Jobless rate climbs as jobs vanish

WASHINGTON - Stores, factories and other businesses large and small showed workers the door last month, sending unemployment to its highest rate in four years and adding to the evidence an economic recovery remains far off.

Employers clamped down on hiring and cut 51,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department said Friday. The economy has shed jobs each month this year - 463,000 in all.

The unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent, up from 5.5 percent in June.

The jobs report contributed to another day of grim news for the economy. General Motors reported a staggering quarterly loss of more than $15 billion and said its sales fell by more than a quarter from last year.

The Commerce Department said spending on construction projects around the country dropped 0.4 percent in June as cutbacks in home building eclipsed gains in commercial construction.

Yahoo board emerges OK after meeting

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Yahoo Inc.'s board emerged largely unscathed from the Internet company's annual meeting Friday as a subdued crowd of shareholders raised few questions about the directors' rejection of Microsoft Corp.'s $47.5 billion takeover bid.

After Yahoo's leadership spent more than an hour defending its handling of the now-withdrawn offer, the company fielded just nine questions from shareholders for about 35 minutes before abruptly adjourning the meeting.

A significant number of shareholders were expected to express their dissatisfaction by opposing the re-election of Yahoo's current directors in a largely symbolic gesture.