Finally. It may be getting easier to find a job.

Welcome to CapBiz A.M., your morning primer on business news with a focus on Washington.

On the mend: After a slow start to the year, the local job market is showing signs of picking up, according to the latest government data. Even Virginia, which only added a couple hundred positions last month, showed some progress in important sectors. (CAPBIZ)

Challenge complete: A San Francisco start-up that uses crowdfunding to help the homeless took top honors on Saturday at the Challenge Cup, a global business competition organized by local start-up hub 1776. A D.C. area company won the top prize in the education division. (CAPBIZ)

Burrito boom: Pedro & Vinny’s, the burrito cart parked on the corner of 15th and K streets, has for two decades relied on a steady stream of regulars to keep it in business. Now, following new D.C. regulations, the cart’s is preparing to expand. (CAPBIZ)

Biting back: D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States is one of several animal rights groups that have agreed to pay a collective $16 million to the company behind Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus to settle unproven allegations of elephant mistreatment. (CAPBIZ)

Done deal: AT&T has agreed to buy DirecTV for $48.5 billion, gobbling up the top U.S. satellite television operator in a bid to become a massive telecom and television services provider. (WP)

Tech truce: Apple and Google’s Motorola division have agreed to settle all outstanding patent litigation between them over smartphone technology, ending one of the most high-profile and long-running lawsuits over technology rights. (USA)

Out of the cars: Johnson Controls has agreed to sell its auto interiors business to a new joint venture it is forming with a unit of China’s largest automaker, SAIC Motor Corp. The newly formed company will have total value of $7.5 billion in revenue. (REU)

Smell of victory: An Oregon husband-wife duo with a small candle and cosmetics company on Friday won the Small Business Administration’s small business of the year award, topping more than 50 other finalists from around the country. (OSB)

On Wall Street

The Nasdaq inched up last week, while the S&P finished back where it started last Monday. Several major retailers will publish earnings this week, including Target, which will post its first numbers since the company’s chief executive stepped down earlier this month. (Get the latest updates here)

What’s on tap today

Strategic business forum luncheon (11:30 a.m.)

D.C. Microfinance Meetup with Richard Greenberg (6:00 p.m.)

Help: What business leaders can learn from Irish castles (OSB)

Follow: Pedro and Vinny’s burrito cart in D.C.

Extra: Eight years of work. One finished document. Not a single typo. (WP)

J.D. Harrison covers startups, small business and entrepreneurship, with a focus on public policy, and he manages the Post's On Small Business blog.
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J.D. Harrison | May 16