Illinois Saw the Largest Unemployment Rate Decline in U.S.

By Lucy Ren

Thirty states had statistically significant unemployment rate declines over the year of 2014, the largest of which occurred in Illinois, while the only significant rate increase occurred in Louisiana, according to a release by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Continue reading

McDonald’s Corp. announces new CEO

By Alysha Khan

After a disappointing fourth quarter and year, McDonald’s Corp. announced that CEO Don Thompson will retire as of March 1. The stock jumped 3 percent after hours.

“It’s tough to say goodbye to the McFamily, but there is a time and season for everything,” Thompson said in a press release.

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Video: Police Torture Reparations Gain Momentum in City Council

By Kate Morrissey

Alderman Howard Brookins Jr. (21st) asked City Council Wednesday for a hearing on the ordinance that would give reparations to those tortured by police under the command of Jon Burge. Members of Chicago Torture Justice Memorials, Project NIA and Amnesty International showed their support through demonstrations during the council meeting.
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VIDEO: A ride-hailing service with a personality

By Ezra Kaplan

Ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber have exploded into major metropolitan areas. The services allow non-professional drivers to connect with paying riders through a mobile app. From the convenience of a mobile phone, a passenger can request a driver pickup. Once in the car, the user experience is just like that of riding in a taxi, except, at the end of the ride, the payment is completed electronically with no money changing hands. Kyle Lovett is one of the many Lyft drivers getting Chicagoans to their destinations. Continue reading

Why the flu vaccines are less effective this winter

By Priyam Vora

The flu has claimed the lives of 54 children in U.S. so far in one of the worst flu seasons on record, experts say. A major reason for the severity of the 2014-2015 season is because the vaccine has become only 23 percent effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Compared to last year, the 2013-2014 flu season claimed the lives of 20 children through mid-January, according to CDC data reported by CBS News last year.

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2014 GED exam changes lead to major dip in Illinois test takers

By Emily Hoerner

Nearly 27,000 fewer Illinois residents tried for a GED certificate in 2014 than in 2013 after major changes to the high school equivalency exam, according to data by the Illinois Community College Board.

The new GED exam, introduced to test takers in January of 2014, is aligned with Illinois Common Core standards, said Jennifer Foster, the state GED administrator at the Illinois Community College Board. The new education requirements are more rigorous for participants, she said.

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Women’s coalition questions mayoral candidates about economics, violence

By Kate Morrissey

Anne K. Ream, a member of Chicago Women Take Action, said none of the mayoral candidates, who spoke at a recent forum organized by the coalition, could walk away without understanding the organized power of women in Chicago.

Ream said that she thinks three of the candidates have potential but that her coalition must hold them accountable on issues such as minimum wage increases and domestic violence. Continue reading

Tragic disease passes legacy to kids

By Jamie Friedlander

Anthony Martinez, 26, was in high school when he started noticing some changes in his mother’s personality. Kathleen Eannotti was always a neat freak and the house was always spotless. Now she was acting out of character, hoarding, becoming irrational and getting angry at inanimate objects. Continue reading

Durable goods industry slips following strong year for manufacturing

By Bethel Habte

The manufactured durable goods industry performed below analyst expectations in December, though the decrease followed a strong year for the manufacturing industry.

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U.S. consumer confidence surges to 7 1/2–year high

By Yasufumi Saito

Greater chances of getting a job and lower gasoline prices are making Americans feel more comfortable about today’s economy like it was before the recession.

U.S. consumer confidence jumped sharply in January to its strongest level since August 2007, according to a report Tuesday by The Conference Board, a non-profit business research group. Continue reading