Texas led nationwide job growth both in December and for 2010 as a whole. The Labor Department says the state added 20,000 nonfarm jobs in the past month and nearly 231,000 in the past year. Nonfarm payroll fell in 35 states and the District of Columbia last month. The national unemployment rate fell four-tenths of a percentage point from November to December to 9.4%, half a point lower than in December 2009.
Home prices are falling across most of America’s largest cities. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index fell 1% in November from October. All but one city, San Diego, recorded monthly price declines. Prices in Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, Las Vegas, Miami, Portland, Ore., Seattle and Tampa have set new lows since home prices peaked in 2006 and 2007.
Federal regulators are giving shareholders at large public companies the right to register their opinions on executive pay at least once every three years. The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted the rule Tuesday by a 3-2 vote. The financial overhaul law enacted last summer gave shareholders a non-binding vote on executive compensation. But lawmakers left it to regulators to determine how often they should vote. Shareholders at smaller public companies, with market value of $75 million or less, will begin voting in 2013.
Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood has asked a Louisiana federal judge overseeing oil-spill litigation against BP to take an oversight role over the $20 billion spill-claims fund run by Kenneth Feinberg. Hood says BP has failed to fulfill its obligations to compensate the individual and business claimants injured as a result of the oil spill. He contends letters from attorneys general in the Gulf Coast states to BP and Feinberg have been ignored.