Jobless rates fall in 29 states across the U.S.

Unemployment rates fell last month in most U.S. states, including in some hit hardest during the recession. The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates declined in 29 states and rose in 8. Rates were unchanged in 13 states and Washington, D.C. Employers added jobs in 42 states, the most in almost a year. Ohio, Texas and New York reported the biggest job gains. Even some of the worst-hit Rust Belt states are seeing progress. Michigan’s unemployment rate fell to 8.8 percent in February. That’s down from a peak of 14.2 percent in August 2009.

Card security may have been breached

MasterCard and Visa said Friday that they had notified issuers of its credit cards of a potential breach of the security of customer accounts. Visa blamed a third company for the error. Neither Visa nor MasterCard would say how many customers were affected. Credit card companies generally protect customers against fraudulent transactions, and Visa said specifically Friday that its U.S. customers were not at risk.

Settlement reached in Alaska gas field dispute

Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell says a settlement has been reached in the long-running dispute over leases on the Point Thomson gas fields, clearing the way for progress on a major pipeline project. The leases are seen as critical to the fortunes of a gas pipeline, long sought by Alaskans as a way to shore up revenues amid declining oil production, create jobs and provide a reliable source of energy.

Honda recalls 554,000 cars for headlight glitch

Honda Motor Co. said it will recall about 554,000 model-year 2002 to 2004 CR-V and model-year 2003 Pilot vehicles in the United States to inspect and replace components of the headlight wiring system. The automaker said there is a potential failure with the wiring of the headlight switch. The fault could cause the low-beam headlights to fail. Honda said there have been no crashes or injuries reported because of the safety defect.

Philadelphia daily papers may be sold

Philadelphia’s two largest newspapers could trade hands Monday for the fifth time in six years. Several powerful local businessmen are trying to close a deal to buy The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News from New York hedge funds. The price is expected to be less than $70 million.

Toyota to increase prices on six models

Toyota Motor Corp. said it will take a midyear price increase of $90 to $250 on six models, starting with vehicles produced in May. Depending on the model, the increase represents an increase of 0.3 percent to 1.5 percent. The models receiving price increases include the 2012 Toyota Prius v, Camry and Camry Hybrid, Highlander Hybrid, Tacoma pickup truck and the 2013 Scion tC.

From Herald news services