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Tennessee tops in jobless decline

Tennessee had the biggest decline in unemployment over the past year of any state in the country, the Labor Department said Friday.

The 1.4 percent drop in the jobless rate in the Volunteer State cut unemployment from 4.8 percent in July 2016 to 3.4 percent last month. Tennesee and North Dakota both set records for the lowest unemployment rate last month since modern records have been kept starting in 1976.

The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment rates were relatively stable compared with the previous month in most states. The overall unemployment rate fell to 4.3 percent last month as employers added 209,000.

When unemployment drops to that low level, businesses may be forced to raise pay to compete for talented workers. So far, wage gains nationwide remain at about 2.5 percent a year, below the 3.5 percent pace normally associated with a healthy economy.

Icahn steps down as Trump adviser

President Donald Trump has lost another informal adviser from the business world: billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who gave the White House guidance on its deregulation efforts.

Icahn said in a letter to Trump released Friday that he is stepping down to prevent "partisan bickering" about his unofficial role that Democrats suggested could benefit him financially. Trump lost a pair of business advisory councils on Wednesday over his inability to condemn the role white supremacists played in violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Va,

But Icahn — who made his name and fortune as a corporate raider in the 1980s — indicated that his resignation was due to criticism regarding the appearance of possible ethical conflicts.

"I never had access to nonpublic information or profited from my position, nor do I believe that my role presented conflicts of interest," Icahn wrote.

He said he had limited his input to broad matters of policy about the oil-refining industry. Icahn controls a sizable stake in refiner CVR Energy.

Ex-UAW official charged with payoff

A former union official in Detroit has been charged with making more than $40,000 in purchases for herself and others with money from Fiat Chrysler.

Virdell King is the fourth person charged in the case. The government says Al Iacobelli, who was a Fiat Chrysler labor executive, gave credit cards to some officials at United Auto Workers. Bills were paid with money from a company-sponsored training center.

The conspiracy charge against King was filed as a criminal information, which means a guilty plea is likely.

King retired in 2016 after working in UAW's Chrysler department. Her attorney, John Shea, declined to comment Friday.

The government quotes a former Fiat Chrysler employee as saying the goal was to keep UAW officials "fat, dumb and happy."

Lawsuit dismissed against Martha Stewart

A Delaware judge has dismissed a class-action lawsuit filed by former stockholders of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia over the company's 2015 acquisition by Sequential Brands.

The lawsuit said Stewart leveraged her position as controlling stockholder to secure greater consideration for herself than was paid to other stockholders. They also accused Sequential of aiding and abetting Stewart's alleged breach of her fiduciary duties.

The judge said Friday that Stewart was entitled to the deference given to corporate leaders under Delaware's "business judgment" rule.

He also said the plaintiffs likely could not prove that Stewart engaged in a conflicted transaction or that they suffered any damages as a result. The judge said the consideration Sequential offered to Martha Stewart stockholders actually increased after negotiations with her began.

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