| Business

Pennsylvania unemployment rate drops to six-year low

By Chris Fleisher 11:19 a.m.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate sank to a six-year low in October as employers added 12,600 jobs. The unemployment rate fell three-tenths of a percentage point last month to 5.4 percent, the Department of Labor & Industry reported Friday. Total nonfarm jobs rose to highest level since August 2008. Many of the …

Westmoreland County’s Excela Health rethinks patient debts

By Alex Nixon
Hospitals and patients encounter a common problem: rising medical debt. There is a solution that could help both. Hospitals are using companies that allow patients to extend payments for as long as two years. These companies avoid rules that restrict hospital ...

Highmark and UPMC feud over canceled physician contracts

By Alex Nixon
Highmark Inc. said Thursday it terminated contracts with 689 UPMC physicians in the Pittsburgh region to make clear that the doctors would be out-of-network for the insurer’s subscribers on Jan. 1. UPMC called Highmark’s move an “illegal breach” of the contracts ...

Ex-coal exec pleads not guilty in W.Va. mine blast

By The Associated Press
BECKLEY, W.Va. — Ex-coal company chief executive Don Blankenship pleaded not guilty Thursday to conspiracy and other charges in the deadliest U.S. mine accident in ...

Los Angeles Auto Show builds reputation for high-performance luxury debuts

By The Associated Press
DETROIT — Few people need an SUV with 567 horsepower that can scream around a racetrack and go from zero to 60 in four seconds. A ...

Generic drug price spikes draw Senate inquiry

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health care costs for decades are increasing in price by as much as 8,000 percent, ...

Takata evasive to panel on safety

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — There were apologies and long-winded explanations, but nearly four hours of testimony about exploding Takata air bags didn’t give senators a clear answer ...

Falling gasoline prices ease inflation pressure

By Reuters
WASHINGTON — Under­lying inflation pressures rose in October, even as falling gasoline prices kept overall consumer prices in check, bolstering expectations of a mid-2015 interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve. Other data on Thursday showed vigor in the economy, with ...

Federal Reserve to review its oversight of big banks

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve said Thursday that it will review how it oversees the nation’s biggest banks amid criticism that it has grown too close to the financial institutions it is charged with regulating. The Fed made the announcement ...

Positive economic, earnings reports return Dow, S&P 500 to record territory

By The Associated Press
Stocks rebounded Thursday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor’s 500 index back into record territory. It was the second record-high close for the Dow this week and the third for the S&P 500. The modest gains erased ...

Small businesses’ dilemma: Keep costly health care coverage or lose talented workers

By Alex Nixon
Regina Weinhardt briefly considered dropping health coverage for the employees of her family-owned plumbing business when she learned recently that her premiums were expected to jump 80 percent. She decided against it, because the Delaware County company she runs, Joseph Rosati ...

Former FBI director Mueller: Home hacks called on par with globals

By Jason Cato
Corporations lucky enough to have avoided being hacked by cyber criminals should not expect their luck to continue, the former head of the FBI said ...

Former Consol official pleads guilty to siphoning $440K in gas royalties

By Brian Bowling
The former land records general manager for Consol Energy Inc. admitted Wednesday to swindling the company out of about $440,000 in gas royalties. Scott D. Hamilton, 37, of Baden pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud. Each count carries ...

Showdown looms between federal regulators, Japanese air bag maker Takata

By The Associated Press
DETROIT — A showdown is looming between U.S. safety regulators and a Japanese company that makes air bags linked to multiple deaths and injuries. Car ...

Toyota to begin selling 1st fuel cell vehicle, Mirai, in December

By The Associated Press
TOKYO — Only a few hundred will be made, and they won’t be cheap, but Toyota is about to take its first small step into ...

Fed steadies course despite economic concerns, minutes reveal

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve policymakers discussed a variety of economic threats at their October meeting — from turbulent financial markets to overseas weakness — but ...

Business Briefs

Roundup: Heinz cuts more jobs in Pittsburgh; Alcoa completes $3B Firth Rixon acquisition; more

By Staff and Wires
Heinz cuts more jobs in Pittsburgh H.J. Heinz Co. on Thursday said it eliminated an undisclosed number of jobs in its North America operations, including ...

Business Columnists

Jack Markowitz

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Markowitz: Health care runaround has grown old

It’s April in November! Dining room tables are laden with papers demanding attention. There are forms to fill out and …

John Browne

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Alibaba highlights challenge

China’s huge online retailer, Alibaba, claimed sales of $9.3 billion from its recent annual Valentine-style “Singles Day” event. Although offering …

John Dorfman

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Coach, Conns, Rowan among January rebound candidates

The stock market’s  “January effect” is really the confluence of three effects. Stocks, in general, tend to rise in January. …

Chris Posti

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Social media use says what resume can’t to recruiters

Imagine this: you have not applied for a single job, yet someone is ready to hire you, sight unseen. How …

Kim Komando

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Komando: 5 tech gifts to avoid this holiday season

When you’re trying to buy the perfect gift for a friend or family member this Christmas, you’re probably going to …

Real Estate

Many Pittsburgh-area artists take well-paying commissions to fund own work

By Alice T. Carter
When Lynn Epstein and Craig Otto set out to renovate the kitchen in their Bellevue home, they wanted a different look for the tile backsplash ...

Business Gallery

Business Gallery, Nov. 16, 2014

By Tribune-Review
BANKING, FINANCE At Farmers National Bank of  Emlenton, both Jerry Millin, vice president and information technology manager, and Andrew Hogue,  assistant vice ...