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Macro chatter: Another blip on the US employment radar?

Around the world today in business and economics. Need to know, want to know, and strange but true.
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A 1792 Silver Center Cent is shown on April 18, 2012 in Schaumburg, Illinois. The coin sold for $1.15 million at an auction on April 19. It was last sold at an auction in 1974 for $105,000 ( Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Need to know:

The latest jobs data from the US suggest the country could be in for another less than stellar employment report next month. 

The number of people filing for jobless benefits in the US is rising back toward the level at which economists start muttering about the dreaded "r" word,  suggesting an increasing number of Americans are losing their jobs.

A closely watched number that tallies a four-week average of jobless claims was around 374,000, it's highest level in three months. 

Want to know:

The mobile carrier Sprint Nextel is in a fight with New York over $300 million.

New York is suing Sprint, alleging the company has been underpaying sales taxes it owes the state since 2005. Sprint is supposed to pay sales taxes on money it earns from the monthly access fees it charges customers but argues it should only have to pay taxes on calls that begin and end within the state.

Sprint also is accused of lying to the tax man by providing false documents aimed at covering its tracks.

Dull but important:

The IMF is continuing its fundraising efforts and hopes meetings in Washington this weekend will help it reach its goal of raising an extra $400 billion to fight Europe’s debt crisis.

There’s just one glitch: emerging markets want more power if they're going to be expected to pony up extra cash for Europe's bailout fund. Brazil's finance minister has been most vocal in the BRICS nations push for more voting power at the international lender, Reuters said.

The IMF has so far raised $320 billion from Europe and Japan. The US isn’t planning to chip in.

Just because:

Unless you’re a CEO, you may want to cover your ears. 

The average CEO at an S&P 500 company made $12.9 million last year – 380 times more than the average worker, according to a new report from the AFL-CIO.

Clearly, CEOs have had a great few decades. Back in 1980, they only made 42 times as much as the average worker.

Strange but true: 

Pennies haven’t exactly been faring well lately, but there is one that’s been getting a lot of love.

An American penny from 1792 sold for more than $1 million at an auction Thursday night in Illinois. 

The penny has a center made of silver and is considered among the best of the fourteen thought to still be in existence, ABC said. It was the first coin made at the Philadelphia Mint. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/macro/macro-chatter-another-blip-the-us-employment-radar-or-not