OPERATIONS

Jobless claims fall more than expected

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — A report released Thursday by the Labor Department said that U.S. claims for initial jobless benefits last week posted their biggest decline in nearly a year.

The drop erased the holiday-related spike, and illustrated that a healthier labor market remains intact.

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits dropped sharply to 404,000 from a downwardly revised reading of 441,000 in the prior week, according to the report. The 37,000 drop in claims was the biggest since the week that ended Feb. 6, when claims fell by 51,000.

Analysts had expected weekly jobless claims to fall to 420,000.

A big spike in the week ended Jan. 8 may have reflected a backlog of claims built up over the holiday season.

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FINANCE

Kohl’s and First Data team on private brand credit-card processing

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta — First Data Corp. said Thursday that it has entered into an agreement with Kohl’s Department Stores to provide payment processing services for the company’s private brand credit-card accounts.

The multi-year agreement calls for First Data to provide Kohl’s with credit-card processing, customer analytics, risk-management services and automated customer service workflow tools.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Kohl’s partnership with First Data will not affect Kohl’s current credit-card arrangement with Chase or the company’s previously announced agreement with Capital One.

“Choosing a world-class partner for payment processing with an ability to respond to the changing payments landscape was important given the success and ongoing growth of Kohl’s credit card program,” said Wes McDonald, Kohl’s senior executive VP and CFO.

A conversion date is still being determined, according to First Data.

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OPERATIONS

New York & Co. hires former Coach exec

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — New York & Co. announced on Wednesday the appointment of David Witkewicz to executive VP design, effective this month.

Witkewicz will report to Greg Scott, president, and will serve on the company’s executive committee.

Witkewicz was previously VP design for Coach.

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