In short: Scottsbluff company reportedly lays off 50

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Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2014 12:00 am

An employee at Nationstar Mortgage in Scottsbluff, Neb., said at least 50 employees in the document administration department were laid off Tuesday. The employee, who spoke with the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, confirmed that the department was brought in for a meeting where they were told their last day would be March 28. Other reports said up to 100 employees, including the entire customer service department, which includes the call center, and document administration departments, will be gone by April 30. One reason given was outsourcing work overseas.

Weather keeps private job gains modest

A private survey shows that U.S. companies added slightly more jobs in February than in the previous month, but harsh winter weather still weighed on hiring. Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that businesses added 139,000 jobs last month, up from only 127,000 in January. But January’s figure was revised sharply lower from an original estimate of 175,000. The data suggest that the government’s jobs report for February, to be released Friday, will show only modest gains. But the ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the government’s more comprehensive report.

Service sector grows at slower pace

U.S. service companies expanded more slowly in February as hiring levels declined in a cautionary sign for the economy coming out of the winter. The Institute for Supply Management says its service-sector index fell to 51.6 from 54 in January. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. But the harsh winter weather posed challenges. The real estate, retail, hotel, food services and construction industries all contracted last month. A measure for hiring plunged 8.9 percentage points to 47.5, evidence that many companies shed workers.

Japan may impose Bitcoin rules

Japan is drawing up a plan to regulate Bitcoin, officials said Wednesday, including clauses the Nikkei business daily said would tax Bitcoin transactions and ban banks and securities firms from handling the digital currency. Reports of the guidelines, which would clarify how Bitcoin is dealt with under Japanese law, come after the collapse of a prominent Bitcoin exchange last week.

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