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POSTED: Saturday, April 18, 2009

NATION

California's jobless rate hits 11.2%

SACRAMENTO » California's unemployment rate hit 11.2 percent in March, the highest rate in modern records, as the construction, manufacturing and banking industries continued to shed jobs, the state employment agency said yesterday.

The state's unemployment rate grew from 10.6 percent in February and is nearly 5 points higher than in March 2008, the Employment Development Department reported.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show it is a historic high. The bureau said only three states—Michigan, Oregon and South Carolina—had higher rates in March.

Among the reasons California is hit harder than most other areas is the sheer size of its economy and its central role in funneling overseas imports to consumers here, said Jerry Nickelsburg, a senior economist at UCLA.

 

Starwood sues Hilton and 2 execs

NEW YORK » Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. is suing Hilton Hotels Corp. and two of its executives, saying its rival stole secrets about Starwood's luxury brands.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts alleged that the two former Starwood employees stole more than 100,000 electronic files before and after they joined Hilton Hotels Corp. in June.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday, claims that confidential information about Starwood's W hotel brand was used to help Hilton develop its Denizen brand, which was formally launched in March. At the time, Hilton said the chain is “;primarily aimed at the globally conscious modern traveler.”;

Hilton said in a statement that the lawsuit is without merit.