Eurozone nations’ jobless rate hit all-time high of 12.1 percent in May

Unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro hit another all-time high in May, official data showed Monday.

Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, said the eurozone’s unemployment rate rose 0.1 percentage point in May to 12.1 percent. April’s unemployment rate was initially estimated to be 12.2 percent, but it was revised down to 12.0 percent thanks to new data, particularly from France.

The figures will make sobering reading for the region’s politicians as they gather in Berlin this week to tackle the problem of youth unemployment — nearly one in four people under 25 years old are out of work — and the damage it is doing to the eurozone’s economy and social fabric.

Across the eurozone, there were 19.22 million people unemployed, 67,000 higher than the previous month — a closer look at the figures show that Italy was largely behind the increase.

Tribune Co. will pay $2.73 billion for 19 Local TV Holdings stations

Tribune Co. said Monday that it reached a deal to buy Local TV Holdings LLC’s 19 TV stations for $2.73 billion in cash, significantly boosting its television business as it looks to sell its newspaper operations.

Tribune currently owns 23 TV stations and cable network WGN America, along with the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other newspapers. The deal will give it 42 stations, making the Chicago-based company one of the nation’s top TV station owners. Tribune said it will be the No. 1 commercial TV station group in the country based on its broadcast reach into more than 50 million homes.

Last month, Gannett Co., the publisher of USA Today, announced plans to buy TV station owner Belo Corp. for about $1.5 billion. The acquisition will nearly double Gannett’s portfolio of stations from 23 to 43, reaching nearly one-third of U.S. households.

McDonald’s franchise giving workers more options for payment of wages

A McDonald’s franchise in Pennsylvania says it will give employees more payment options after it was sued by a former employee who says she was charged a fee to access her wages from a debit card.

Company spokeswoman Christina Mueller-Curran said employees of 16 McDonald’s restaurants in northeastern Pennsylvania will be given the option of getting paid via direct deposit or paper check.

Former employee Natalie Gunshannon alleges she was charged $1.50 to withdraw cash. Her lawsuit has focused attention on the practice of paying low-wage employees via debit cards that can be laden with fees.

– From news service reports