Business Highlights: Job gains remain resilient in August; Walgreens CEO exits

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In August, US employers added a robust 187,000 jobs, indicating a still-strong labor market

Pfizer remains a top stock choice

WASHINGTON (AP) — In August, US employers added 187,000 jobs, demonstrating a slowing yet still robust labor market despite the Federal Reserve's high interest rates. The job growth last month, an increase from July's revised gain of 157,000, still indicates a moderating pace of hiring compared to the impressive gains of last year and earlier this year. The unemployment rate increased from 3.5% to 3.8%, the highest level since February 2022, but still low by historical standards. However, the rate increased for a positive reason: A significant number of people started job hunting last month, the most since January, and not all of them found jobs immediately.

Stock market today: Wall Street slightly up following data indicating a cooling labor market

After a volatile day of trading, stocks slightly increased on Wall Street. The market received an early boost after a closely monitored report indicated that the job market, while still strong, is showing signs of cooling. This report bolstered the market's hopes that the Federal Reserve could soon ease its efforts to slow the economy by raising interest rates. The S&P 500 increased by 0.2%. The index is recovering from its first monthly loss since February. The Dow increased by 0.3% and the Nasdaq composite remained virtually unchanged. Treasury yields slightly increased.

Walgreens CEO steps down less than 3 years after assuming leadership of drug store chain

NEW YORK (AP) — The CEO of Walgreens Boots is resigning after less than three years leading the drug store chain. Walgreens Boots Alliance confirmed Rosalind Brewer’s departure on Friday. According to the Illinois-based company, the board of directors and Brewer “mutually agreed” to her resignation effective Thursday. Ginger Graham, who currently serves as Walgreen Boots Alliance’s lead independent director, has been appointed interim CEO. Brewer’s exit occurs as Walgreens strives to help its customers concentrate on their overall health.

Federal student loan interest has resumed accruing. Here’s what you need to know

NEW YORK (AP) — After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, interest on federal student loans has resumed accruing. Borrowers have at least another month before they need to start repaying their loans, so if you're one of them, don't panic. The first step is to log into your account and identify your loan servicer. Once you know that, you can check account details and determine what your payments will be. If you believe you can't afford them, you can explore income-driven repayment plans.

Billionaires aim to construct a new city in rural California. They must first persuade voters

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Silicon Valley investors who secretly spent $800 million on land purchases have had a difficult start with the voters they need to build a new green city in Northern California. A former Goldman Sachs trader announced on Thursday that he is the founder of a group that wants to create walkable neighborhoods in rural Solano County, northeast of San Francisco. Since 2018, Flannery Associates LLC has quietly bought more than 78 square miles of farmland, making it the county's largest landholder. Their secrecy has irritated community leaders who have sought information, only to be disregarded. The investment group needs voter approval to develop farmland for urban use.

From strikes to new union contracts, Labor Day’s organizing roots are particularly strong this year

NEW YORK (AP) — Labor Day is just around the corner. While many associate the holiday with significant retail sales and end-of-summer barbecues, Labor Day’s origins in worker-driven organizing are particularly evident this year. In the U.S. and Canada, the early-September tribute to workers has been an official holiday for nearly 130 years — but similarities in the world of work persist, from rapid economic changes to stark inequalities. Recent high-profile efforts — including ongoing strikes in Hollywood and unionized UPS workers’ push for a new contract — have arguably cast a stronger spotlight on labor organizing than seen in recent years, experts say.

After uproar over Taylor Swift tickets, reform has been slow across the US

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Many of the significant reforms to ticket sellers in the U.S. have not passed this year. These proposals were partly inspired by complaints from fans who couldn't buy tickets last fall to Taylor Swift’s summer stadium tour. The outrage led to congressional hearings and state legislature bills to better protect consumers. A proposal in Congress has so far failed to progress in the U.S. Senate. Legislation in Colorado was vetoed by the governor following concerns from consumer groups. Legislation in California has been postponed until at least next year.

US to regulate nursing home staffing for the first time, but proposal lower than many advocates hoped

NEW YORK (AP) — The American Health Care Association, a group that advocates for health care facilities, says President Joe Biden’s decision to require nursing homes to comply with federal staffing level rules will cost them billions of dollars. The association describes the staffing proposal as “unrealistic” and says it will exacerbate existing issues. The government states that most of the 15,000 U.S. nursing homes would need to hire additional staff and maintain a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day. Older adults and those with disabilities have sought this move for decades. However, the staffing minimums announced on Friday are lower than many advocates had hoped. The nursing home industry opposes staffing minimums. ___ The S&P 500 increased by 8.11 points, or 0.2%, to 4,515.77. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 115.80 points, or 0.3%, to 34,837.71. The Nasdaq composite decreased by 3.15 points, less than 0.1%, to 14,031.81. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies increased by 21.15 points, or 1.1%, to 1,920.83