A report from payroll company ADP finds that "the U.S. private sector added 215,000 jobs during November making it the strongest month for job growth in 2013," says the company's president and chief executive, Carlos Rodriguez.
The surge in job creation outpaced economists' estimates of 173,000 jobs for the month, according to CNBC. The last time U.S. companies added a bigger number of jobs to their payrolls was in November 2012, with 276,000 jobs, ADP says.
"The job market remained surprisingly resilient to the government shutdown and brinkmanship over the treasury debt limit," says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, which collaborates with ADP on the report. "Employers across all industries and company sizes looked through the political battle in Washington. If anything, job growth appears to be picking up."
The ADP National Employment Report, which measures non-farm private employment, says small businesses led the way in job creation, with 102,000 jobs added.
"Goods-producing employment rose by 40,000 jobs in November, up from 29,000 in October," according to the report. "Both construction and manufacturing payrolls added 18,000 jobs apiece."
Also Wednesday, the Census Bureau reported that America's trade gap shrank in October, on the strength of record sales to China, Canada, and Mexico. The gap narrowed 5.4 percent, to $40.6 billion from $43 billion in the previous month.
From Bloomberg News:
"Sales of goods to China, Canada and Mexico were the highest ever, pointing to improving global demand that will benefit American manufacturers. In addition, an expanding U.S. economy is helping boost growth abroad as purchases of products from the European Union also climbed to a record in October even as fiscal gridlock prompted a partial federal shutdown."
The U.S. goods deficit with China shrank by $1.6 billion to $28.9 billion in October, as exports rose by $3.5 billion — a gain mainly attributable to soybeans, according to the Census Bureau, which is part of the Commerce Department.
The agency says that overall, both U.S. imports and exports of goods and services increased in October.
A white Volkswagen truck that was stolen Monday at a gas station in Mexico is no ordinary truck — officials say it's carrying "extremely dangerous" radioactive material. Authorities are conducting a wide search for the truck, which had been heading to a disposal facility, and warning the thieves that they could face serious health problems.
Mexico's nuclear safety group, known as CNSNS, issued a public alert Tuesday, saying that federal, state, and local authorities are looking in at least six states for the Volkswagen Worker truck, which is equipped with a crane and bears the license plate 726-DT-8.
From the BBC:
"The radiotherapy source was being taken from a hospital in the northern city of Tijuana to a waste storage center.
"It was stolen near the capital, Mexico City.
"Mexico's Nuclear Security Commission said that at the time of the theft, the cobalt-60 teletherapy source was 'properly shielded.' "
That shielding would seem to come from the equipment itself. In the truck, it was placed in a sealed wooden box that has steel edging.
Mexican officials have informed the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, of the theft.
The U.N. agency says the radioactive source material "could be extremely dangerous to a person if removed from the shielding, or if it was damaged."
Good morning, here are our early stories:
And here are more early headlines:
Obama To Highlight Economic Inequality In Remarks. (New York Times)
Biden In Beijing, Will Discuss New Chinese Air Defense Zone. (USA Today)
Break In Thai Protests Ahead Of King's Birthday. (BBC)
Blizzard Poised To Hit Rockies, Plains States. (AccuWeather)
911 Tapes From Connecticut School Shooting To Be Released. (Christian Science Monitor)
Cyber Monday Sales Jumped For Online Retailers. (Businessweek)
FDA Recalls Certain Defibrillators For Insufficient Charge. (FDA)
Huge Japanese WWII Sub Discovered Off Hawaii. (CNN)
The investigation into the Bronx, N.Y., train crash that killed four people Sunday will continue without the direct involvement of the rail employees union, the Association of Commuter Rail Employees. The move was in response to remarks the union's leader made at a Tuesday news conference regarding the the train engineer's awareness level moments before a catastrophic derailment.
The union group was one of several organizations invited to participate in the the National Transportation Safety Board probe on condition that their representatives not reveal information, the federal agency said in a statement late Tuesday.
As the Two-Way reported yesterday, ACRE leader Anthony Bottalico told the media that the engineer, William Rockefeller, "basically nodded" at the controls.
"He had the equivalent of what we all have when we drive a car," the union leader said. "That is, you sometimes have a momentary nod or whatever that might be. How long that lasts, I can't answer that. Only Billy can."
"He caught himself, but he caught himself too late," Bottalico said. "He put the train in emergency, but that was six seconds prior to derailment."
The crash happened after the the Metro-North Railroad passenger train approached a curve at 82 mph, far above the 30 mph speed limit for the area, investigators say.
"Rockefeller had begun running that route on Nov. 17, two weeks before the wreck," The Associated Press reports. "Bottalico said Rockefeller was familiar with the route and qualified to run it."
A veteran train engineer, Rockefeller is said to be cooperating with the NTSB. But an interview about the crash had to be suspended Monday due to his distraught emotional state, CNN reports.
Meanwhile, NTSB officials said the train had a "dead-man's pedal" that would slow the train if an operator lost consciousness, but they could not provide more details because the equipment is still being examined.
And NTSB member Earl Weener said an analysis of Rockefeller's cellphone records had not yet been performed, though "we are getting the forensic data from the cellphone."
As for reports that Rockefeller may have nodded off, Weener said, "It's premature to be able to say."