News In Brief

The US unemployment rate fell to a three-decade low of 4.1 percent in October with only modest wage inflation, the Labor Department said. Unemployment hasn't been lower since it stood at 3.9 percent in January 1970. A key gauge of inflation pressure, average hourly earnings, grew only 0.1 percent to $13.37 in October, indicating that a tight labor market isn't triggering serious wage inflation.

A 10-week-old, $1.5 billion hostile takeover bid for Air Canada was dropped by the Toronto holding company Onex Corp. after a court ruled it illegal. The carrier's stockholders were to have voted on the offer today. But the court said it violated a law limiting ownership by a single shareholder in the airline to 10 percent. Competition rules had been suspended by the national government in August in hopes that a solution to Canada's airline problems might come from the private sector. As part of its plan, Onex also wanted to pick up cash-strapped Canadian Airlines and merge it with Air Canada. The latter said it now would renew an attempt to take over Canadian itself.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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