In the Region

Size of area workforce drops in April

The number of jobless people in the Philadelphia area fell in April, but so did the number with jobs, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry reported. The result was a decline of 17,000 in the overall size of the region's workforce.

The number of jobless fell by 3,000 from March, while the number with jobs was down 14,100. The various changes left the area's unemployment rate at 8.2 percent, the same as in March. - Paul Schweizer

Aria names Torresdale campus head

Aria Health said Christine C. Winn had been named executive director at its Torresdale Campus in Northeast Philadelphia. Winn, former vice president of administration at Paoli Hospital and a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, will oversee operations at the 258-bed medical and surgical facility, the health-care company said. Aria runs three acute-care hospitals in Northeast Philadelphia and Bucks County. - Maria Panaritis

Trucker NFI buys Calif. warehouses

NFI, a Cherry Hill trucking and logistics company, bought the Gilbert Co.'s California operations, adding six warehouses that serve the busy ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. NFI did not disclose what it paid, but it said the deal would add about $85 million to its $900 million in annual revenue. NFI employs 5,600 in the United States and Canada. - Harold Brubaker

High court denies FMC appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a petition by FMC Corp. questioning a 2009 federal ban on the insecticide carbofuran. The Philadelphia chemical company was the country's sole maker of the bug killer, which the Environmental Protection Agency said was not safe even in small amounts. FMC and three agriculture trade groups challenged the ban, faulting the EPA for not holding a hearing before enacting it. A federal appeals court said

a hearing was not warranted, and the Supreme Court refused to review that ruling. - Bloomberg News

Atlas Energy CEO wins industry award

Edward E. Cohen, the Atlas Energy chief executive from Philadelphia, has been named Hart Energy Publishing's executive of the year. Atlas Energy, of Moon Township, Allegheny County, last year entered into a $1.7 billion joint venture with Reliance Industries of India and then was acquired by Chevron Corp. for $4.3 billion. Cohen continues to preside over Atlas Energy, L.P., which owns pipelines and about 8,500 producing natural gas and oil wells. - Andrew Maykuth


Consumer Confidence Index tumbles

The Conference Board said its Consumer Confidence Index fell to 60.8 in May from a revised 66 in April, a sign of the toll that high gas prices, a choppy job outlook, and a moribund housing market are taking on Americans' psyches. Economists had expected an increase to 67. It was the lowest reading since November. In the Middle Atlantic states - Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York - the May index fell to its lowest since October. - AP and Inquirer staff

Home prices down 8th straight month

Housing prices in major metro areas fell in March compared with February, pushing them to their lowest since the housing bubble burst in 2006. Prices have now fallen more since the bubble burst than they did during the Great Depression. In March, prices dropped in 18 of the metro areas tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index; the exceptions were Washington and Seattle. Prices were driven down by foreclosures, a glut of unsold homes, and the reluctance or inability of many Americans to buy. The index does not include Philadelphia. - AP

Toyota production near normal in June

Toyota Motor Corp.'s production will recover to 90 percent of pre-earthquake levels in June, the company said. Even so, supply of some models could remain tight for months. It previously had said global production would be at about 70 percent in coming months and was not expected to return to normal until late this year. - AP

Fed's research chief to retire

David Stockton, the Federal Reserve's head of U.S. economic research and forecasting since 2000, is retiring Sept. 30 after three decades at the central bank. A successor was not immediately named. Stockton, 57, is one of the three top Board of Governors staff officials who brief Fed policymakers on interest rates and U.S. and international economic developments. - Bloomberg News

Late payments on auto loans drop

Late payments on auto loans in this year's first quarter were at the lowest since 1999, providing more data that show consumers have gotten a handle on their debt. TransUnion said the rate of payments that were 60 days or more past due fell to 0.49 percent from 0.66 percent in last year's first quarter. - AP

Fitch cuts Cyprus' credit rating

Fitch ratings agency cut Cyprus' credit rating three notches - to A-minus - and warned of another possible downgrade because of its banking sector's large exposure to debt-laden Greece. Fitch said about one-third of the Cypriot banking system's assets was booked as exposure to Greece's financial system. - AP

Steve Jobs to keynote Apple session

Apple Inc. chief executive Steve Jobs will take a break from medical leave to deliver the keynote speech at next week's Apple annual Worldwide Developers Conference, the company said. Jobs went on medical leave in January for unspecified reasons, handing over day-to-day control to chief operating officer Tim Cook. - AP

Short-term T-bill rates rise again

The Treasury auctioned $27 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.060 percent, up from 0.055 percent last week. An additional $24 billion was auctioned in six-month bills at a discount rate of 0.115 percent, up from 0.100 percent last week. It was the third straight week of rising rates. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,998.48, while a six-month bill sold for $9,994.19. - AP

Yield on one-year T-bills steady

The Federal Reserve said the average yield in the secondary market for one-year Treasury securities, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, was unchanged last week at 0.19 percent. - AP