Originally created 09/23/05

Business briefs



AROUND TOWN

Area jobless rate declines in Augusta

THE AUGUSTA-AIKEN AREA'S unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 6.2 percent during August as the area added 1,900 new jobs, the Georgia Department of Labor said Thursday.

The five-county jobless rate in August 2004 was 5.8 percent. The state's unemployment rate declined to 5.2 percent in August, from 5.6 percent in July. The national rate for August was 4.9 percent.

Georgia added 41,500 jobs in August, mostly in public schools and in other service-related industries.

BRIEFLY

Struggling Sony plans major cuts

Tokyo - Sony Corp. said Thursday it will cut about 10,000 jobs, close 11 plants and shrink or close 15 unprofitable operations in an ambitious restructuring bid to revive its stumbling electronics business.

The plan will reduce Sony's global work force by 6 percent.

Prospects remain uncertain for sony, which has lost money in its electronics sector for two consecutive fiscal years.

On Thursday, it revised its forecast downward for the fiscal year through March 2006 to a net loss of 10 billion yen ($90 million).

General Mills tops analyst estimates

MINNEAPOLIS - General Mills Inc. surprised Wall Street with a 38 percent jump in its first-quarter earnings Thursday, but the nation's No. 2 cereal maker said it expects higher fuel prices to pressure earnings for the rest of the year.

The maker of Cheerios and Yoplait also said it is on track to recover from a blunder last year when it raised prices faster than competitors did.

The company reported a profit of $252 million, or 64 cents per share, for the three months that ended Aug. 28, up from $183 million, or 45 cents per share, during the same period last year.

ONLINE

See more business stories at augustachronicle.com/business.

TALK TO US

Military discounts

Small business owners: Do you give special deals to soldiers? Tell us why at (706) 823-3227.

REACH US

Contact Business Editor Damon Cline at: (706) 823-3486 or damon.cline@augustachronicle.com.