jim Dey | Conflicting tax arguments will challenge voters in 2020

Whom are you going to believe in the great debate over Gov. J.B. Pritzker's proposed progressive income-tax amendment to the Illinois Constitution?

Don't worry — no immediate decisions have to be made. The vote on Pritzker's amendment won't occur until November 2020, a delay that provides some breathing room in the decision-making process.

Jim Dey | Study: Pritzker's tax hike more likely to force out middle, lower earners

One of the arguments from opponents of Gov. J.B. Pritzker's proposed progressive income-tax amendment to the Illinois Constitution is that another tax hike, particularly on upper-income earners, will encourage more people to leave the state.

Downtown Champaign in midst of transition game

CHAMPAIGN — In the last few months, Bacaro, Radio Maria, Destihl, 51 Main and Memphis on Main have either closed or announced plans to move from downtown.

But One Main Development CEO Dave Jones isn't concerned.

February jobless rate up in C-U, down in Danville over 2018

CHAMPAIGN — The unemployment rate in the Champaign-Urbana metro area increased slightly in February compared with a year ago, from 4.4 to 4.8 percent.

The rate was also up in 10 of the state's metro areas, unchanged in two and dropped in two others, including the Danville metro area, where it declined from 6.6 percent a year ago to 6.3 percent.

Aloft Hotel, by Marriott, now slated to occupy downtown Champaign lot

CHAMPAIGN — Plans are still on track to develop an urban-style hotel on a small downtown Champaign lot, but the planned hotel brand has undergone a change.

Developer Doug Altenberger has been working with Marriott International to make the future hotel at 401 N. Neil St. an Aloft Hotel, according to Rob Kowalski, the city's assistant planning and development director.

Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County names new executive director

CHAMPAIGN — Habitat of Humanity of Champaign County has chosen Chad Hoffman to be its new executive director.

The former director of the Mahomet Area Youth Club replaces Sheila Dodd, who resigned in November to work for the city of Urbana.

UI's expanded background-check program nets fewer job withdrawals

URBANA — Background checks prompted the University of Illinois to withdraw 25 job offers across its three campuses in 2018, just 0.2 percent of more than 13,000 checks conducted and 10 fewer than the previous year.